At the end of the year and in the thick of the holiday season, many of us find meaning in reflecting on the gifts we have experienced. In fact, tapping into a personal sense of generosity can yield a deep sense of reward.
Looking back at 2017, what are the gifts you have shared most abundantly, and what would you like to enhance?
Financial gifts come quickly to mind. What does your personal giving look like? How about your charitable giving?
If you would like to stretch a bit, look for ways to help others in new ways. For example, try checking out youcaring.com to search for people, groups or causes you would like to support.
Think about how you use your time. There are many ways to give of your time to others, and we all know the "super-volunteers" who donate many hours to the causes and organizations they care about.
If that's you, thank you!
Yet that's not feasible for everyone; just think about whether you are doing what you can.
Also recognize the gift of time you give to your family — kids, parents, partners and others, as well as your friends. Especially with high-stress lives that are so common, relaxed time together can be an incredible offering.
Sharing your expertise and skills is another powerful way to give. Do you know how to prepare a budget? Paint a room? Cook? Write? Any skill, no matter how modest you may feel it is, can help someone else.
Going deep within, consider the gift of insight and wisdom. I've been the beneficiary of this in the past year in the area of racial awareness. Without coddling, the black woman who leads the SheTalks/WeTalk programs I've engaged in, Catrice M. Jackson, offers opportunities for white women to awaken to the ways we perpetrate racial bias against black, brown and American Indian people — intentionally or unintentionally.
We can then seek to uproot our own racism with the hope of becoming allies for racial justice and positive change. What source of wisdom do you have to share with others around you?
There is also a gift of a light spirit. Think of the people around you who can lessen the tension in a situation or make your day better with a smile or a kind comment.
Now think of gifts that you can give to yourself.
Have some fun! Do more of your favorite things. See more of your favorite people. Be bold and find some new activities that engage you.
Be healthy. Eat food that gives you energy and makes you feel good. Move and be as active as you are able. And get plenty of healing rest.
Keep learning. It didn't need to stop after school — learn a language, try a musical instrument, read history or pursue some other intellectual challenge.
And above all, live a life enriched by love: love for yourself, the people close to you, everyone in your country and on our whole beautiful planet. Celebrate the Earth, care for the environment and let this gift of love show so all around you benefit.
What challenges do you face at work? Send your questions to Liz Reyer, leadership coach and president of Reyer Coaching & Consulting in Eagan. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.