There’s no doubt in my mind that giving is the highest purpose. There’s so much we can give, whether it be material, intellectual, spiritual or energetic. Even when we’re poor in resources, the act of giving elevates us and reminds us that we’ve got far more that we realized. In fact, the act of giving is one of the most reliable ways there is to recognize the abundance that is ours.

For me, the thing I feel most moved to give is an experience of joy. I truly believe that my effort to elicit¬† smiles, laughter, astonishment or mental ease is the best forms of giving there is. First, it’s easy. To make others smile or laugh, all I need to do is infect them with my own enthusiasm and playfulness. It literally takes nothing from me, and after giving, I’m richer for it. Second, it’s self-regulating. The only reason I wouldn’t infect others is if I myself am not currently infected with that state of mind. And if I’m not, the experience of having nothing good to give is the ultimate reminder to take care of myself.

In fact, if I simply live my life with the one guiding principle of giving joy, laughter and love, everything else falls into place. I instantly know where I stand in terms of my own level of consciousness, and I can quickly use the experience of negativity as a springboard to quickly get back into the state that most serves me and others.

When we come from the intention to be giving and loving, our only concern is for the well being of others. And in service to that, the only possible challenge we face is the recognition that there are mental barriers which occasionally stand in the way of our being in the giving spirit. As long as our intention remains, we’re constantly being motivated to be the best us we can be. We’re constantly noticing from a tolerant, loving place which of our buttons are being pushed that interfere with our generosity and joy.

And, when we stay in our intention to serve, those buttons become reminders of the parts of ourselves that need work. For every one of us, the natural underlying urge is to serve, but for many of us, the presence of our buttons becomes our chief obstacle. Those of us who are burdened with many buttons find it difficult to remain loving towards others, since our emotions are often being triggered, and we’re living in a state of perpetual reaction. Those of us with less buttons feel freer and are naturally more consistently giving. Those with no buttons are called “enlightened.”

What if we all lived our lives with the intention of reaching enlightenment? Then, those who push our buttons would become appreciated reminders of the work we need to do on ourselves. After all, if my goal is freedom, I should thank anyone who points out the bars on my cell, so I can go about dismantling them.

The fear is that we can’t remove our bars or won’t rise above our buttons. But that’s only from a lack of knowledge. When we learn the tools and techniques that give us power over our buttons, we begin to welcome the reminders of our limits. We begin to dismantle them, grow past them, and emerge victorious.

And then, the fun begins. Free of mental traps, we become a reliable source of joy and comfort for others. We make them laugh, gasp, giggle, sigh and beam. And, in so doing, we not only provide them with what they need, but we enhance our own enjoyment of life.

It’s a foolproof system, and it’s there for us all. I invite you to make giving your highest purpose, use your moments of lack and limitation as signposts of where you need work, and joyfully continue to grow your ability to make a difference in the world. Only you can give the unique gift you were put here to give….and it takes no worldly wealth to be a source of love. Create a field of warmth around you, and bask in the glow of what you’ve created and what’s being reflected back to you by those you’ve inspired and uplifted. It’s a GREAT way to live!

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