Note: More to Life with Faith and Lois is designed to be heard, not read. We hope you’ll listen to the audio, which includes emotion and emphasis that won’t be on this page. Our transcripts are generated with speech recognition software and may contain errors. 

 

Lois 

Welcome to the podcast More to Life with Faith and Lois. 

 

Faith 

I’m faith.

 

Lois 

And I’m Lois.

 

Faith 

Our podcast explores the things you face in life that inspire and daunt you.

 

Faith 

Our podcast explores the things you face in life that inspire and don’t you.

 

Lois 

Hi, Faith. Are you ready for this month?

 

Faith 

I am so excited about this month and I’m eager to jump in.

 

Lois 

Yes. And in January, we were looking at the outlook of our relationships and our bodies and spirituality and our craft and I loved how you brought intentionality into that mix.

 

Faith 

Because intentionality towards anything that we do is going to change our whole perspective as to how we step into it.

 

Lois 

And so January, we were looking out, it was an outlook and if you missed that podcast or any of those for the month, you can go to our website, which is www.moretolifewithfaithandlois.com. Or how about your favorite podcast platform. We’re pretty sure you have one and if you’re listening there right now, you might want to like us on it or subscribe to it which would be awesome. And we do have a weekly newsletter so that we can send to you our podcast every week and make it super easy for you. So every week we are exploring areas that are important to you and we are focusing on relationships, your body spirituality and your craft through a different lens every month. So today, we are going to use generosity as the backdrop for these four areas. We bring you Episode 110: How are you generous in relationships?

 

Faith 

Generosity is such a beautiful and powerful and life changing word. And I’m excited about stepping into this and all the four areas for this month. But especially in relationships, what a great kickoff because we’re starting a new year a new beginning. And there’s no better way than to be generous in our relationships, to enhance them and to develop them.

 

Lois 

Oh how exciting because being generous is defined as the readiness to give more of something, like money or time than is strictly necessary or even expected, it means going one step beyond. And when you do that, you’re generous, which is interesting. So think of when we talk about generous, we’re talking about taking that next step. So Faith, what prompts you to go one step beyond what’s expected of you in a relationship,

 

Faith 

My care and compassion, my love for someone, and it’s just something moves within me, that says, this is an opportunity that has been given to me personally, to engage with this other person relationally by giving of myself or giving of something that I own, or something that I have, that is going to bless them. And out of that there’s a change, there’s something that shifts in the atmosphere in the relationship, because you’ve given freely.

 

Lois 

Oh, that is so cool. And I love when I think of being generous and relationships, that I’m not stingy, I think of holding stuff to myself when I am not being generous in a relationship I’m and keeping something back from somebody. And when I open up and I’m not stingy and I’m generous and how I relate in my time and my efforts are doing something more, it comes back to me in ways I least expected. Now, here’s the catch, though, when you’re generous, you’re not expecting anything in return, and you don’t do it to get something back. And that’s a real clear part of being generous. But what happens sometimes is the generosity springs not from the person with whom I’m being generous, but in a completely different relationship. Because maybe then I’m sending out some vibes that I don’t even realize that catch someone else on aware, and they’re generous to me, and it’s this wonderful cycle that starts to happen, which is what I love about being generous in relationships.

 

Faith 

And it also springs up from within. An altruistic kind of experience that comes from what you’ve just offered, and you feel good.

 

Lois 

You know, there’s a great quote by John Bunyan, and he writes, you have not lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you. That’s so good. Something to keep in mind, because a lot of times we do talk about reciprocity. And we talked about friendship last week, a couple of weeks ago, we were dealing with relationship and it was about interaction is important, and there is reciprocity in friendship. But right now, we’re talking about being generous in your relationships. And sometimes there is no payback for anything you do.

 

Faith 

Yeah, you don’t give or do something with the idea that you will get something in return, even if it is, I’m going to do this for you, because then you’ll like me better. And there’s a lot of subtle ways that we need to look at why am I doing this, but when it comes from just a free place of something inside of you, there’s no greater feeling and experience than to just begenerous because you want to.

 

Lois 

So we’re in Episode 110. How are you generous in relationship? And in our podcast, we’d like to offer a few ideas on how you can be more generous with your friends and family, acquaintances and romantic connections and we’d love to hear from you what happens when you do this. And we’ve used a number of resources including www.thriveglobal com, www.becomingminimalist.com, WikiHow and alexandrafranzen.com. So thank you to all of you who have added inspiration and words of wisdom to us and one of the first things we’ve come up with is how to be more generous is to listen intently.

 

Faith 

And listening is one of the greatest gifts you can ever give to anyone. Whether it’s a stranger, whether it’s a longtime relationship, a friendship, whatever it might be, when you will stop and listen, it is a gift and it impacts not only the other person, it will also impact you

 

Lois 

You know, if you think about when you feel like you haven’t been heard, what that does to your psyche, and what that does to every interaction you have, from that point forward, when we are heard, it opens up a new gateway that, oh, they get me. So they are listening, they understand. So put down whatever you’re working on, if somebody does come to talk to you, and if you don’t have time, scheduled for another time, so that you can be someone who listens intently, and people flock to those who will listen, right, and we run away from those who don’t. Because if we’re not being heard, a lot of times we do say, what’s the point?

 

Faith 

And it’s the quality of listening. It’s not just that you’re listening to the details, you’re going down another level, like what is this person saying, in the details that they’re giving you? What are they feeling? What are they experiencing? That’s deep, true listening, is when you can go to that place with another person.

 

Lois 

And what happens when you start listening? And you hold yourself back from offering a solution? Sometimes we want to be the answer person. And that’s the last thing many of us want to hear from anybody, we just want to be heard. So think about that, as you’re, like you’re saying going deep. Are you listening so that you can really hear and connect with someone rather than trying to quickly fix something so that you can move on to the next exactly issue. So don’t jump to a conclusion. Finish people sentence. Think about the next thing to say you know what I’m talking about. But when we interrupt when we step in like that, then someone knows that we’re not listening.

 

Faith 

Well, they most certainly do. Yeah. And another great one is to commit to one five minute favor a day and I really like this. It’s the idea of what can you do to change someone’s life a little bit. One of the things that I love to do is on Facebook. I will put on, pretty much on a daily basis, either a quote or something funny picture, a photo of something that has popped up that I just think will delight somebody. And I send those out. And I do that because the response is so strong of people getting a momentary reprieve from the weight of life, they’ll start laughing, they’ll put funny faces up, they’ll add something to a quote. And you can tell it’s impacted them. That’s a favor you’ve given out. That’s a tangible way. And it doesn’t take more than a minute or two to do that.

 

Lois 

And if you can think about that, if you say, Oh, I’m so busy, I don’t have this. So budget, literally one to five minutes. What can you do in that time, and feedback is awesome. Maybe you can email and introduce two people in an email that would be great connections together, and not even for a relationship but for a working project. Facebook is a great suggestion as well. This actually, faith does it and a lot of people do it but Adam Rifkin, who’s a Wharton Professor of Management did come up with this five minute favor. And it’s super simple. And it’s something you might be able to do even after you’ve listened to this podcast. So you can share or comment or even retweet something on social media, and look at the joy, you bring that person with such little effort.

 

Faith 

And another fun thing that I’ve mentioned this before, but I have some people that I know that when at work, they will put little favors on people’s desk, like a piece of candy, or a little note of gratitude. And they just generously are just doing these things for people that are they’re surrounded with or their friends or though it’s a way to say, I want to express myself and see you and connect with you.

 

Lois 

Oh, that is fabulous. And we are in Episode 110. How are you generous in relationships? And even though we’re not looking for reciprocity, there are benefits to be had. And so if you want to consider it few of these benefits if that’s important to you, we’d like to share some of them because, you know, generally,  there are lots of reports that people who are generous, actually say they are happier, healthier and more satisfied with life because when you give, it produces something inside of you that actually makes you feel that you have the capacity to help somebody in their lives, which is huge.

 

Faith 

It is definitely huge. And anything you give away that is good is going to come back with goodness back on you. And this is one of the biggest areas is when you are generous. generosity has multi benefits that come back and bless you and connect with you. And health is one of the big things you just feel better about yourself. And that helps your blood pressure helps everything helps just how you feel your mental outlook changes and shifts when you are generous in spirit.

 

Lois 

And as you look at the relationships around you, and when you’re pouring that stuff out there, that’s blessing people that’s giving them a spark of energy that’s confirming or giving positive feedback and it lifts them up. It does something to this whole sphere of people that you’re around, especially in your relationships.

 

Faith 

One of the ways you can check that out is we you know, how you feel when there’s a negative that is given. So just imagine the power of the positive and generosity always carries the positive.

 

Lois 

I love that. So remember that. Another thing is notice what would make someone’s life easier. I mean, you know, we’re in Denver, Denver Metro area, and there’s a lot of snow. So what would make someone’s life easier if you have the ability and time if it snows really badly in front of your neighbors walk? I mean, something as simple as shoveling your walk and then going down a little farther on your neighbors patch makes a huge difference. And you feel like wow, somebody did this because people have done this to me. It makes me so grateful. In fact, I remember bringing it up in a previous podcast that I turned around and did things in return that I never would have done. Not because I felt I had to I wanted to because it was such a generous thing that my neighbor had done for me.

 

Faith 

That happened to me Just last week, our car got stuck with the snowfall. And our snow guy didn’t show up. And our neighbor saw called and said, See your car stuck. And I see that your driveway is not plowed. He said I’ll be over. And David started crying. And there was such a solution because we really were in a bind and we weren’t sure what to do. And you’ve got the car out and he he just he plowed it and it was beautiful. And we were just so grateful and that was extreme generosity that was given to us.

 

Lois 

You know what happens too –  say you make a phone call to a friend and you hear there’s something going on in their lives and you know, you hadn’t budgeted for this you were calling because you’re confirming an appointment. You have They want to share something with you. And you realize in that moment, that’s all that you need to do. Stop, listen, make something easier for them by letting them either, you know, unload or share something meaningful. And if you can give yourself the time to approach a relationship like that, you’ll be really pleasantly surprised at what happens the next time when you’re in a place of needing when you make things easier for other people in any way you can, whether it’s shoveling or food or a conversation that somebody really, really needs to have.

 

Faith 

If you give out it comes back. And another one is to compliment three strangers. Now this is an interesting one.

 

Lois 

Yes, it really is. We’re doing our research and somebody had suggested and this is an interesting thing to compliment a child, someone your age and someone older. And granted these kinds of you know, demographics aren’t in your sphere today. Okay, but maybe three People that you don’t know, in a grocery store line at the bank, at a park and be specific, like if you see a child, you know, riding a bicycle to comment on how great they are and tries to go and leave it there. You don’t have to go any deeper. But just to see what it feels like to offer these compliments to people who not only don’t expect it, butdon’t know what to do with it.

 

Faith 

It makes a huge difference when you compliment somebody on their hair or their dress or something. A fragrance. I was in a store one time and somebody said, Oh, what are you wearing? And I told them and they said it smells so good. It takes me back to time that I remember a long time ago. And so those are the kind of compliments like you know, you’ve impacted somebody. And it’s so wonderful to hear that that you know that you’ve made a difference by something that you’ve done something you’ve said something you’ve worn and so think of what it feels like when you give it away as well.

 

Lois 

It does come back this morning, we’re walking the dogs and a gentleman was coming out to pick up his newspaper, which as you all know, not everybody orders the newspaper anymore. And my husband was so pleased that there was this newspaper on the ground. So he bent down to pick it up. And the gentleman coming out said, well, that, that that’s my newspaper, and art turns around and goes, I am so thrilled that you’re still buying the newspaper and hands it to him. And the guy was beaming, you know, because I think he thought we were going to take his newspaper. But art was really prepared with a compliment to somebody we don’t know. And it was so cool, because clearly, both of us felt joy, art for seeing somebody read a newspaper and the other person for us handing it to him. And recognizing, Oh, that’s wonderful.

 

Faith 

That was just a momentary gift and time to say, here’s a place for a compliment.

 

Lois 

And then also think of someone maybe in your life, who’s made a difference in your life and thank them that you don’t have to do all of these things today. By the way, the five minute favor the three strangers and thanks so much. Or you can. But the idea being if your parents are still alive if you have a wonderful aunt or uncle or cousins or siblings or kids, and you can thank them someone in your family for what they’ve done for you in your life, or a really good friend, a mentor, a boss. It makes an enormous difference. And it doesn’t have to be long, but it’s being gracious. And it’s a generous act because they don’t expect it.

 

Faith 

Exactly. And don’t be surprised if some people may say, Why didn’t you do that? What do you want? What do you want? And then you have the additional gift and opportunity to say I want nothing I just wanted to tell you, and that always takes somebody off guard and they receive it at that point. There is so much to be grateful for in life. And we oftentimes don’t mention it to people that I thank you for doing this or I really appreciate you You made my load lighter by doing something and just takes a moment to express that and not take them for granted.

 

Lois 

And you’ve mentioned this before about writing cards, and you know, writing notes and letters to people and receiving something like that, that has nothing to do with a gift. It has to do with just expressing this kind of generous gratitude for what they’ve done for you. That’s huge. I haven’t received one quite like that recently. But But if I did be I mean, just think about it. Think how you would feel like you’ve said, if you were on the receiving end of something like that, and you are aware that there’s always been a mutual, you know, affection and connection, but this relationship will go to another level when you recognize what someone has done and says so that it means something.

 

Faith 

It is meaningful on both sides. just takes a little bit of effort, but it’s an effort worth taking.

 

Lois 

You know, when you’re generous in your relationships, there is really no telling how your connections will deepen because you really appreciate it. What it means to have people in your life who matter. And the beauty about it is, the more we share this with them, the more they are there for us in our time of need to.

 

Faith 

Being generous with people around you might mean doing a big thing, a small thing, a simple thing, pretty much anything at all.

 

Lois 

That generosity can be folded into what you do every day. And pretty soon you’ll find yourself looking for ways to go beyond what’s expected of you because you want to.

 

Faith 

Please share this podcast with a friend.

 

Lois 

And join us next week as we wonder – what happens to your body when you’re generous?

 

Faith 

Sign up for our weekly newsletter on our website and subscribe to our podcast wherever you listen.

 

Lois 

No matter what you face in relationships, your body, spirituality or your craft.

 

Faith 

We are here to assure you there is always more to life.

 

Lois 

We’ll be back next week.