Today’s blog is devoted to giving and why it feels so good. I also talk about why it’s good to know your Love Language, and why this Thanksgiving looking a little closer at our history is really important. For those who prefer to listen, I’ve recorded this blog for you. Have a listen here and remember to link back to the blog for links to the Love Language quiz, some freebies I made for you, a cool link that shows you the Natives that lived on your land, and the two Black educators I am loving learning from. – Enjoy, Danielle
Giving to others may be something we are taught early on in life, but the effects of giving can be even more beneficial to the giver, and there’s research to prove it.
Harvard Business School and Carnegie Mellon are just a couple of notable research study groups that have proven not only does giving make us happier, it can also help our brain function and overall health, such as lowering blood pressure and reducing depression.
Giving spans a wide range of options – you can give your money, time, kind words, creativity, gifts… the options of giving are truly limitless.
I’m a big fan of knowing your Love Language, a quiz that helps you discover the way you feel most loved, created by Dr. Gary Chapman. According to Chapman, we can break down our love languages into 5 different segments: Acts of Service, Words of Affirmation, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch. (I link the quiz below if you want to take it.)
Nothing says I love you like someone unloading the dishwasher without being asked. Acts of Service are a big way I feel loved. So it got me thinking…are Acts of Service also the way that lights me up the most when I give?
The truth is, yes.
While I donate a ton of clothes every year, shop for Angel Tree angels, donate to food banks, give money to worthwhile causes, donate books, what makes me feel most alive is giving acts of service.
I’ve done a lot of Life Coaching hours this year, pro bono. (A pandemic can really bring out needs.) It made me realize that I really enjoy anything that involves my action being a part of the giving. Feeding the homeless, teaching kids meditation and yoga, and one of my favorites – teaching yoga to women in an in-patient treatment facility. Bottom line, I like getting in there and taking action in the honor of giving. Maybe it’s because one of more core beliefs is action is the language of change.
While it is great to know how you feel most loved, if we know that generosity lights us up, no matter what form, what if we decided to give in the love language that makes us feel most alive? Even writing this out is elevating my mood and having me conjure up ways to give. There really is truth to the notion that giving to others is good for the giver.
We have an innate desire to be connected. The act of giving – no matter the form – connects us.
It makes sense as a species with a strong desire to belong that giving is a natural way of elevating our mood. As our heart swells with generosity, endorphins increase, too.
This November – the month we highlight giving – I’ve approached Thanksgiving a bit differently. Thanks to Black educators such as Rachel Cargle and Monique Melton (I’ll link to them below too), I’ve learned and done some research on the truth about Thanksgiving in America, and it isn’t so much about giving as it is taking.
(A really cool tool Rachel Cargle shared to see whose land you are living on is www.native-land.ca)
Many Natives consider the American Thanksgiving holiday a day of mourning. For the Natives of our land, their way of life was that of balance, not taking more from Mother Earth than they gave; ensuring a balance between giving and taking. We can all agree we’ve walked far away from this way of life as we now live in the land of excess.
This Thanksgiving seems more meaningful as my family and I honor the gifts life has brought us. I’ve been paying tribute to the Natives that lived on the land where my house sits. Hikes to the lake from my backyard hold more reverence and respect.
We aren’t celebrating with extended family due to Covid-19 precautions, but we are noticing the land we live on, who was here first and what we can learn from them, and what it really means to give thanks.
What way of giving lights you up? Take the quiz to see your Love Language, or better yet, make it a family exercise! Then see how that impacts how you give to each other and the community.
One of my dear teachers, Martha Beck, suggests writing a letter or making a call to someone who has positively impacted your life in ways big or small. When we pay attention to the gifts life has brought us and give thanks for them, we naturally want to give back.
As I reflect on all I’m thankful for, I am extremely thankful for this community. Sharing with you really lights me up.
As a way to give back, I’ve created 3 New Tools that are free: A Guide to Activate Your Intuition, a new 10-Minute Guided Meditation, and an Inner-Visioning Template. They are tools to help you continue to nurture your relationship with your intuition and heart. I hope you enjoy them half as much as I enjoyed creating them! You can grab them here:
A Guide to Activate Your Intuition
10-Minute Guided Meditation
With an open heart and engaged intuition, giving is our natural state of being. Here’s to giving thanks and giving from our hearts.
What’s your favorite way to give? Have any of your Thanksgiving traditions changed this year? Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear from you. Be sure to also check out the links below to Learn Your Love Language, and Black educators Rachel Cargle and Monique Melton.
Happy Thanksgiving with love,
Discover Your (And Your Family’s) Love Language!
Rachel Cargle and her creation The Great Unlearn is a phenomenal source of learning and unlearning as we discover the truth about American history. Highly recommend joining her Patreon and following her on Instagram.
Monique Melton is another fantastic Black educator helping us to undo racial abuse in our country. She also has a Patreon and Instagram account that are incredibly informative.