Sunday, January 17, 2010

Haiti-A Call to Giving

I woke up at three a.m. last night unable to sleep. I could not stop thinking about Haiti and the people suffering there.  I needed a better understanding of what was occurring but to do so I needed some facts. Early in the morning I began posing some questions to my favorite search engine. First question: "How many people live in poverty?" Answer: Almost half the world — over three billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day. That adds up to $912.50 a year. 80% live on less than $10 dollars a day.  If you are reading this you can assume that you are numbered among the wealthiest people on earth. But I wanted to zero in on Haiti so I asked my search engine "What about Haiti?" Answer: More than 78% percent of people living in Haiti are living in poverty. While watching the TV coverage of the earthquake in Haiti I had heard the newscasters reporting over and over "These people have nothing." I struggled with the concept of "nothing".

Not one thing. The idea shook me as I saw the faces of children stunned into silence trying to cope with the aftermath of chaos and fear sweeping the island.  My next question sprang out, "How many children die in poverty every day?" I found the answer from :
"According to UNICEF, 25,000 children die each day due to poverty. And they “die quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the scrutiny and the conscience of the world. Being meek and weak in life makes these dying multitudes even more invisible in death."

I pondered the question, "How numb have we let ourselves become?" Then I started hearing the reports of charitable giving.  Over 8 million dollars were donated by people texting a contribution on their cell phones alone. This was extremely exciting news. It was apparent that we want to give—we want to help. Clothes began to pile up creating mountains in donation centers, grocery stores offered opportunities to give through their check out lines, avenues to giving were being created so that anyone anywhere could contribute whatever amount they chose.

There is nothing more satisfying to me than to give to another human being, especially in time of need. Crisis and catastrophes shine the spotlight on the needs of others with glaring clarity. But what about the rest of the time? What struck me was the extent to which we leapt to the aid of the Haitians and what also struck me was the extent to which I had become insulated from the needs of my fellow human beings on a daily basis.  We are enmeshed in our world of everyday issues we deem important and while wrapped up in the minutia of our lives 80 percent of the earth's population lives on less than $10 dollars a day.  The enthusiasm with which the more fortunate contributed to Haiti's disaster relief leads me to believe that as a group we crave more opportunities to give and serve on a daily basis.

Now is the time to begin to assess not only how we give to our planet but to take it to a more personal level and ask, "How do we give to our community?" I started to wonder what would happen if each person took an oath to give back something everyday. Give of yourself generously. Give of your knowledge, your humor, your experiences, your skills and mostly give of your heart. Create avenues to express love and kindness for your family and neighbors. Encourage tolerance and celebrate diversity and join in movements that embrace your beliefs and use their power in numbers to make a difference in the lives of others. Contribute time, money, talents, intelligence, whatever you decide, through giving you will help make a difference.

 See your your world, your income, your life for what it is — abundance beyond most people's imagination.  Catch yourself when you are thinking and living in lack and scarcity. Celebrate your life and reflect from your inner-most heart compassion and love.

I reflect compassion and love to my world. I give with magnitude of  my gifts, my abundance and my spirit for there is infinite room in the world for love.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The New Year

The dawning of a new year is an opportune time to realign, reawaken and redesign. I am not talking about resolutions, I am talking about soul care. Lately I am compelled to look within and observe what I am feeling. I take time to quietly listen. I ask, " What do I need?"  I wonder, "What parts of me are calling for nourishment? What have I pushed aside or silenced that longs for expression once again?  What parts of my soul most need nurturing? And what actions can I take to reconnect with them in order to more fully express my Self?"

When I ask myself these questions words spring into my consciousness. Play, creativity, delight and joy are the first to emerge. I know in the deepest part of me that in order to nourish my soul I must have play and creativity as an integral part of my world. Drawing, painting and playing with art nurtures me. I promise my Soul that I will not deny that aspect of my Self this coming year.  I promise my Self that I will make more art. Playing out of doors liberates the child within. Riding bicycles and being with friends stimulates my delight and joy. I promise my Self that creating new avenues for play will be an adventure I embark upon. Kayaking will be added to my list of pastimes.  Time with family and friends soothes and stimulates me.  There will be more time for friends with whom I can laugh out loud and explore the beauty of this world with.

Nuturing and honoring my work with my clients gives me a deep sense of satisfaction and joy. I promise my Self that I will continually implement new ways to playfully expand the energy of the divine we create together.

What parts of your Self need nurturing? Where are you denying a "soul" need? What simple actions can you take to express and free them?  This is an opportune time of year to explore reawakening all the parts of you that bring you joy or connect you with your world in a deep and meaningful way. Take some time to stop and listen to your inner most parts. What are they asking you for and how can you begin the journey to fully living your life through liberating your most beautiful and expressive Self?

Each day I ignite the light within to illuminate and reawaken my deepest joy and creativity. My love shines brightly