By Marian Connor
I was thinking about Contribution. Not the moola kind dropped into collection boxes rattled under your nose because you feel guilt, or your share of the bill reluctantly handed over for a none too exciting dinner you were coerced into, throughout which you drank sparkling water because you will be driving, but somehow are expected to pay the same as all those greedy guts who jollied themselves along with sparkling wine. No this type of contribution is where all parties involved feel better, improved by the action.
Contribution is about giving in a broad sense, just as nourish encompasses much more than the obvious nourishment from food. This is about more than contributing in a monetary sense although that can be very rewarding too. This is about giving of yourself, kindness, compassion, consideration and grace.
“Grace isn’t a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal. It’s a way to live.”
In recent years there have been many research papers written about positive psychology, the role that contributing plays in our happiness. Of course giving is beneficial to the recipient of the gift or kindness, they feel valued and cared for, but it is just as valuable to the wellbeing of the contributor, it becomes a circular act. Kindness and contribution to others becomes an act of contribution to oneself resulting in positive effects on our nervous, endocrine and immune systems.
“The best contribution one can make to humanity is to improve oneself.”
The 10th cranial nerve is the Vagus Nerve it begins in the cranium and activates organs throughout the body including the heart, lungs, liver and digestive tract. It has been referred to as the nerve of compassion because its activation can make us feel good and creates feelings of love, gratitude and happiness. The vagus nerve releases acetylcholine which assists relaxation and calms inflammation.
Meditating and relaxation are ways to activate the vagus, performing acts of kindness and compassion are another.
Sharing the love with others is a way of gifting yourself, everybody wins but it is an action too often underrated.
“Practise random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty.”
Why don’t you give it a go, do something kind, be generous, it will add to everyone’s life, not to mention all that good karma you’re creating.
Here are some thoughts to get you on your way and if you are already a picture of benevolence, you can pat yourself on the back and carry on, carrying on.
Oprah on the Amazing health benefits of doing good
The Compassion Nerve, The Vagus Nerve: It’s our Physiology to be good
If we have whet your appetite for further discovery, keep in mind that we create interactive experiential workshops and events embracing the 8 elements, exploring a myriad of ways to enhance your happiness and health. Oh yes and let’s not forget these are beautifully packaged with individually created accoutrements for your delectation. All delivered by us, in a delicious way.
If you haven’t already read our introduction to the 8 Elements, why not check out ‘The Alchemy of 8’
Image Tile/Header- Nepalese Sculpture of Padmapani, the Lotus Bearer, late 14th – early 15th century, Gilt-copper with inset precious and semi-precious stones, V&A.
The Buddhist Lord of Compassion, Avalokitesvara, is represented in his popular manifestation as Padmapani, the Lotus Bearer. Padmapani is one of the bodhisattvas, an enlightened being who voluntarily postpones passing into nirvana in order to help others gain salvation.
YouTube clip – Health Benefits of Kindness by Allun Luks – 1 min 33 secs
Hyperlink – 4 Amazing Health Benefits of Helping Others by Leslie Goldman on Oprah
Hyperlink – The Compassion Nerve, The Wandering Nerve, The Vagus Nerve: It’s our Physiology to be Good by Sarah Jamieson in the Vancouver Yoga Review
YouTube clip – 20 Random Acts of Kindness by Jasmin J – 3 min 5 secs
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