Abundance (Part 2) – Perspective, Humility and the Power of Courageous Giving

“To live a pure unselfish life, one can count nothing as one’s own in the midst of abundance” – Buddha


You can’t take it with you.

Not the Rolls-Royce. Not the house.  Not the weaves. (Oh, I went there!) Not the shoes, not the makeup… Not even your body.


So, why do we hold on so tightly to stuff?

All the material wealth you gather does not really belong to you.

This perspective can be humbling… hopefully, not humiliating, but humbling..

When you realize you do not really own anything, that you are a temporary steward of the abundance you have been given, everything changes.

You are a conduit, a portal, a vessel for abundance. Not for you to hold on to, but to pour out. Fill up and then pour out. I am not saying that you should not be wealthy. Not at all. I am saying you are an instrument, an avenue of abundance. It should flow through you.

Like a jar,  a fountain, filling up and pouring out… never empty, but ever flowing.

We get so obsessed with money… Debt can be overwhelming, so we worry and rightfully so.  But it is also important to remember that life is fleeting… And things can change in an instant…

If Bill Gates dies, he can’t take his billions with him… But I will remember that he did incredible  feats of courageous and even radical generosity –  using his money to alleviate poverty, to increase access to health care,  investing in  education for young girls, empowering women all over the world with reproductive health access,  funding treatment and research for the  world’s most challenging problems and diseases, etc.

That is Bill Gate’s true legacy and it is what I will remember.

It is also why I love Oprah… not because she’s famous but that she’s radically generous…  She has used her platform to inspire and equip millions like me to live their best lives, to dream bigger dreams and to serve the world with our light.

Someone once said, “you can’t help the poor if you are poor…”

I don’t completely believe that but I can see the truth in what he was trying to say. You become wealthy not to hoard the money for yourself, but to serve others…

Having this perspective can be gratifying… You realize that your wealth, status, credentials  do not make you superior to others.. They place you in a unique position to serve.

It is an honor and a privilege to be who you are. So, humble your self…

See yourself as you really are…. not better or worse than others… Stand your sacred ground.

I love the term used at my church ” Courageous generosity”.

I love the idea of giving courageously. The word “Courage”  means “to share your heart”… so giving courageously means giving  with the intention of sharing your heart. I love that!

I want to be a courageous giver. I want to be a radical giver…  Vulnerably giving, stretching myself…  stretching  my faith as I give…

Deep down inside, I know  I can not out-give God.

But I keep forgetting…

Giving courageously helps us exercise our faith. It helps remind us that there is always more where that came from and that we can never out-give God.

I have been the recipient of some radical generosity lately… and it has been humbling, healing and deeply gratifying…  And it has inspired me to  do all I can to make sure that I can give courageously.

Give courageously… not miserly, radically!

What do you think?

Imagine a world in which we gave courageously, having the perspective that we can’t go to our graves with the material wealth we accumulate.

Epicurius says, “Not what we have but what we enjoy constitutes our abundance”

What if we focused on what we could enjoy rather than what we have? Experiences and relationships rather than materials?

Give courageously. even radically…

What would that look like for you?

Spending time with someone who needs you when you’d rather run away? Paying a compliment?

Giving offering even after tithing? Volunteering? Going the extra mile? Forgiveness? Sacrifice?

If you are struggling with giving, think about your perspective. Humble yourself. And try again.

In the end, giving is not about materials… It is about energy, attention, focus, time. And what you pay attention to grows…

Bryant H. McGill says, “Abundance is a process of letting go; that which is empty can receive”

Here’s the secret – Giving is never a one way street.

You can’t give without receiving… Giving creates flow. When you give, you create space for receiving… It’s almost like trying to create a vacuum… Nature abhors a vacuum. When you give,you creating a vacuum and more rushes in… It’s all energy.

And like Mama Oprah says, you are responsible for the energy you bring into a room.

Having an abundance mindset means, knowing that there is more than enough for everyone. If someone shines or gets celebrated, it doesn’t diminish your light… it enhances it. There is enough. You are enough.

You are good enough. You are smart enough. You have everything you need in this moment.

How would your life change if you truly believed this? How will you give? And to whom?

Think about it.

And go… give… radically!

Cultivating Abundance:

1. What is your perspective on abundance? In what ways does your perspective need to change?

2. In what ways do you need to be humble? How has pride kept you from giving courageously?

3. What do you think about giving as energy not materials? What kind of energy do you bring?

4. In what ways have you been a recipient of courageous or even radical generosity?

5. In what ways can you pay that radical generosity forward?

6. What have you been holding too tightly? ‘In what ways can you loosen your grip, or even let go?

7. Who needs you? How can you fully show up for that person today? right now?


Love, forgiveness and time are all gifts you can freely give if you choose. It takes the right perspective or mindset, some humility and a whole lot of courage to give of yourself. How will you choose today?  See you next time!

Yvonne Whitelaw  writes for Yvonnewhitelaw.com where she blogs about her quest to grow into her ideals in her “Live Your Ideals Project”. By sharing her Daily Haikus and lessons along the way (most Mondays and Thursdays), she hopes to serve and inspire a tribe of wholehearted  humanitarians, visionaries and idealists like you, to “live your ideals, live your calling and change the world.”


Abundance (Part 1) – Clarity, Trust and the Courage to Ask for what you want.

“You create your opportunities by asking for them.” – Shakti Gawain

What do you want? 


Have you ever asked yourself this question? I was shocked to find out a few years ago that I had never asked myself this question. I had always been on autopilot. I had a plan. And I was doing everything I could to attain my goals. But I was shocked to find out I had never asked myself “What do you want?” And even more shocking was the realization that my answers were completely different from the goals I had set before me and was so tunnel-visioned about attaining. 

What about you? Are you clear about what you want? 

For me, the clarity about what I wanted brought some serious conflict. I had always lived with an attitude of surrender to God’s will. But I never really trusted that I would be supported in my true desires. I felt as if I would land in an eternal fiery punishment if I listened to my heart. God couldn’t possibly want me to have fun, could He? I mean look at how somber and morose other Christians were! I liked to laugh, dance, hang out with different kinds of people… Based on how I saw other Christians, I didn’t think I was acceptable this way. I didn’t fit in.  So, I really didn’t think I could trust that God would give me my heart’s desires.

On the contrary… 

I have been learning that because God loves us, and owns everything, abundance is a no-brainer. God wants us to live abundantly. I think of my children and how much I want to give them.  And it gives me a tiny glimpse into how much God has in store. 

But we have to trust that there is an abundant supply for us. There is enough. And one person’s receipt does not mean your deficit. 

There is a catch though… You have to ask for what you want.

And this is where I struggle.

I am learning that I am not good at asking for help. In fact, it hardly ever occurs to me to ask. I was always a latch-key kid. So, I got used to taking care of myself.

If I needed anything, I took care of it without thinking. My number one strength is Strategic, so, I am always problem-solving. Whenever, I’m in a bind, my mind easily runs through several solutions until something works.  

And the few times I have received help or been given something, there was always that feeling of owing and I hated being reminded of it all the time. 

It’s even worse when guilt-tripped by that giver about what had been done for me.

 So, not only did I stop asking, it stopped occuring to me to ask. 

As I grew older and began meeting healthy, positive, reciprocal kindred, I still held on to my old habit of not asking for help. It had become so ingrained and unconscious that it recently took a few incidents to show me how serious of a problem I had developed.

The first was the time I arrived at my daughter’s carpool a 45 minutes earlier so I could get some work done in the car as my toddler slept. I was the first in a long line of cars waiting to pick their children. When carpool time arrived, I realized with horror that my car would not start. I had been listening to NPR in the cold, and had  run my battery out. I sat there for several minutes trying to start the car before it occured to me to ask for help. I didn’t think anything of it.

Then a week later, it happened again – in the pouring rain.  This time, I caught myself going through several solutions, all of which didn’t work, instead of asking for help. It was the first time I realized I was doing everything to avoid asking for help. I decided to break this dyfunctional habit and ask for help. After the 4th “No”, I was ready to throw in the towel. However, the 5th person, who incidentally was disabled and I nearly didn’t ask, said “Yes” and my car was jumpstarted immediately!

Although, I decided to buy another Car Battery in a hurry, I realized I really had a problem and I needed to do something about my inability and reluctance to ask for help. 

Thankfully, I had an assignment for a business immersion course I am participating in. I was required to ask friends in my inner circle for a letter describing my strengths. I had sat paralyzed for weeks without sending out the requests – afraid that I had no friends who loved me enough to participate. Now that I had noticed my bad pattern, I challenged myself to ask ahead of the deadline. I nearly passed out with anxiety over it but I emailed out the requests. And I am now awaiting the responses. 

My next ask is going to be a fundraiser for my 400 Thriving Physicians Project. I have bootstrapped all of my business activities to date so I will have to ask for help this time. 

400 physicians commit suicide each year. For my project,  I want to inspire 400 physicians and physicians-in-training to live their ideals and thrive in their medical calling. For each burned out, suicidal, compassion-fatigued and disillusioned physician, I want to inspire, equip, and empower One (or more) physician to become thriving, passionate, engaged and aligned with their ideals. I will be coaching and facilitating  retreats, workshops and seminars. Majority of physicians go into tremendous debt for their education and spend the rest of their careers paying off those debts. So I intend to do some serious fundraising to serve them and not allow money to become a hindrance for those who want to participate and cannot afford to.  I am in the middle of setting up a GoFundMe campaign. (I will update this page with the GoFundMe link) And I have had to dig really deeply for the courage to do so. For now, if interested in donating, please visit the donate page on my site.  http://www.yvonnewhitelaw.com/?page_id=353

I am learning that I can’t have what I want or need, if I am not willing or courageous enough to ask. 

Yes, this is a challenging lesson to learn. But I need to learn it. I desire to learn it. 

I want to master this skill and I am very clear about it. 

How about you? 

Cultivating Abundance:

1. What do you really want?

2. What do you need to get clear about ? 

3. In what ways do you trust that you will receive what you ask for? 

4. In what ways do you doubt that you will receive what you want?

5. How good of an asker are you? In what ways can you improve?

6. What ask have you been avoiding?

7. What steps can you take right now to make your ask happen?

Asking is a very vulnerable and courageous act. It helps to remember that there is always more where that came from… the Universe is infinite and will not run out. Get clear, trust that you will be heard and ask. The answer might be unexpected but the timing is always right. See you next time! 

Yvonne Whitelaw  writes for Yvonnewhitelaw.com where she blogs about her quest to grow into her ideals in her “Live Your Ideals Project”. By sharing her Daily Haikus and lessons along the way (most Mondays and Thursdays), she hopes to serve and inspire a tribe of wholehearted  humanitarians, visionaries and idealists like you, to “live your ideals, live your calling and change the world.”    


Abundance (Preview) – Clarity, Trust and the Courage to Ask for what you really want.

“I’ll tell you what I want what I really really want… I really really really wanna zig-a-zig ah!” – Spice Girls

Updated Post coming as soon. 

(In the meantime, take a few minutes to think about what you really want and have been avoiding asking for help. Then take a leap of faith and ask! Leave a comment about it went and we will compare notes! See you soon!)