For this exercise, don't think you have to give a physical gift. You can also give a service or chore done by you as an altruistic act. The trick is that you must choose something to do in secret so you won't receive any thanks or reward for this action. I like brainstorming altruistic gift ideas; it makes me feel like a fairy godmother floating through the world and showering people with blessings.

Start by looking through your home for chores that are usually thankless duties. In my home, nobody notices if I clean the toilets, mop the floors, or even wash the car. Setting up these extra chores as secret gifts is one way I can motivate myself to do them out of love for my family rather than in the hopes that I'll receive praise for all the work I do around the house. You can also do similar chores out in the community. There may be a public garden that needs weeding, some sidewalks that need to be swept, or other tidying that needs doing. You could anonymously donate food to a food bank or clothes to a charity thrift store.

After you've chosen your altruistic gift and carried it out, here's a writing exercise you can do to boost your compassion and keep the positive energy from the experience moving in your life. Write your own quick letter of thanks addressed to yourself, rather than hoping for thanks from others. The way I do this is by writing a letter of thanks to my deities and placing it on my family altar. For example, if I spent the day helping a neighbor with some yardwork, I wrote down a note of thanks for the blessings of strong legs and healthy back that give me the ability to help my community. I collect these brief notes counting my blessings in a notebook that stays near my family altar so I can add new ones every day if I wish. You can write notes of thanks to the divine, any higher power you worship, or simply to your higher self in your journal. This activity helps remind us that being able to give to others is a gift in and of itself. One day I may not be healthy or able enough to help others with physical chores, or wealthy enough to give food to those in need, so I do what I can when I can and give thanks.

Alexandra Chauran in Compassion is the Key to Everything