Christmas is coming. (Although if the shopping centres are anything to go by it arrived in October LAST YEAR ... but that is another post). It seems as appropriate a time as any to ponder the idea of giving and receiving.

We have all heard “it is better to give than to receive”. I’ll be honest with you – I am good at giving, but utterly crap at receiving. My revision of that saying therefore is: “to give you must first learn to receive.”

It seems logical doesn’t it? Abundance is a bi-directional channel – the gifts flow both ways (though not necessarily between the same two parties). Truly abundant giving can only come from being truly open to receiving in abundance.

But hold on, true giving is about not expecting any rewards, isn’t it? How does this work? This is about the intention behind giving and receiving.

Your intention behind doing something directly affects your expectations of the outcomes or benefits of that action. If you give with the clear intention of expecting a payback, you are not really giving. It is merely a case of delayed payment for services. Similarly, if you give with the intention of receiving validation and acceptance, you are also practising delayed payment and not really giving (and yes, I have done this one!)

On the other side, when you receive with the intention of “I now must give something of equal or more value back”, you are actually dishonouring the giver! The assumption behind this intention is that people always give something expecting something else in return. This is most definitely not in the spirit of abundance!

Thus: Give with the sole intention of giving. And receive with openness and gratitude.