How to Give Back and Receive More in Your Life

2014 Bronx Zoo Run for the Wild

There are times in our life when we seek something to make us whole. Sometimes we know what it is, like a raise, or a new home, or just a call from someone we love. Other times, our souls stir and we feel a void that we don’t know how to fill. I’ve had this longing many times in my life. While I often searched my soul to discover what would answer the calling, I have found that sometimes just remaining still and listening can bring the answer.

A few years ago, I lost my job suddenly and felt a serious sense of loss. Though I continued to look for new jobs and stay positive, there was still something missing that I couldn’t put my finger on. The nagging haunted me daily. One day, while I was killing time on Facebook, I saw a post from the Bronx Zoo appear in my feed advertising their annual Run for the Wild 5k race. The run is held at the zoo and benefits an endangered animal. This year, the funds were being allocated to elephants and their increasing scarcity due to demand for their precious ivory tusks. When I saw this, I was immediately compelled to sign up. I decided to use the free time I had to create a Facebook page event that was accessible to all my friends who I wanted to raise funds from. Each day, I filled the page with fun and sometimes trafic facts about elephants. I became fascinated by their intelligence, wisdom, and grace and was determined to educate my friends about their tale. Long story short, I raised almost $3,000 for this cause and was one of the top fundraisers! I couldn’t believe that my small effort and huge amount of passion could drive such a response from my friends. I felt like a million bucks. I even trained daily for the race and became an actual runner, something I never thought I would do. Giving to this cause made a huge impact in my life and hopefully in the lives of African elephants. I recently wrapped up my second run last month which also benefited elephants. I didn’t train much for this event, due to the brutal winter, but I had no problem propelling myself through the race because I fueled myself by thinking of the elephants and their struggle.

When you’re looking to receive something, I urge you to examine where you are seeking this fulfillment. If you’re looking for an external source where you can receive, perhaps try reversing your thinking. Imagine what you can give to someone or something that would truly make a difference in that recipient’s life and, in turn, your soul. Your search might not even take you that far. It could lead to your backyard or to a relative in need, or even a local volunteer center. When we give of ourselves, we invite a wholeness that no gift or reward can provide. Now get out there and give and let us know how it made a difference in your life in the comments below.

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