Category Archives: Compassion

Giving Tuesday

I want to invite you to give.  Today, and everyday.  I want to invite you to give from your overflow.

Yes, I want you to take care of you first.  Nothing wrong with that.  In fact, it’s highly recommended that you only ever serve from your overflow.  That was a hard lesson for me to learn.  I’m a giving person by nature but when you forget to take care of you first, you end up resentful, burnt out, with nothing to give anyone including yourself.  I need you to be in it for the long haul and that means you have to lean to give from your overflow.

And, if you are reading this post, I am going to make an assumption.  I’m going to assume that you have some overflow.  Maybe in money, or maybe in time, energy, love or something else that only you know is overflowing in your heart.  In my case, I feel I have so much love that sometimes it leaks out of my eyes when I talk about making this world work for everyone.

So today, I’m asking you to give from that overflow.  First let’s take a moment to feel the gratitude for even having a little extra, shall we?

Breathing in, I feel gratitude.  Breathing out I send my gratitude into the world.  (repeat as needed).  Make up your own mantra if you wish.

It’s Giving Tuesday today in the US and my hope is that it has infected or will soon infect the rest of the world.  You won’t find me saying that about Black Friday, or Cyber Monday.  Those ideas have already sadly caught on.

If you are like me – already giving, today’s dilemma is not whether to give or not.  It’s really more a question of what do I give to?  How do I split my love?  This question is no different to ones we ask when we have multiple children – or even multiple passions.

After my son was born – our first, I was convinced that it was impossible that I could love another in the same way.  I was not prepared for what happened next.  When my daughter was born, I was unaware that there truly was no limit to how far my love could stretch once my heart had broken open.  And it had already expanded to what felt like beyond capacity with my son.

I can’t explain this to anyone who has not experienced it.  Even if you don’t have children yourself, think of a time that maybe you were out hiking, enjoying the beauty of this planet and remember a view that took your breath away.  I would be willing to bet that moments later, there was even more awe and love and joy that took another breath away.  Or watching a sunset feeling that there is no other sunset that could top the wonder you were feeling towards the beauty before your eyes.  Every sunrise and sunset deserves attention and breath.

This morning, I found myself paralyzed about making a decision about what cause to give to.  They are all deserving of my attention.  They are all worthy.  How do I choose? How do I know that I’m making the right choice?  And here’s what happened next.

I decided that it doesn’t really matter which one I picked.  What matters most is that I give.  I started first by feeling gratitude for even being in a position to give.  It doesn’t have to be big.  It can be something like the equivalent of one cup of coffee per day, per week, per month… There is no amount that is too small.

It reminds me of a story I heard about a person walking on the beach and coming upon another person who was picking up starfish that were washed up on the sand and throwing one by one back into the ocean.  There were thousands of starfish and it was beyond comprehension how anyone could think of taking on the task of saving them.  So the person said: “you know. What you are doing here.  There are too many.  It’s not really going to make a difference.”  And without missing a beat, the other person picked up a starfish and threw it back into the ocean and said: “It makes a difference to this one.” And then continued on, picking one starfish at a time and saving it.

I’m sure I did not do a great job of retelling that story but you’re smart enough to get the gist of it.  It does matter what you do today.  If matters to that one sentient being (human or otherwise) who is ultimately touched by you.  Whether your capacity is $10,000,  $1000 or $10, it matters.  It even matters if it’s $1.  You don’t have to believe me in this.  I just challenge you to try it.  Just get into the habit of giving and start paying attention to how you feel.

I only know what I know from my own personal experience.  I have experienced time and time again that when I give unconditionally – with no strings attached – I don’t know how – but my personal experience is that the that the Universe will multiply it and return it in ways that have humbled me and taken my breath away.

I want that same experience for you.

In case you don’t have a favorite non-profit, here is a short list of 10 that could really use to receive from your abundance.  I support these and others and I would never ask you to do anything that I have not done myself.

Here’s a short list of 10 listed in alphabetical order:

Arbor Day Foundation – https://www.arborday.org/

Charity Water – https://www.charitywater.org/

Green Light Solutions Foundation – http://www.glsolutions.org/

Heifer – https://www.heifer.org/

Kiva – https://www.kiva.org/

Mindfulness First – http://mindfulnessfirst.org/

Museum of Walking – http://www.museumofwalking.org/

Oxfam – https://www.oxfamamerica.org/

Scott Foundation – http://www.scott-foundation.org/

World Wildlife Fund – https://www.worldwildlife.org/

Pick one.  Pick many and split your giving.  Remember, “done is better than perfect”.  So just give even if you don’t know that you are making the perfect choice.  It’s good enough to just get it done.

And, if non-profits are not your thing, that’s OK too.  Find a business that you believe in and send them a check – no need for a tax deduction.  If you prefer, find an individual even if they are not a business.  Seriously, lend your fuel to the passion of anyone who is out there making a difference in people’s lives.  We have to get over the constructs that hold us back.  Giving is about giving.  No strings attached.

With a heart full of love for you – thank you for reading this far.

Y

Mothers in society are the first Lamas

mothers - first lamas
From my facebook feed this morning

There is nothing more powerful than love.  And to teach our children the power and value of compassion is to give them a gift for life that grows the more they share it.

I believe this to be true because as mothers, we are driven by our highest purpose.

Motherhood is not a job.  It is a calling and being a calling it is informed by something Greater.

There’s a simple exercise that I shared with my daughter when she faced a challenging situation at school with one of her teachers.

Basically, here is what the exercise was all about:

  • Become really still, and quiet your mind.
  • Breathe.
  • Put your attention on your heart and feel compassion.
  • If it’s difficult to feel compassion for the person that is challenging you, then feel compassion for anything you love like your pet dog, for example.
  • While holding that feeling in your heart, visualize the energy of that feeling in a bubble surrounding the challenge you are facing.
  • Know, that no one is born wanting to be mean.  That maybe something, somewhere along the way, forced them in that direction and, feeling compassion towards them, gives them permission to remember who they really are.  They might just start returning the compassion.
  • Expect nothing.
  • Just practice until it becomes easy to do.

My daughter (a teenager) rolled her eyes at me when I first introduced the idea but I guess when she was faced with no other alternatives she must have tried it because a week later, in passing, she said:  “You know that exercise you told me to do?  It worked”.

A Heart Broken Open

From my facebook news feed…from  Women For Peace And Doing Something About It

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
~ Rumi
A heart broken open is not a shattered heart. It is a heart unafraid to shed tears, unafraid to be vulnerable, unafraid to weep, unafraid to name its own demons and to refuse to project them onto others. A heart broken open is a heart full of receptivity to the healing love of stranger, of animals, of prayer, of compassion, and of memory. A heart broken open offers you sanctuary in which you can find God so that you are never alone.

A heart broken open links you forever to the family of humanity.

A heart broken open is an invitation to become real – to stand before the altar of your soul and pledge that you will no longer waste this precious life on unconsciousness.

~ Paula M. Reeves “Heart Sense” ~ Unlocking Your Highest Purpose and Deepest Desires

A great reminder today and everyday.   The idea of being broken open is a good visual that gives me courage.
Please share this with others as you see fit.