By Bhavanjot Kaur
“Give because God gives to you. Love because that is your purpose in life. Shine because it is important. Share because it is demanded of you.”
-Yogi Bhajan 5/2/00
I recently had strep throat and my energy was very low. I generally take very good care of myself so it is always rather disappointing when I get sick. Like most people, I am not a huge fan of being sick and it deters me from giving to my day and to my life and to the lives of those around me in a way that I prefer and enjoy.
As a single mom there is no time to be sick and there is no one to pick up the slack. My six-year-old daughter also happened to be home with me with a cold and cough so it was a double whammy. While I managed to drag myself to my mat each day to do my meditation, I still wasn’t feeling very inspired to give much of myself to anything but to the couch to rest. But as any parent knows, we still give even when we think we cannot.
The ability to give in those moments of sheer exhaustion as a parent teaches me so much about God who gives infinitely without condition. Sometimes it is within these unexpected diversions from our regularly scheduled lives that we are awakened to all of God’s gifts that we might have missed otherwise. It was during this short-lived illness that I was given this simple and sweet experience of giving and receiving love with an open heart.
“Love is seva. It’s offering yourself and helping to increase the vitality, the surroundings of somebody, giving somebody grace.”
-Yogi Bhajan 7/10/95
At one point during my sickness, my daughter was sitting on the chair across from me and I saw her getting choked up with tears in her eyes and she expressed her sadness about me being sick. She is not used to seeing me knocked down like that. I told her that I would be okay and that I was just not feeling well, and that I would be much better very soon.
She walked over to me and took a blanket and covered me up to my neck and tucked me in and offered to rub my back for me. This is what I do for her each night before we go to bed. I paused for a moment, my natural instinct being, “No honey, it’s okay. You just rest,” but instead I looked up at her and said, “That would be really wonderful. Thank you, honey.”
Her face lit up like a Christmas tree and she rubbed her hands together to create some heat and massaged my back for a good sixty seconds. She was so proud of herself. It was the best massage I ever received. It quite literally brought tears to my eyes. Allowing her a chance to give with love was just as important as it was for me to receive with an open heart. It was truly a gift.
“True responsibility (response-ability), the recognition of our interdependence, is the opposite of guilt. This is real caring, not out of fear, but out of love and interdependence. Fear vs Love. It is from this perspective that we act in integrity.”
Our ability to respond to our environments is directly linked to the amount of energy we have—our vitality. When we are full of loving energy with an open heart we give effortlessly. We just give, whether it is a smile, a hug, a listening ear, a bowl of soup or a cup of tea. We all need each other, but in a healthy exchange of giving and receiving that rests in the awareness of interdependence, not codependence.
We can give expecting and asking for nothing in return, but with a deep understanding that the return is actually within the act of giving itself. It makes us feel so good to give. Like my daughter who was so excited to give to me in my time of need, it gave her great pleasure to know she was giving to me in a way that I had given to her since she was a baby—though I never expected or asked for it in return. I was open to receiving her loving gesture, which is different than expecting or taking. Sometimes giving is about allowing someone else the experience of giving open heartedly to you. It is all in the name of love and giving.
“We are on this planet to love each other, to serve each other, and to uplift each other. We have come to this Earth to give, not to take. Don’t take pride in taking. Give. Give, and there will be virtue in what you will be given. And that will give you God.”
My daughter showed me in this very simple moment of our daily life that giving does not have to be some extravagant over-the-top thing. It can be, but it does not need to be. A simple, honest and direct offer from the heart with no strings attached—we can all give in this way, with an open heart, and receive in this way, with an open heart.
The meditation that I want to share with you is called Meditation to Open the Heart with the mantra Sat Kartar.* This meditation will open the flow of love to the natural rhythms of giving and receiving with an open heart in this divine web of interdependence as we are all the flow of love from God who is the ultimate Giver.
“If I love somebody, then I have no question to ask, no answer to listen for. Love is beyond questions and answers, love is beyond give and take. Nobody has taken anything, nobody has given anything. Love is beyond time and space, love is Infinity; love is God in itself.”
-Yogi Bhajan 10/16/73
Bhavanjot Kaur is the owner and founder of Hamsa Healing Arts located in Centerbrook, CT. Bhavanjot is a Kundalini yoga teacher and Radiant Child Yoga Teacher. Bhavanjot is a Reiki Master practitioner and Teacher, Craniosacral therapy practitioner, Raindrop therapy massage practitioner and she also offers sound therapy with a 32" Paiste Symphonic Gong. Bhavanjot is a consultant for essential oils, medicinal mushrooms and CBD oil. She is mother to a delightful six-year-old little girl who overcame a rare childhood kidney cancer, which inspires her work with Lucy's Love Bus and the Connecticut Cancer Foundation.