“Wealth is the fruit of generosity.” — Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
The family and religion I was raised in taught me that giving is a spiritual practice. While I’m very grateful for this teaching, I’m also thankful that I’ve been progressing into a more advanced, embodied understanding of giving and receiving as spiritual and business growth tools.
Key to this deepening has been my own inner evolution, as well as my commitment to being a conscious business owner. What I’ve found to be true is that when I intentionally tithe, share or give, from a place of fullness, wholeness and non-attachment, my feelings of abundance increase and, correspondingly, my material abundance multiplies. This has been especially evident in my business.
As my understanding of tithing or giving has evolved, an important distinction has been knowing what it feels like to give as an expression of my true, prosperous nature, rather than from a sense of deprivation. Giving from lack (which is really giving to get) may seem like a contradictory concept, yet, it’s as much a possibility as not giving from a sense of scarcity — from a fear of losing something or not having enough. In moving forward with your own practice of tithing, you may find it valuable to be aware of these distinctions, too.
A Balanced Perspective on Giving
Helping professionals, like you and me, are usually extremely generous givers. In fact, for some of us, it’s almost a compulsive behaviour. This is why it’s important to know the source of our inclinations, to remain awake and mindful of the inner impulses – the thoughts, beliefs and feelings — behind our giving.
Some of the messages we received about giving (and continue to receive) from our families, religions, cultures and society are shame-based messages that trap us in individual and collective, primal wounds relating to our worthiness. Giving, as an unconscious means of proving our “goodness” or worthiness, avoiding guilt and winning love and approval, is a deeply painful and soul-fragmenting behaviour. I speak from experience!
And, I also speak from experience when I say that there is a way out of this, into a healthier, more natural and balanced way to give and receive, through healing distorted beliefs and dysfunctional behaviours and cultivating self-acceptance and self-love.
Tithing from the Heart
When we tithe from the heart, we’re giving from a place of wholeness – a place of self-love and self-acceptance and love and acceptance of others. Rather than being a strategy to gain worthiness, love, approval, clients, money, etc., tithing from the heart is a truly spiritual act, that originates from natural generosity.
Traditionally, tithing involved giving a certain percentage of our earnings to people or institutions through which we received spiritual sustenance (in some traditions, it was 10 per cent, in others, less than that).
In Giving Thanks: The Art of Tithing by Paula Langguth Ryan (Pellingham Casper Communications, 2005), the author espouses a much larger vision of tithing as “giving from the generosity of your heart when you’re guided to do so because you have been given so much – from a place of abundance.” So, tithing is, basically, a way of saying “thank you”, trusting and knowing that we will receive even more for which to be thankful.
In this more expansive and, some might say, radical view of tithing, Paula suggests that besides our money or treasures, we can tithe our possessions, words, actions, thoughts and talents. She says that when we get into the “true nature” of tithing, we start seeing gifts in everything and our sense of peace and security builds.
As I continue to deepen my own practice of tithing, I like to give with more focused intention. Whatever gift I’m tithing — whether it’s money, prayers, emotional/spiritual support or business and prosperity support in the form of an offering like this article — I like to dedicate to the wellness and awakening of all beings.
The Benefits of Tithing From the Heart
While increased material wealth is one of the results of tithing from the heart, this practice has so many other benefits, including:
- decreasing our fear and anxiety about money;
- deepening our sense of abundance and gratitude; and
- anchoring us in a consciousness of faith, trust and love.
Tithing from the heart grounds us in the truth that generosity is the source of all wealth – material and otherwise. When we tithe from the heart, we leave behind habitual states of mental poverty and enter a world of emotional richness which is, subsequently, reflected in our businesses and material lives.
To learn more about how to use tithing and other spiritual principles and tools to build your business and how to market and sell your services and products in heart-centered ways, with ease and joy, check out The Prosperous Healer’s Path™ Business Success Coaching Program.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and stories about tithing! Please feel free to share below.
© Copyright 2011 Mary C. Davis, ANAM TURAS. All rights reserved.