The Giving Heart: Unlocking the Transformative Power of Generosity in Your Life

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Conari Press, Nov 1, 2000 - Family & Relationships - 173 pages
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Gratitude and generosity go hand in hand--the more we appreciate our lives, the more we want to give to others. In A Grateful Heart, M. J. Ryan provided tools for expressing thanks. In the best-selling Attitudes of Gratitude, she taught us the inner work of realizing the many blessings we take for granted. Now, in The Giving Heart, she presents her latest examination of the virtues we need to cultivate for the twenty-first century and takes a look at generosity: what creates it, what blocks it, and what the practice of generosity can bring to our lives.

In a series of short, heart-felt essays, Ryan encourages us all to stop living from what she calls "the ledger sheet mentality" of obligatory gifting, and to begin giving from the overflow of a loving heart. She asks readers to consider where and how they are stingy as well as where they are meant to give, and to contemplate all the types of possible generosity, because the giving of time, energy, kind words, loving gestures, and forgiveness may ultimately matter more than any amount of money.

In her down-to-earth, accessible style, Ryan takes us to the heart of what it means to truly give, and what that giving can do not only for the recipient, but for ourselves, as well.

As the current economic boom brings attention to altruism and "giving back" The Giving Heart shows us how to experience joy, peace, and fulfillment when we live from a place of generosity.

  

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Contents

Opening Our Hearts and Hands
1
The Gifts of Giving
11
Giving Is a Great Mood Elevator
13
Giving Can Heal
15
Giving Is Good for Our Health
17
Generosity Alleviates Fear
20
Giving Helps Us Experience Our Connection with Others
23
Giving Allows Us to Look Deeply at Ourselves
26
Strive for Balance
87
Its Both an Inside and Outside Job
90
We Are Gods Hands in the World
93
The Practice of Giving
95
Become More Aware of Your Generosity
97
Look at Your Gifts
100
Set Your Intention
102
Begin Somewhere
104

Generosity Helps Us See There Is No Difference Between Giving and Receiving
29
Giving fills Us Like Getting Cannot
31
Giving Allows Us to Offer Our Unique Gifts
34
Giving Allows Us to Experience Oneness
40
Generosity Helps Us Glimpse the Truth about Life
42
The Spirit of Giving
45
We Are Inherently Generous
47
Giving Is EEasy WHen We Go with the Grain
49
To Give is to Live
52
We Are SelfRenewing Systems
54
Generosity Comes in Many Forms
56
We Can Make a Difference
58
Whatever We Do We Do for Ourselves
61
Gratitude and Generosity Are Indivisible
63
We Are Both Generous and Whithholding
66
We Can Unblock Our Giving
69
You Cant Say Yes if You Cant Say No
72
True Giving Means Letting Go of Control
74
If You Give You Will Be Provided For
76
Let Go of the Ledger Sheet
78
You Never Know What the Effects of Your Actions Will Be
81
All True giving Is Loving
83
Think Positive
85
Share What You Love
106
Cultivate Compassion
108
Surprise Someone
111
Do Whats Needed
113
Look at Your Generosity Teachers
115
Include Yourself
118
Just Say Yes
121
Learn Your No Signals
124
Keep the Gift in Motion
127
Practice Agape
130
Allow Yourself to be Appreciated
132
Give Meaningful Holiday Gifts
Offer from Overflow
Let It Be Easy
Bestow the Gift of Full Attention
Give Others the Benefit of the Doubt
Share What You Have
Pass It On to Your Kids
Cultivate Spiritual Generosity
Try Sending and Taking
An EverExpanding Circle
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About the author (2000)

M.J. Ryan is an inspirational speaker and human development expoert, and author of several bestselling books including This Year I Will..., The Happiness Makeover: How to Teach Yourself to Be Happy and Enjoy Every Day and Attitudes of Gratitude. She lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her family.

Sylvia Boorstein, teaches mindfulness and leads retreats across the United States. She is a co-founding teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California, and a senior teacher at the Insight Meditation Center in Barre, Massachusetts. Boorstein is also a practicing psychotherapist. Her previous books are It's Easier Than You Think: The Buddhist Way to Happiness and Don't Just Do Something, Sit There. She lives with her husband, Seymour Boorstein, a psychiatrist. They have two sons, two daughters, and five grandchildren.

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