Give It All Away: Part I

by Susan on Monday, March 11, 2013

Important advice from one of my dearest and wisest friends: GIVE IT ALL AWAY.

Give away your ideas, your lunch, your things, your time, your art. Give abundantly, indulgently, as if you have inexhaustible resources, even if this is not true.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this advice recently. It’s been an ongoing mantra in my mind as I go about my daily business emailing, organizing, cooking etc. Eventually my thoughts wander back to it: Give it all away.

Then, after considering giving it all - everything - away, my thoughts carry on:_ to whom do I give?_ and more importantly, _what do I give? _

Then, I freeze.

Not because I want to stingily hold on to my awesome smelling orange blossom candle or adorable hoop earrings, but because in examining what I give and want to give to others, I open myself to vulnerability, rejection and fear of the unknown.

And yet, I know my work as  person, artist, citizen of the universe is letting go of my fears in order to explore and cultivate what I give. Generosity is a willingness to share one’s gifts with the world. Acknowledging these gifts can feel simultaneously scary and empowering - because this is the work you’re supposed to do in this life. This is the work that is bigger than you.

When you enter your mid-30’s and you are a woman (like me), you feel an essential power within you (it’s true!). If this truth was popularized and embraced in our culture, the world would be in much better shape. Maybe this feeling of power is rooted in our biology - our instinct is to create, nurture and intensely love the object(s) of our making. But even with biology and a burning desire to give - we still have to be mindful enough and commit to honoring it.

More soon on my adventures in giving it all away. I’ll be working on it.

Thanks for reading.


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