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

3 Truths about why we don't meditate as often as we want to

4 Truths about Why We Don’t Meditate as Often as We’d Like to…

3 Truths about why we don't meditate as often as we want to“Half an hour’s meditation each day is essential, except when you are busy. Then a full hour is needed.”~Saint Francis de Sales

Have you ever wondered why it’s so challenging to meditate as often as you might want to? It may not be what you think!

In 1992 in addition to my clairvoyant readings I started teaching meditation to awaken people to their own clairvoyant abilities.

In my career I’ve heard every reason you can possibly think of for why someone doesn’t meditate as often as they want to. Of course I’m mainly talking to those who are on a spiritual journey and consciously making the choice to incorporate meditation into their daily life.

Now, I totally understand if meditation is not for you BUT if you’re ‘meditation curious’, want to commit to increasing your awareness by adding (or resetting) a daily meditation practice read on! There might be an answer or three for you about why you meditate on and off,  why it’s hard to start, or even continue the process!

Why is it so “hard” to meditate?

If you think about it, that question is not only funny but it’s an oxymoron. The simple answer to the question is…It’s NOT hard to meditate in fact it’s really EASY to meditate. There are many types of meditation. Some meditate sitting on the floor, in some special yoga posture, or laying down. I teach a specific type of meditation where you sit in a chair with your feet firmly planted on the floor.

The reason I bring up different types of meditation is because one of the reasons it might feel “hard” to meditate because we have a concepts of what it should and shouldn’t be. Different types of meditation feel different to our bodies and what might be right for one, may not be right for someone else.

Meditation Tip:

  1. Choose a meditation that works for YOU.
  2. There is no right or wrong way to do it. Your willingness and curiosity is all you need.
  3. Put a smile on your face and laugh. The moment you laugh at thinking it’s hard, it won’t be hard anymore.

But I can’t empty my mind.

You’re absolutely right, you can’t! What if instead of always trying to empty your mind you simply sat down in your chair and allowed all those thoughts to have their own space? Allow them to meander hither and thither.

When you center your awareness and allow those thoughts just to BE, you will find you’re no longer in effort “trying”. The more we fight against what we’re experiencing, the more stuck we become and the harder it is.

Meditation Tip:

  1.  Notice if you’re “trying” to empty your mind. If you’re “trying” you’re in effort. Allow your thoughts, feelings and emotions to be there. Give them a space to simply BE.
  2. Give yourself a breath, return to center and watch as your thoughts meander hither and thither then give yourself another breath and return to center once again.
  3. Simply decide you’re going to give yourself a breath and listen to it or connect with your heartbeat. You can even use your imagination to tap into the flow of the earth with curiosity. Note: When you do this you’re directing your thoughts instead of being consumed by them.

I don’t have time to meditate.

I hear this ALL the time. Now clearly there are many reasons for this and I get it but I’m going to ask you a question: How will you have time if you don’t make the time?

If you’re not scheduling it, you’re choosing not to make time. Now, I have no investment in your schedule, in fact I’m completely neutral with your choices. You can schedule or not schedule. That said,  when it’s on your schedule there’s a greater chance you’ll actually move forward to attend to your daily practice.

Meditation Tip:

  1. Give yourself quiet time. You’ll have more energy to tackle the rest of your day. If it’s really challenging for you, start by checking in with yourself every hour for a few minutes. Just see how you’re doing and where you are. Give yourself a gentle breath and return to center. Note: This simple exercise will help shift your energy and attention which will make it easier to finally sit down in that chair.
  2. Give yourself a BREAK! If you consider meditation “hard” why would you make time for it? I mean who wants to spend time struggling and in effort? Give yourself a break and think of it as giving a gift to yourself. 
  3. Give yourself a daily gift and actually add meditation to your schedule.

It’s not you it’s the energy.

Have you ever considered that it’s the energy that you want to step out of or release that is the cause of your inability to keep up your practice? It’s true! The energy and attention from others, the energy of doubt, the energy of all you’ve become responsible for does NOT want you to release it!

If I can guarantee one thing about meditation it’s that taking time for yourself might turn your world upside down. This is especially true if you’re always giving to others but not to yourself. It means you won’t be available to energy vampires or the ones who like to dump their problems or pain into your lap. 

Meditation Tip:

  1. The more you meditate the more you have a space to be. The more space you have to BE the LESS you are effected by the energies you encounter every day!
  2. Take baby steps and make it a game. Tell yourself you’re only going to sit down for 5 minutes. Keep doing it until your able to find some amusement with all the distractions trying desperately to keep you from moving out whatever you’ve become responsible for.

So there you have 4 truths (out of hundreds if not thousands more reasons) as to why it can be challenging. I included meditation tips to to help you connect more with your “happy place.”

If you’re interested in learning the fundamentals of meditation, you’re interested in resetting or jump starting a meditation practice or would like to add new techniques to your current practice please join me for one of my monthly on-line workshops or schedule a one-to-one mentoring.

No matter what you choose to do be sure to enter the space with curiosity and willingness to explore!~Shine Your Light Debbie

©Debra Taitel 2018 All Rights Reserved

SpiritLightInsight.com

Debra Taitel is a gifted Clairvoyant, Energy Healer, Spiritual Teacher and Intuitive Business Consultant providing insight and guidance to clients around the world. In addition to her clairvoyant readings, healing work and intuitive consulting Debra also offers one to one mentoring sessions and leads meditation workshops to help people heal and awaken to their own truth and spiritual gifts. For more information, please visit her website. To schedule a session: Click Here