As I watched my little pretzel self I remembered an article I'd read on creativity. It said when they'd done research on what separated the creative folks from the non creative ones, it was, simply, that creative people believed they were creative. Non creative people believed they were not creative. Hmmm. So maybe if I believe I'm generous, I will be more generous. So I tried this on, like a size 10 pair of shoes. I thought about all the occasions I have been generous, instead of the other way around. That felt better but still had an oddness about it. It felt so I, me, my, if you know what I mean.
So as I sat this morning it came to me. Generosity. It doesn't need a subject. It doesn't need a verb. It doesn't need to be "I " am generous". There doesn't need to be a me doing it. If I am going to focus my attention on it, it simply needs to be "generosity". I can immerse myself in a sense of generosity. It really is all around us, all the time, in many and varied forms.
And a funny thing happened as I contemplated generosity. The door bell rang and the post person had a package I needed to sign for. "It's even for you" she said (usually the packages are for the downstairs neighbour). "It's from Thailand and they only opened it once," she teased. I sort of knew then what the package contained. Colin from Spaces & Lines had sent me a beautiful pencil sketch of a Buddha (as a thank-you, he had said, for inspiring him to start his own art blog) and friend, Marcus had added a beautiful sacred Buddha textile from Waht Suthat as a treat. So it was like Christmas morning as I opened the package with all it's little additions and cards and even the beautiful Thai lettering on the envelope and the exotic postage stamp. So how's that for an experience of generosity! I hung my Red Cloth Buddha on my studio door and propped the gorgeous Buddha sketch on my cutting table and happily got down to work. Thanks guys for the Treasures! Bows to you both. What shear delight to get snail mail filled with Buddhist goodies.
The air filled with the smell of incense and generosity as I worked away on a new painting. As I contemplated it some more it seemed to me that kindness and compassion and generosity are all really one. And it struck me that rather than thinking of the ways we are ungenerous we might think of them as new opportunities to practice generosity. That seemed much more generous.