A few weeks back I was intrigued to find in Seth's triiibe (a closed community for those who read and try to demonstrate the principles in his books) a discussion of generosity, and how unselfish giving seems to always bring returns to the giver, but not in reciprocal or repayment ways. The poster, Christina Ciani, suggested that it's about a change in the individual. I posted this reply. The story as well as the learning have stuck in my mind, and I thought it worth repeating here:
I've been trying to pin down how it (generosity) works for months, hoping to write on the topic, and there just isn't a formula. I think you've pinned it down, that the giving is about changing a place in ourselves, which then helps us to achieve more. Sometimes the results of the giving come back to help us, but really the best benefit is becoming better as individuals.
My favourite story on the topic is last autumn I was grumpy one afternoon and had chosen to focus that energy into cleaning house. I was on the rampage, I was getting stuff done, and it felt... well it didn't feel good, it just felt like I was getting stuff done.
My two young daughters, 2 and 6 at the time, were in the garden, pestering me to come and play with them. I got fed up with the sound of my own 'no, no, no,' and I did.
I chased them. We ran in circles, we fell over and tickled in the grass, and we had a marvellous time. I wasn't grumpy anymore...
Not even when I did my last chase around the shed and broke my toe on the flower bed. The two little ones supported me back to the house, caring for me, but even in my pain I was laughing. The lesson to give especially when I don't want to had got through, because it's then that I need to be pushed back into a generous space, so I can see the beautiful day and benefit from the wonders of the connections there to be made.