i have a friend who is family (FRamily) who, as a parent, felt deeply impacted by the Sandy Hook shootings. She decided to do something to turn the feeling of overwhelm into a transformed experience of doing random acts of kindness for 28 people in honor of the 28 victims. She and her husband decided that instead of birthday gifts (both of their birthdays are in January) they wanted their friends to do random acts of kindness in honor of their birthdays instead– a birthday blessing upon blessing upon blessing kind of thing. To read more of her incredibly inspiring experience and request, go to: http://28acts.tumblr.com/
Interestingly, i found it challenging to fulfill their birthday request because i am the kind of person who just normally looks for ways to do acts of kindness. It is in my nature. i am not saying this to boast. Truly, part of my core purpose is service, so it is vital to my joy that i be in service; it is just intrinsic in and to who i am. i knew, though, because this is a birthday request and a very special request, i needed to come up with something much bigger than my normal inclinations for giving. i have been trying for over 2 weeks now to come up with the way to truly honor their incredible request and to truly honor my love and devotion to them as well as my profound respect and gratitude for their powerful response to such an incredible tragedy.
And i finally figured it out. Although it is in my nature to be giving, i realized a great stretch for me right now is to commit to giving a donation to a different organization each month for the next year. i contribute on many different levels (including with green energy) to various organizations all the time. However, as I mentioned recently in a blog post, i am trying to figure out how to create more abundant right livelihood in my life, so committing to giving generously each and every month, regardless of what is or is not coming in, is a real stretch for me and therein can truly honor the generosity of the request and the giving.
So, beginning tomorrow, i will pick a new organization each month to donate green energy to. i am committed to giving in my “stretch” zone. i am not going to post publicly how much that is as i feel that plays somewhat into the inauthenticity of our society of “compare and contrast.” When we play “compare and contrast” someone or something always has to lose in order for something or someone else to win. i know in my commitment to living in integrity, that i will look each month to where my comfort zone of giving is, and i will give more than that.
And i am asking you to consider joining me. i will post a link to each new organization every month and if the work of the organization inspires and moves you, then i ask that you consider giving to them as well, so that we can exponentially grow this circle of giving. If the organizations i choose do not really speak to you, then i ask that you choose a different organization and donate to them. Then, post on my blog which organization you gave to, so that we can see as a community, the ripples of our actions.
i am excited to create this space of generosity within the space of the generosity of my friends and then see how that generosity might possibly create even more generosity in the world. What we appreciate, appreciates. In times of violence and scarcity, it is so easy to constrict, hide, become withdrawn and suspicious. How beautiful instead to choose to become MORE giving, loving, kind, thoughtful, and connected.
Happy Birthday Alissa and Steve!
With Love and Gratitude,