Editor’s Note: Andrew Weil, M.D. is a world-renowned leader, best-selling author, and...
Deepak Chopra’s bestselling book The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success is a guide to the universal laws that govern every creative process – from the birth of a baby to the development of a new business. The second of the seven laws is the Law of Giving and Receiving, which states:
The universe operates through constant and dynamic exchange . . . giving and receiving are different aspects of the same flow of energy in the universe. In our willingness to give that which we seek, we keep the abundance of the universe circulating in our lives.
Practicing the Law of Giving and Receiving is simple: if you want joy, give joy to others; if you want love, learn to give love; if you want attention and appreciation, learn to give attention and appreciation; if you want wealth, help others prosper.
The basic idea behind the Law of Giving and Receiving is to consciously participate in the dynamic flow of abundance that is the nature of life itself. Here are five keys to applying the Law of Giving and Receiving in your life:
1. Give daily
Giving needn’t be reserved for birthdays and other special occasions. We have countless opportunities every day to give. Whenever you meet someone in your daily travels, offer a gift. This may be a compliment, a flower, a prayer, or a genuine smile. The best gift you can give is to leave someone feeling a little lighter than they felt did before your interaction. Silently wish everyone you encounter happiness.
2. Give freely
When we give from the limitless joy and abundance of our heart, we increase the circulation of abundance and love in our lives. If we feel diminished when we give or we give grudgingly, then the gift is not truly given. Anything that is of value in life only multiplies when it is given. The monetary value of the gift doesn’t matter; it is the intention behind your giving and receiving that is the most important thing.
3. Receive gratefully
Every act of receiving is an act of giving. When you happily accept a gift, you give pleasure to the giver. Think about giving something to someone you love. Imagine the happiness and opening that unfolds as a result of your gift. Now imagine that your friend or loved one refused your offering. You would most likely feel disappointed, sad, and empty. Therefore, gratefully receive all the gifts life has to offer: nature, sunlight, food, and friends. Be open to receiving gifts from others, whether it is a material gift, a compliment, or a kind gesture.
4. Replenish your well
The Law of Giving and Receiving presupposes that we have something to give. Giving is based upon being, for we can only give of what we have . . . what we are. Spiritually speaking, this means we must go within to tap our infinite reservoir of inner intelligence, power, and joy.
Let all your activities be aimed at bringing you into alignment with your essential being. Give yourself the gifts of daily meditation; restful sleep; a healthy, balanced diet; regular exercise; loving relationships; laughter; and play. Celebrate the body that allows your soul to express its meaning and purpose in life.
5. Be present
Life’s most precious gifts are the intangible ones, including attention appreciation, and affection. When we pay attention to someone, we are fully present and listen deeply, without stopping to answer a phone call, check emails, or engage in other increasingly common multi-tasking behavior. We can share our compassion and be with another person's happiness, sorrow, excitement, or pain, offering the incomparable gift of open-hearted presence.