Thanksgiving is almost here, and for most of us will look and feel different from years past. A seemingly simple thing – going home – is now more complicated, or not even possible with COVID and physical distancing. I hope you’ll have loved ones around you and good food on the table to celebrate this holiday. I wish that for all of us every day, but it doesn’t always happen. What can always happen, because it’s 100% up to each of us, is practicing generosity and gratitude no matter where we are, what we have, and who is with us. This time of year is a reminder of this because the heart of Thanksgiving is generosity and gratitude. It’s also a time to remember and honor family through all the generations. To be thankful for our ancestors, what they gave in their lifetimes, and for how they live on in us. When we choose to be grateful and generous, in spirit and action, our frequency changes, and we raise the vibration, making a positive difference not just for ourselves, but for the whole planet. Three years ago, I wrote a blog called Cultivating a Spirit of Generosity. I’m resharing those words in this post, along with a few new ones, because it’s more relevant than ever.
With every year that I move deeper into my 40s, I’m noticing a grace is coming, an elegance of thoughts and feelings that I hoped would come with age but wasn’t sure. As a double fire sign, grace has eluded me at times in my life; I really did think for a time that I had to burn things down in order to build something new. Few people can build an emotional fire better than I can, or keep it burning longer. But who wants that? When I look around my life and ask myself who I want to be more like, with whom I want to spend more time, who I aspire to become, it’s always the generous ones. The people who give with an open heart, who forgive graciously and easily, who let energy move through them and their lives like smoke. I’ve noticed that those people are healthier, too, on the physical level, because they aren’t hanging on to decades of anger and frustration. They learned that holding on to sadness only prevents them from being fully available to the beauty of this moment.
I have a theory that every generation codes new wisdom and new sets of experiences into the familial energy grid that you are born into. Think of it as stored data on your soul’s hard drive. Included in this coding are attitudes and beliefs about money, love, fortune, opportunity, spirituality, marriage, family, and childrearing. Most of us have no idea what is coded into our grid, but we sure are affected by those energy streams. Poverty, war, divorce, trauma in childbirth – it’s all there if it has happened in your family. In my family, all of those events are part of our past, and therefore, part of my coding. And as I go through my personal life experiences, I contribute to the coding. If we step outside of linear time for a minute, we can understand how in this very moment, we can heal parts of our coding, for past and future generations simultaneously. With awareness, compassion, and love, we can release old patterns, transforming the very energy imprinted in our genetic memory.
Our ancestral coding is a powerful force, and because most of us have very little information about it, or conscious connection with it, we move through life not realizing the extent or origin of pre-programming in our attitudes, beliefs, reactions, and view on life. Spending time creating a family tree that dates back several generations is invaluable for unearthing ourselves – where we come from and how the past lives on in us. We can use this knowledge to share with our children, helping them understand their roots and the obstacles and triumphs their people encountered – how they succeeded and how they failed; how they truly lived. As an example, unconscious genetic memories of scarcity, perhaps of failing crops and barren lands, or as a poverty stricken immigrant, can elicit a perpetual fear of starving or threatened survival – even if present circumstances are quite contrary. Ancestral memories of times of plenty, with rich and sustaining harvests, may create a ready willingness to enjoy and share abundance, even if currently, physical resources are very low.
To love your lineage with acceptance and gratitude will change your life. This love is different from a personal love for a specific person with whom you’ve developed affection. You may not like some of the people in your bloodline, or the stories you’ve heard about them. You may not have a particular affinity for the customs, traditions, or beliefs of your ancestors. Regardless, they are in you, you are them. And you will be in all those to come down the line. The familial energy grid is not exclusive to those who procreate. It is compiled of the collective energy of the whole, and all family members contribute without exception. What challenges did your parents, grandparents and great grandparents live through? Were they loved and cared for? How and when did they die? What were they like and how did they live? How and what did they love? What were they known for and why were certain things about them kept quiet? As you fill in this longer and fuller story of your life, you will uncover many mysteries and make radical discoveries about yourself. That certain, persistent voice in your head might really be great great grandma talking through you; through your genetic coding. And once you know it, you can continue her story in yours, honoring the past in new versions of the present.
Generosity, or the seeming absence of generosity, now takes on a new context. As do many other qualities and attributes. There’s a lot more to the story. My capacity to give with an open heart has continually grown, as I’ve acknowledged and respected those difficult and traumatic experiences in my family’s past. I can see how these undercurrents of energy and genetic coding (the entire spectrum) have taken form in my body, mind, and spirit – how they’ve in part made me who I am. And every time I choose a joyful, loving, gracious, and compassionate moment, I strengthen that part of the coding.
The past is present, regardless of whether or not we are aware. With awareness, we move from a default to an active choice. The heart of forgiveness, grace, and generosity arises from peace, love and acceptance. The more we understand and accept our history and ourselves, the more available we are to do the same for others. What defines a generous spirit? A person who is kind, willing, and great-hearted – who gives of herself. Someone who makes herself available, as the moment calls. Someone who is able to receive; who knows the blessing in fully receiving, and in genuine response, delights in giving.
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