The Need for Connection
While our human experience is many times unique, varied, and diverse, there is a sameness that we all share. In our sameness is a desire to be happy, healthy, and connected. We are by our nature social beings and many studies support the need to move from surviving to thriving. We all have a basic human need to feel a connection to others.
In our Live Free Mindfully programs, we acknowledge and teach how with self-responsibility we can each move ourselves into an elevated state of existence by building what we call the 4 pillars of empowerment - Strong Mind, Brave Heart, Wise Body, and the final pillar...the Noble Spirit.
The Noble Spirit
Within each human being is the capacity to be generous and give of themselves. The Noble Spirit is that part of us that allows us to be giving, caring, and generous to ourselves and offer the same to others. We often think of giving to others as something like a gift, money, a card something real and tangible. Our true gift is our attention and presence for another.
Called to Give
A few Sundays ago, I was on my way to teach Mindful Yoga at Move Studio in North Dallas. As I pulled up to turn left onto Preston Road, the light turned red, and standing there on the center median was a man. He held a sign that said, “I would appreciate any help you can give me, thank you”.
I know that everyone has a story and while many people just turn their attention away from the homeless, that morning I felt called to give and offer him some hope and support. So I grabbed my purse to see what I had in the form of a small offering of cash. Hmmm, my wallet was empty of cash or coinage. I felt let down, and then I decided to roll down my window and said, "I’m so sorry that I have no cash to offer you today, but I am praying for you that you will receive what you need and that someone will offer you what you need today."
He thanked me and then said, “And thank you for acknowledging me, for rolling down your window to let me know. I appreciate you doing that.” He was genuine in his thanks and it brought me such a sense of connection. He gave me hope. While I could not offer what he was asking for, I gave him the acknowledgment of one human being seeing him as another human being. We were both touched by that and uplifted in that moment. Simple and powerful.
Pay it Forward
Another way I see an example of the Noble Spirit is from the movie from 2000, called Pay it Forward. It's the story of a young boy who is given an assignment by his Social Studies teacher to think of something that will change the world and then put it into action. His project was to perform a good deed for three new people.
When we are “given” a gift, whether tangible or from the heart, we can then pay it forward to another creating a ripple effect. We all have an opportunity to brighten another’s day whether it's a simple smile, eye contact, an empathetic ear, or paying for the coffee of the person behind you at Starbucks.
We can share this concept of paying it forward or building that generous part of ourselves where we are fulfilled by serving others and having a sense of purpose. We feel the best parts of being human, and our shared common experiences to connect and be connected to others.
So, if you are a teacher ask your students to pay it forward, share a random act of kindness, and then share that experience with the class. This will be a practice that impacts not only your students but those they choose to uplift.
Enacting Your Noble Spirit on Thanksgiving
As Thanksgiving approaches, we in this country have many ways we can count our blessings, and give thanks. Consider giving thanks by choosing to enact your Noble Spirit and pay your blessings forward. Volunteer your time at a soup kitchen, donate to a food bank, give to families in need, or simply share your smile with a stranger.
Your greatest return will be the impact you make on another person's life and the warmth you feel in your heart. Your basic human need to connect with others is humanity at its best. Be the change you wish to see in the world.
In the Noble Spirit of Giving...May this Thanksgiving bring you joy, peace, and love.
Author, Tida Chambers, is a cofounder of Live Free Mindfully. She has been teaching yoga and mindful practices for over 20 years. She was key in the development of LFM's foundational principles of empowering others to find wholeness and embrace their personal power in the development of a Strong Mind, Brave Heart, Wise Body, and Noble Spirit. Tida has been a student, teacher, and guide in cultivating consciousness for over 25 years. She brings her passion and belief that every person on the planet has the power to reach their full potential. Through her calm presence and compassion, she encourages and guides you to develop a new awareness of yourself, your power, and your ripple effect into this world.