Finding your giving balance - Emma Lannigan

Nothing left to give

We can’t give all the time. It’s just not where the balance is.

We show up each day wanting to give our best for everyone else. And we do this every day. So when did we do something for us?

Making our soul sing is just as, if not more, important than feeding everyone else’s soul. (I know so selfish!)

Except it isn’t. You’ll have heard me talk about the aircraft safety talk: “place the oxygen mask over your mouth and secure, before helping others.” How can we keep giving when we have nothing left to give?

What are we giving?

Look at this another way, when we keep giving when we have nothing left to give, what are we actually giving? To a degree the action cancels itself out.

To give truly and completely, we are giving to ourselves too. How will the world manage without you giving to others for a few days and giving to yourself instead?

The ego of giving

Ultimately, as easy as it sounds, and as difficult as it feels reading this – the world will continue and your world will slow down.

“Am I not that important in the world?” This question might have come through into your minds eye. Truthfully we are all as equally important. No person is better or worse – we are all the same. All part of the same. We are all here to individually share our love kindness and talents. Our ego and choice of judgement creates the divides. So without judgement, everyone continues to learn their unique life lessons.

You see when we step back from giving to others and give to ourselves, we gift the opportunity for someone else to give to others. Think of ‘takers’ who are transitioning to being givers too. If we are not giving these individuals space to learn to give, because we want to be doing all of the giving – how giving of you is that? You’d be creating space for them. So technically you are still giving when you are giving to yourself.

In the space of receiving

So what do you do with this giving space? This is often one of the biggest fears we have: when we stop helping others, what will we do with the space that is left for us?

Can you remember what gave you joy and fun when you weren’t so busy giving all the time? It’s a scary step for many people to reach out and learn what they enjoy. It might be that in a giving activity it brings the individual joy and fun – that’s like a perfect balance: giving and receiving in the same space.

It’s also not always possible so where you give, for example in your work someone might find their balance in doing an activity outside of work that does give to them like the gym, fitness classes, running, walks, camping, weekends away, taking photos, baking, golf, reading.

What if

When you’ve not done anything for yourself before how will we know what to do? What if you don’t find anything? “What if I’m not good enough at anything new?” What if’s will be your excuse to keep giving and feel drained, overwhelmed and fed up with your life.

Take a step to back, create the space to receive, ask for help, ask a friend to do something with you. No more excuses.

Breathing challenge

Breathe. Deep breathing is the best example of balancing giving and receiving within your own body. Start here, today. Learn and observe how your mind and body respond to deep breathing and make it a daily practice.

Once you are comfortable and it becomes natural to consciously breathe deeply throughout your day, you will feel calmer, clearer in your thoughts, and able to take that step back and allow your world to give back to you too.