Giveful, Grateful, FULL

Charlene Norman
3 min readNov 6, 2023

For the last two months, I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time feeling like a convoluted pretzel as I’ve dealt with the red tape of both the police and the RCMP. My brother had a few hunting rifles in his possession when he passed, and for a host of reasons, getting those rifles into the hands of his one son has been an excruciatingly slow process.

Having said that, I must also hasten to add that my world has been filled with what can only be described as good humans. Despite flawed systems, horrendous backlogs and stifling paperwork, every single person I had to deal with was unfailingly polite, helpful, apologetic and sympathetic to what I wanted to get done.

This week, the day before my nephew finally took possession of his father’s rifles, the police officer on the file (who ultimately personally walked the application through the RCMP process) received a beautiful bouquet of flowers with some delectable European baked goods.

This note is not about me doing something extra. It is about a term I learned.

We all know and understand the term ‘grateful.’ It’s the feeling, or showing an appreciation, of kindness. In short, it’s about YOU being thankful.

Have you ever heard of the term ‘Giveful?’

It is a term coined by a powerful CEO in the non-profit space named Patricia Glaser Shea. She defines it as an old English word that means “Filled with a giving heart.” She believes it is the currency of our souls, and it is how we care for and communicate with each other.

Specifically, Giveful is the continuous, conscious, and creative practice of giving to others while being open to receiving.

  • Continuous because it elevates giving and receiving into a way of being. You don’t give — you are Being Giveful.
  • Conscious because it invites you to be present and proactive — giving when you see the opportunities — and understanding your unique gifts and how to share them in ways that excite you.
  • Creative because it allows you to innovate on how and what you give. It can be just a greeting — just seeing someone. Or it could be your wisdom, influence, or connections.

Perhaps most importantly, being Giveful includes receiving. Receiving is the Yin to the Yang of giving. They are entirely interconnected. Being Giveful requires you to be open to all the gifts from your giving, universe, or God.

When I finally grasped the totality of Giveful, I realized that all my angst about being grateful enough was, in fact, dumb and dumber. That living Givefully had been second nature my entire life. And that the most impactful lesson learned from living Givefully had everything to do with finally understanding and then receiving.

My only point in sharing this lady’s word of the week, month, or year is to suggest that living a Giveful life is a wonderful way to journey through our days here on earth.

And here’s how to begin.

Be alert to opportunities where you can give. It does not have to be money or material stuff. It can be a kind (and genuine) word. It can be paying undivided attention to your friend’s tale of woe. It can even be accepting an offer of help from someone. That acceptance could make someone feel better about themselves.

Regardless of whether you refer to it as Giveful or Grateful, I promise you, your life will be very Full!

Now, over to you. How about resolving to be ‘Giveful’ for a month? Let me know how it goes.

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Charlene Norman

Inspiring good humans to make a difference for all on Planet Earth. Podcast host, author, and community leader. Fanatical about change for the highest good.