Episode 101 Finding Joy Generosity (1)

Finding Joy part 8 – Generosity

Episode 101 – Finding Joy part 8 – Generosity

Generosity is the 8th and final pillar of joy. It is a culmination of all the other pillars. When you can see with perspective, humility and humor, when you accept reality and not fight against it, when you can forgive yourself and others, be grateful for all you’ve been given, show compassion for life itself, you are being generous. Joy is making space for your whole human life, the good, the bad, and the ugly, and continuing to move forward.

Take aways:

#1 – What you focus on will grow bigger. With yourself and with others. Focusing on the good and being generous with yourself and others is not burying your head in the sand. It is purposefully choosing to see and emphasize the good. When you do this, it will grow. 

#2 – When your life is being contracted or desolated, be generous with how you treat yourself. Be generous with kindness, compassion, thoughts, and actions. When you see others in desolation or contraction, exercise generosity with them too. The give and take of your life and others lives is our common humanity and it bonds us together. 


Ask yourself: How can I feel generosity today for my trials? How can I transform my problem into an opportunity to give to others? When we give joy to others, we experience joy ourselves. We are all spiritually connected and when we give to others, it benefits everyone, including ourselves. 

Are you the parent of a young adult? Were you surprised when you got to this stage of life that it’s harder to be the parent of a young adult than the parent of a teenager? I sure was. Here’s the thing – you can’t parent your young adult the same way your parents did. If you try to do that, you could do some real damage to your relationship with them.

If this is you, I have a free training for you:

“10 Important Tips to Improve Your Relationship with Your Young Adult.”

Click here to download your free copy

You’ll be surprised at some of these tips, and you’ll feel like you finally have a road map to navigate this tricky time in your life and your child’s life.

Full Transcript

Hey, welcome back to the podcast friends. My name is Tina Gosney. I am a relationship coach, a Family Relationship Coach, and I’m your host for this podcast. Thank you for being here with me through this finding joy series. This is wrapping up the series today, which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed.

This is the eighth episode, I hope you’ve enjoyed the previous seven. If you haven’t downloaded my free training yet, I’m going to invite you to go do that. It’s 10 tips to Improve Your Relationship with Your Young Adult.

You know, our young adults are not living in the same world that we did when we were their age, their world is a very different, they need a different parent. And if we’re doing things the way that our parents did, that would be natural, because that’s the way that we saw things done. So it makes sense that we would do things that way. But if we do that, if we just go on our past of what we have seen our own parents do, we’re going to run into some problems.

And so I’ve identified 10 things that you need to know about different parenting these days. And you know what, there’s an episode that actually goes through a lot of these things. And that was aired back in January, with two amazing young adults. And we talked about how parents are making young adults lives harder.

If you’re struggling with your young adult right now, that would be a great episode to go back and catch. It’s actually a really downloaded episode too. So I know that has hit a chord, and resonated with a lot of you. So go download that free training, it’s just a short two page PDF, you can find a link to that in the show notes. You can also find a link on my website, tinagosney.com. If you go to the main menu on the top of the page, it’s just marked right there free trading, so pretty easy to find. Go download that and you’ll be so glad that you did help you out with that young adult relationship.

And let’s face it, it’s tricky. It’s hard to be the parent of a young adult, it’s hard to know what to do. No matter if this is your first one in the family. Or if it’s your last, it seems like every one of them face different challenges. So these tips are really great to help you along with that journey.

Back to today’s episode. This is the eighth in a series. It’s actually the last in the series of the Book of Joy. This book was written by the Dalai Lama and the Archbishop Desmond Tutu. And they outline eight pillars of joy.

This final one is generosity. And they say when you are practicing generosity of spirit, you are practicing all the pillars of joy. So this last pillar is accumulation. And you’ll notice that as I go through talking about generosity today.

Now, if you’ve read the book, that’s awesome. It was one of my favorite books that I read a couple of years ago. But I’m offering a different perspective sometimes from what they offer in the book. I’m offering a perspective of a coach and how generosity might help us in our lives to achieve the goals that we have.

And specifically, in the goals that we have in our relationships, from our relationships with ourselves, our relationships, to the challenges in our lives, and in relationship to the people in our family. That is the perspective I will be offering to you today.

I want you to remember that joy itself is different than happiness, happiness, we really look towards our life circumstances are things going the way that I want them to. Are things going well for me, am I am I progressing are things clicking along for me? Joy, it is different. It comes from embracing a whole human experience from having the hard the easy, the happiness, the wanted experiences and the unwanted experiences. And when we embrace joy and look towards the joy, we make space for all of it. We make room for all of that in our lives without rejecting anything that we go through.

I’ve been drawn to this word joy for years now, and been exploring different, different aspects of it. And it still is something that I think is so amazing, but so elusive to so many of us.

Years ago, we asked our two youngest, who were the only ones still at home, we had spring break coming up, and we said, hey, what do you two want to do for spring break? What sounds really fun to you?

Well, they decided that they wanted to go to Comic Con, and they wanted to dress up and go to Comic Con. And so that’s what we did. And we ended up at the Salt Lake Comic Con. And it was at the end of March.

And since it was at the end of March, it was also at the time when there was a separate women’s session in the conference. And if you’re not LDS, I’m referring to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, our general conference that we held twice a year. And we used to have a women’s session, the week before we had the general session. So the women’s session was always held the last weekend in March.

And I had one of my kids with me, because the other one was a son. I had one daughter and one son. So my daughter and I went to the women’s session. And it was awesome. It was the only time we’ve ever actually been able to go to conference and be in the conference center. And I remember as we were sitting there, and I was listening to Neill F Marriott speak, and I just love her anyway, just her whole demeanor, her whole positive outlook on life. She’s just a joy in my life, I have always been drawn towards her and just love her. But I remember she said something, and I looked up the quote, so could get it just right for you.

And she said, “What shall we do? let’s ponder this question. What does the Savior do continually? He nurtures, he creates, he encourages growth and goodness.”

 And I heard that and I turned to my daughter, and I said, “You are like Jesus Christ. You do all of those things. Isn’t that so amazing that you are so like him in those ways?”

 And she just kind of looked at me like I was crazy. Like,” Okay, mom…” she was a teenager. And we get a lot of those looks when we say things like that to our teenagers.

But I did, I saw so many Christlike characteristics in her. She was a child who was always creating and driven, and just wanted to, to be constantly doing new things and creating, she didn’t care much about her creations after she got them done. It was the process of creating that she liked. That’s what she linked into. And that was such a, such a positive force in her life as she sought out projects and figured out how to do them and just leaned into that part of that creative part of her.

And I saw so many Christ like characteristics in her that day. And I still do this years later, I see so many in her. I wanted to tell her that day what I saw. And so even if she thought I was crazy, I told her I said, you are like Jesus Christ, you do those things. And it helped me also to be able to say that to her to recognize like she does have so many Christ like characteristics.

And I continue to look for Christ like characteristics, and my children and in the people in my lives. I’m not always really great at it, I could tell you, when I remind myself to do it, that’s when I start noticing more.

That makes sense, because we find what we’re looking for.

We live in such a transactional society. Think about just the way that we work for money, and we go to the store and we exchange money for physical goods. I mean, that’s a really obvious way that we live in a transactional society.

But we it’s not the only way. Because I see often. When I talk to people, I see how often we treat each other very transactionally. For example, just imagine that someone in your family comes to you and they say, Hey, you know what, I was really hurt by this thing that you did, or this thing that you’ve said, our first human reaction or gut reaction, to be defensive, first of all, and then to somehow turn the tables on them, maybe how you tell them that they’ve done the same thing to you.

Which makes sense because we have a lot of trouble receiving from other people. We don’t know how to see receive correction. The idea that we’ve done something wrong and maybe hurt another person.

And if you listen to the gratitude episode that I recently did, we have a lot of trouble also receiving goodness and gratitude from other people.

So it makes sense that our first reaction would be to defend and then to deflect. Let’s just imagine that you have a teenage daughter that you’re struggling with, that she doesn’t want to listen to you and you’re trying to get through to her.

And then one day, she just tells you, “Hey, you are always talking at me. And I don’t want to listen to you anymore. I don’t need to hear what you have to say anymore.”

The first thing that you’re going to do is probably get defensive. And maybe you answer back. “Well, you know what, you’re always talking at me and you don’t listen to me either. So why should I listen to you?”

Then you’re at a standstill. You’re both deflecting behaviors back on to the other. You’re both feeling unheard. You’re both feeling unloved, that when we deflect, there’s no ownership of behavior, there is no reflecting to see where is the truth in what this person is saying to me.

And the reality is, there’s probably truth on both sides. But if we are deflecting and defending, we are not able to see the truth on our own side, we’re only seeing the truth on the other side.

And this is transactional in that, well, if I do this for you, I expect you to do that for me.

That’s a vending machine relationship.

And some people might be listening to me right now and saying, “Well, hey, I need to be telling her things. Like she needs to know that if she’s wants me to listen to her, then she needs to listen to me. And if I don’t tell her, she won’t know that she’s hurting other people, by the way that she’s treating them?”

Well, maybe, maybe there is a time for you to tell her those things. Maybe that time is not when she is telling you how she has been hurt by you. And deflecting is only going to leave her with an idea that you are not a safe person to be around.

This is just an example. I want you to open up your mind and see, how is this something that I might be doing in my own life and in my own relationships.

When we are children, we develop a sense of who we are by our parents, by our siblings, by the people in our lives. We really don’t know who we are. And so we take on the things that other people tell us that we are.

Just imagine if someone would said to you as you were growing up, “Oh, you’re so talented.”  Or “Why do you always wait till the last minute to do your homework?” Or “Just go to your room until you can stop causing problems.” “Why are you always so emotional?”

 Well, our brains are meaning making machines, we get all these inputs, we gather information and data from the world that we have around us, and we take it in, and it’s like this black box that then makes meaning and it spits out what this means about us.

So it means we internalize the things that people say to us. We label ourselves, we judge ourselves, we label other people, we judge other people, we put shields and armor on ourselves to protect ourselves.

The messages that we get from other people don’t mean that necessarily what maybe we are talented, or maybe a procrastinator or an emotional problem.

But that’s what we make them mean about us. And then we take on that identity, right? We begin to live into those labels. And we get we begin to live those labels out and act them out in our lives.

And we just think, “Oh, this is just the way I am I can’t I can’t change anything about this.” And the labels that we get, and that we usually internalize our unkind labels, we judge ourselves, and then we judge other people. Because looking at ourselves, and the way that we judge ourselves is too hard to face.

And so we deflect that judgment out onto other people. Usually, if we’re judging the way that we judge other people can tell us a lot about the way that we are also judging ourselves. Because the things that bother us about other people are usually a reflection of the things that bother us about ourselves.

So let’s get into this. How does this all apply to generosity? I want you to think of generosity as making space for the people and situations in your lives to change and grow. Let’s just talk first about generosity towards your life’s challenges.

I recently went to a retreat with Thomas McConkie. I’ve talked about him quite a bit recently because I’ve been involved in his work from this retreat that I went to. And I loved how he talked about this. He said, in our life, there’s always expansion, and there’s contraction.

Our life goes in these cycles. We might have this expansion where everything starts to work. And we think, Oh, my ship has come in and everything is clicking, I don’t have to worry about those problems anymore, they’ve gone away. And it just seems like everything is going really well.

But because life constricts too, and contracts, we will come to a time where the opposite is also true, where the it feels like nothing is working, where everything is working against us where everything is going wrong. And there’s just problem after problem after problem. And then the whole cycle repeats itself.

Usually, we’re in the middle of a true expansion and a true contraction. But we’re always on this cycle somewhere, life is always expanding and contracting, when we realize that we’re always going through this expansion and contraction, we realize that our problems are not permanent, that the situations in our lives will come and they will go. Some tend to stay and be more long term, and some are short term. But all things morph and change over time. And that includes the good things and the things that we enjoy and the things that we want in our life. Those also expand and contract.

So realizing that life goes in cycles, I think is helpful for us to make space, and be generous towards the difficulties that we’re experiencing in our lives. Another thing that Thomas McConkie said, as he said, God is always offering as consolation and desolation. And I thought, Oh, my goodness, that sounds terrible. That sounds amazing and terrible at the same time.

And he explained it as this. He said, You know, God is always stripping away pieces of us that we don’t need. This is him desolating us, the labels that we took on just when I was talking just a minute ago about how we internalize our messages, and took on labels of who we are, from our childhood and from our life around us from our life experience.

We’ve put labels on ourselves, we take on these identities, they’re not really us. And we put up shields to protect ourselves, we deflect and we defend. All of these things are blocking us, they are blocking us from seeing our true self. And God gives us opportunities to shed those pieces to desolate and to peel them back. Those pieces of us that were never our true identity to begin with. When he does this, it feels terrible. It feels like everything is falling apart. And we become very vulnerable. And we don’t like that. We do not like to feel vulnerable. It’s one of those words that we hate looking at and hate, like embracing that in our lives.

But just imagine that while God is desolating us and peeling back those layers, that he’s also offering us comfort at the same time. It’s in the process of comforting us and offering us consolation as he’s desolating the parts of our lives that are not supposed to be there to begin with.

As you go through periods of desolation, just recognizing that that is happening is so helpful. But this might be the time where you say to yourself, “This is the time when it feels like everything is falling apart and going wrong.”

That perspective that we have is so important. And to remind ourselves, oh, this is the time that I’m being desolated. This is the time that feels terrible. This is the time where I’m like having to shed old pieces of me that are not useful in my life, that are not helpful to help me gain my true self again. This is such great perspective to realize that life goes in these cycles that we are being desolated and offered consolation.

And this is just a piece of life. This is God being generous with you. This is God helping you to see the divine parts of yourself just like I did with my daughter in the conference center. This is not an easy process to go through this desolation.

But as you make spaces for the challenges in your life to change you and to grow you and to morph you into something that you aren’t today. That is generosity. Give yourself some perspective on the hard challenging times in your life. Sometimes we need to have generosity. Well not sometimes I would say all the time we need to have generosity towards ourselves, especially when we’re going through periods of consolation and desolation.

When you live the labels that you have put on yourself, or you have allowed others to put on you, you actually become that person I said earlier, you act those labels out in the world. So you become the person that you believe you are. It’s important for us to know what labels we put on ourselves, right?

If that’s who we become, if that’s who we’re acting out, it’s important for us to know what those labels are. What if though, we started to challenge the labels? What if we give ourselves some space to change and grow? And maybe I’m not a procrastinator, maybe I’m not an angry, mean person. Maybe I’m actually a kind of compassionate person, give ourselves space to change and grow.

Don’t limit ourselves to believing that we are the person that we are today, that we will always be that person, that there’s no ability for us to be different, because that’s just the way that we are. Because when you’re going through constellation and desolation, can you be generous to yourself? Can you be generous with how you speak to yourself? Can you be kind? Can you be compassionate? Can you be comforting, you offer yourself comfort? Can you forgive yourself?

So often I see people judging their past self with the person that they are today. We do this all the time we judge our child self of back when we were children. Why did I do start that habit when I was a child, it’s creating so many problems for me now. Well, you were a child and your child self did not know the things that you know, today. We need to be forgiving and kind and compassionate. With our present day self and with our past self.

Can you allow yourself to see yourself in a new way, a person with divine characteristics? Do you even know what divine characteristics you have? Because God is trying to show you those characteristics all the time, those true parts of yourself that either you didn’t know were there, or you didn’t really pay attention to before.

There’s a quote in the book of joy that I’m going to share with you. And this is the Archbishop Desmond Tutu, he said, To be less self-centered, less self-regarding and more self-forgetful, then we are less burdened by ourself agenda, we do not have anything to prove, we do not do need to be seen in a particular way. We can have less pretension and more openness, more honesty, this naturally brings ease to those around us too. As we have accepted ourself, our vulnerabilities and our humanity, we can accept the humanity of others, we can have compassion for our faults, and have compassion for those of others. We can be generous and give our joy to others.

 I love this quote. Because as we are compassionate and kind with ourselves, it doesn’t mean we’re self-centered and self-focused, it just means we’re being forgiving of herself. And that we don’t have to hyper focus on the things that we don’t like about ourselves, which is what we all tend to do. And by letting go of an agenda for ourselves, we can become less self-focused. And that leads us into having more generosity towards others.

Can we be generous in our thoughts and our actions towards other people? Can we see the best in them? And can we tell them about the best that we see in them? I want you to imagine that you are that parent with a difficult teenage daughter that doesn’t want to hear what you have to say? What are the just the divine characteristics that you see in her? How can you tell her about those characteristics? How can you tell her about the good that you see in her? And even if you don’t always tell her every time you’re thinking, what if you in your mind’s eye just saw her as that divine spirit that she really is. And you treated her that way.

And you see, you know, seeing the divinity and another person opens the door to them being able to see that divinity within themselves, maybe for the first time. So others will begin to believe in themselves when they can see that belief reflected in you.

Remember, I said that children get their sense of themselves by the people around to them. It’s a developmental stage. They don’t know how to give themselves their own sense of identity. So they look to the world outside of them to gather who they are But as adults, we also do this. And it’s not always a good thing. This is often something that I coach on with my clients is to have your own sense of who you are from within and not look outwardly for that.

But let’s just stay with this idea that you can help people see the divinity within themselves, no matter what their age is, you can be such a light in the life of another person, when you see the Divinity when you see their best self, when you see them as their best, the best person that they can be, right, it’s such a huge gift. It’s also a gift that gives back to you.

Now, I’m not going to say that any of this is an easy thing to do. Because I really don’t think that it is, I don’t think it was ever supposed to be an easy thing to do. What I’m talking about is changing the patterns, and the ways that we do things in our lives. How do we view challenges? Can we view them with a perspective of expansion and contraction? Can we view them with a perspective that things will change? They’ll not always be like this. And I can learn from this. And this is a blessing in my life, this is God peeling away the layers of me that didn’t belong there. Can we change the way that we interact with others, we all have patterns that we live into, right?

We all have a way of dealing with other people. And when we start to change patterns, that is difficult, it takes a lot of intentional work, the way that we talk to ourselves, can we be generous with the way that we talk to ourselves, our internal dialogue? Our internal narrator is often very unkind. Can we begin to challenge that inner kind of mean narrator? This is not easy. This is work. But it’s the work that pushes you towards joy.

Being generous in our thoughts and our feelings and our actions towards ourselves and others does not mean that we just bury our head in the sand and pretend like we’re an ostrich and pretend like there aren’t problems. There are going to be problems as long as we’re on this earth. But this viewing things with generosity, viewing ourselves and others with generosity means that we don’t let ourselves be consumed by the negative. That is a very different outlook than what I’m talking about.

And it’s because our brains are programmed towards a negativity bias. It’s a very easy road of least resistance for us to go down. So, for us to go down a different road takes intention. Maybe some of you are saying, you know, I just can’t get my thinking around being generous and seeing another point of view. Well just start small.

I had a friend who mentioned to me once that she was having a lot of trouble seeing any good at all in her husband. And so, she just started keeping a journal and she would write down one thing every day that she noticed about him that was positive or some things she liked or something that he said, just some positive thing about him every day. And there was one day that she said, I’m just grateful that he has hands. It was that hard for her to find something. But that was her looking for the positive, what positive thing, what small thing can you look for that allows you to be generous and grateful. And to give you a different perspective.

Here’s some takeaways for you today.

Take away #1

What you focus on will grow bigger, with yourself and with others. Focusing on the good and being generous with yourself and others is not burying your head in the sand. It is purposefully choosing to see and emphasize the good. And when you do this, it will grow.

Takeaway #2

When your life is being contracted, or desolated. Be generous with how you treat yourself. Be generous with kindness, compassion, your thoughts, your actions. How do you take care of yourself in those times? When you see others in desolation or contraction, exercise generosity with them to how can you extend kindness? How you how can you help take care of them. The give and take of your life and others lives is our common humanity and it bond’s us together? I can’t emphasize how important community and bonding together is in our lives and in the health of our own lives and in finding joy.


Ask yourself how can I feel generosity Today for my trials, how can I transform my problems into an opportunity to give to others. Because when we give joy to others, we experience joy ourselves. We are all spiritually connected. And when we give to others, it benefits everyone. And we are a part of the everyone.

That’s what I have for you today. But I do have an announcement, I am taking a short break from the podcast. I’ll be taking a break for the summer, because I have a big project that I want to work on. And I want to put all my focus into that project. I will be back in the fall with new episodes.

So please keep me on your feed.

I appreciate you being here with me and for sharing this podcast and for how you are helping this podcast to grow. And I’m not going to discount that I might show up at some point during the summer, and give you a bonus episode or two. So be looking for that just in case I do have something like I really want to share this on the podcast I might show up during the summer. But for sure I will be back in the fall with a big announcement about this big project that I had been working on.

So until then, if you have not downloaded my free training on 10 Tips to Improve Your Relationship with Your Young Adult. Please go do that now.

Just visit the note the link in the show notes and it will take you straight there so you can download that.

Thank you friends for being here with me. I hope you find so much joy in your summer and that you lean into these eight pillars of joy and embrace the fullness of your own human experience. Have a great summer and I will see you in the fall.