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Excerpted from Give to Your Heart's Content by Linda Harper. Copyright © 2002 by Linda Harper. Excerpted by permission of Innisfree Press.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. HTML and web pages copyright © by SpiritSite.com.

"Taking care of yourself may seem like a basic and natural act, but it is surprisingly difficult for many of us to do."

  Linda Harper, Give to Your Heart's Content, Part 2

Give to Your Heart’s Content . . . Without Giving Yourself Away is not about giving more or giving less. It is about giving authentically, from your deepest self, from your soul. Giving wholeheartedly with no strings attached, no expectations. Giving that nurtures rather than depletes. Giving that flows freely and fully because the giving process itself is energizing, pleasing, and replenishing.

Give to Your Heart’s Content offers a five-lesson guide that will put soul back into your experiences of everyday giving. Each letter of G.U.I.D.E. stands for a key lesson to understanding the heart of soulful giving:

Give wholly to yourself.

Unconditionally choose to give.

Integrate your unique gifts.

Delight in the act of giving.

Experience the expanding capacity to give.

Each of the five chapters offers contemplative exercises to help you personalize your everyday giving. As you become the giver you were meant to be, you will deepen the meaning of your life through soulful, ordinary acts of giving—to yourself and others. There is no greater joy than giving from the heart!

LESSON I: Give Wholly to Yourself

Compassionate toward yourself you reconcile all beings in the world. --Tao Te Ching

The first step on the path to becoming a soulful giver is to nurture yourself.

Taking care of yourself may seem like a basic and natural act, but it is surprisingly difficult for many of us to do—especially on a daily basis. Self-giving is one of the first things we stop doing when the demands of life overwhelm us. We feel pressured in our society to achieve. We feel the need to use our time efficiently to "get things done"—usually by completing a task, creating something, or solving a problem. And since self-nurturing does not often result in a product, we let it fall to the bottom of our list of priorities.

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