Mindful Giving: Donating with Dignity

“I have no right to say or do anything that diminishes a man in his own eyes. What matters is not what I think of him but what he thinks of himself. Hurting a man in his dignity is a crime.”

 Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

It’s holiday time and this time of year, perhaps more than any other, we open our hearts and give to those less fortunate than we are. After all, that’s the very essence of the holiday spirit, right? Giving freely is a wonderful thing but we need to keep in mind that it is not up to us to judge who we are giving to or to consider those folks victims. It is important that we give mindfully, with awareness and generosity of spirit.

Mindful Food Donations…

If you choose to donate food to be distributed via food pantries or other organizations please check expiration dates as well as the type of food you are donating. I offer this as a reminder because I’ve seen firsthand that people clean out their cabinets without looking.

When you donate food, there are designated people who sort the food and checks the expiration dates. Several years back one of those people was me. As I went through what I thought was kind and generous donations I found food items with expiration dates that were more than 10 years old.

After having to throw out item after item I finally broke down in ugly cry tears. I could not understand the lack of thought and awareness. Yes, people were giving but it was not mindful, aware or filled with grace and dignity.

I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to have to ask for food in a society that is filled with abundance. A place where people don’t think twice about purchasing a cell phone with all the bells and whistles and yet you and your family don’t have enough food to eat or socks, coats, and gloves, let alone holiday gifts.

How about we change the narrative and start a new plan of mindful giving and donating with dignity? If you’re already doing this, thank you with all my heart. There is no shame in not having enough nor should there be shame in needing a hand up. There is just as much energy around how and what we give as there is with anything else. Let’s level up to mindful living and giving!

What do I give?

Be mindful of who you are giving to. Who is possibly receiving it and what are they receiving? Is it a homeless Mom with a baby or small children? Is it someone who is used to eating healthy but has hit hard times? Is it a family who mostly eats soup just to stave off the hunger? When it comes to food items while a bag of potato chips is nice, keep it healthy. Here’s a list of 20 items that food banks truly need. (List reprinted from Taste of Home)

1. Applesauce
2. Canned Beans
3. Canned Chicken
4. Canned Fish (Tuna and Salmon)
5. Canned Meat (SPAM and Ham)
6. Canned Vegetables
7. Cooking Oils (Olive and Canola)
8. Crackers
9. Dried Herbs and Spices
10. Fruit (Canned or Dried)
11. Granola Bars
12. Instant Mashed Potatoes
13. Meals in a Box
14. Nuts
15. Pasta
16. Peanut Butter
17. Rice, Quinoa
18. Shelf-stable and Powdered Milk
19. Soup, Stew and Chili
20. Whole Grain Cereal

Also noted in the article are the following: When purchasing items for a food bank, avoid junk food, items with glass or cellophane packaging, which can be broken in transit, or things that need can openers or special equipment. Pop-top cans are a plus.

Mindful giving is donating with dignity

When you set your energy and intent to give with love and generosity of spirit, you are donating with dignity. Donating food? Buy a few items from the list above. Giving clothing or other items to resale shops or homeless shelters, check for holes and tears. If you don’t want to wear it or use it, ask yourself, is it something that can be worn or used or is it simply garbage?

There are plenty of places that repurpose clothing and other items and give to others in the process. Did you know that (as of the original writing of this blog) the retailer H&M offers % off coupons for every bag of clothing you bring in? If it can be used, they donate it. If it can’t, they repurpose it.

See those who don’t have as much as you as human beings and give from a space of offering a hand up and not the space of getting rid of. Notice the difference there? If you’ve ever read the Humans of New York you know the impact of hearing people’s stories. I encourage you to take a moment to really “see” those who are not in the same place as many of you.

Keep the human spirit at the forefront of your mind as you choose what and how you wish to give. If you have enough and you are able to donate food and or clothing, you are privileged enough to do so. Let’s open our hearts and stay mindful of those we are giving to. ~Shine Your Light Debbie

Understanding Mercury Retrograde Cycles

Understanding the Mercury Retrograde Cycle

Understanding the Mercury Retrograde Cycle

Mercury Retrograde in Scorpio October 31st to November 20th, 2019

“Everything turns in circles and spirals with the cosmic heart until infinity. Everything has a vibration that spirals inward or outward — and everything turns together in the same direction at the same time. This vibration keeps going: it becomes born and expands or closes and destructs — only to repeat the cycle again in opposite current. Like a lotus, it opens or closes, dies and is born again. Such is also the story of the sun and moon, of me and you… All energy simply transforms.”

Suzy Kassem

This morning I was reminded by my friend Jen how programmed with fear we are about this wonderful and powerful time for clearing illusions and deepening our spiritual connections. Yes, I’m talking about Mercury Retrograde and as with every single Mercury retrograde, I’m prompted to share more about the cycle. The more we know and understand the more we are able to navigate the cycle with neutrality, grace, and ease.

So, let’s clear up a few things so your frown turns upside down and you can sail your way through what looks to be a fantastic period of time and “we can awaken within the dream to glimpse the symbols and signs that are laden with meaning and speak to us from beyond the veil.”~Mystic Mamma

  1. We’ve been in the pre-shadow for almost two weeks (as of writing this) so it already hit. We don’t just wake up one morning and it’s Mercury Rx. The slow down begins well before the date it starts.
  2. Astrology is meant as a guidepost, not a hitching post. Don’t get stuck in the programming and fear that runs rampant during these weeks.
  3. This is merely a time for reflection and paying attention. Get on with your life just pay a little more attention to detail. Offer yourself space to do what the retrograde period is asking you to do which is to review, reflect, revisit, release, clear out and forgive anything lingering. Be sure to include yourself in the forgiveness process.
  4. Don’t “blame” Mercury Retrograde (or the moon for that matter) for everything that happens. Mercury Retrograde and moon phases (I’m adding the moon because I hear similar things during full or new moon cycles) are natural cycles. Do you blame the rain when the flowers bloom? Do you blame the cold when the leaves on the trees turn glorious colors of red, orange and gold during the fall?
  5. The cycle is as much about awakening and reviving your creative expression as it is about reflection. Did you start a passion project then put it on the shelf for later? Later is NOW! While this might not be the perfect time for starting a new project, you can certainly plan for a new one and revisit (and possibly integrate) something you started and never finished.

“Some things happen for a reason, others just come with the season.”

Ana Claudia Antunes

Mercury retrograde IS an illusion

In fact, Mercury Rx IS an illusion. The planet is NOT going backward. It just APPEARS to go backward. When did clearing illusions and revisiting energy in order to heal get such a bad rap?

Do things go wonky? Yes. Is technology affected? Yes. Do things slow down? Yes. BUT Mercury retrograde simply points out where we are not aware and where we are stuck in an illusion (picture) and sometimes we need to slow down to see and understand things more clearly.

Meditation tip: If you ground yourself and choose awareness, more often than not, you will see something you may have missed otherwise.

Mercury Retrograde is a time when intuition runs high. It gives us the perfect opportunity to slow down and see things in a different light. It also gives us the opportunity to better understand situations (from the past), others and ourselves.

In the fast-paced world we live in, Mercury Retrograde offers us a respite and a time for reflection and revelation. It is a time of increased awareness with ourselves and our relationship to the whole. Use this time wisely.~Shine Your Light Debbie

©Debra Taitel 2019 All Rights Reserved

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Debra Taitel is a gifted Clairvoyant, Energy Healer, Spiritual Teacher, Mentor and Guide providing insight and guidance to clients around the world. Her ultimate goal and soul’s purpose is to guide people to connect with their own truth, vision, purpose and spiritual gifts. For more information, please visit her website. To schedule a session: Click Here