Circle of Giving

Never deny anyone the opportunity to be helpful.
~ Jamie Loehnis

This week, I took my scooter to  the local thrift shop. I found a rather large item which was perfect for the current creative project. I bought it – knowing that I might need to take the scooter home and trade it out for the car in order to get it to my house.

In the parking lot, a woman asked me, “What is that?” (Yes, it was an odd looking thing!) I told her that I really didn’t know what it was but, rather, how I was planning to use it. Then she watched me attempt to get this thing onto my scooter unsuccessfully. And she said,

How about I put it in my car and follow you home?

That’s when my husband’s words rang in my heart:

Never deny anyone the opportunity to be helpful.

So I responded: “Yes. Thank you! That would be very nice.”

I may never see her again. She will never see the creation that I’ll make with this indescribable object. But, she showed me humanity as generous and kind. I gave her the opportunity to give.  We shared a moment in the circle of giving. Here are some lyrics which speak to the circle where we not only help one another materially, but also in our hearts and spirits:

Circle of Giving (by Jeanne Loehnis, 2003)

There’s a circle of giving, a circle of life.
It’s the story we’re weaving as our light shines bright!
May we not take for granted any person’s precious part:
Every action, every kindness which comes from the heart.

In the circle of giving you’ve offered your hand.
Through the gift of receiving, I’ve learned to stand
on my own. And I now pass it along:
giving kindness to another. Help her grow strong.

It’s a circle of giving without any end.
As we share ourselves freely we’ll soon round the bend
so to see with eyes opened pure Love in everyone.
As we give, we receive now. We all are one.

How will you complete the circle today?

Lesson from a toddler

When was the last time you were fully present with an infant or toddler? I’ve had the privilege of babysitting a grandson many times during his first 16 months. With an intention of “full attention” to him, I’ve learned so much! But one lesson stands out and bears repeating and practicing elsewhere in my life:

the child loves … and assumes you are good, loving, helpful

Continue reading “Lesson from a toddler”

Acknowledgments…

You are so courageous!
No I’m not! If you only knew how scared I was!
Your impact was profound. 
Oh no. I just did what I always do.
You lead powerfully and with heart.
I’m not a leader!

Have you ever experienced those kinds of responses to acknowledgments you’ve offered? Have you ever been the one denying another’s experience of you? Think about it. Continue reading “Acknowledgments…”

A hint for the holidays …

For many of us, the holiday season is here – full steam ahead! Perhaps some of the parties are in the past but likely, time with family is yet ahead. And for some, family presents a special challenge: we care about these folks for they are a forever part of our lives if at all possible! Yet, while we may have grown up under the same roof, we have possibly grown apart as adults. Sometimes, connection has disappeared and been replaced by difficult personalities, different values, tension.

This season, I invite you – whatever your personal situation – to consider this:

Love is the answer.

This holiday, try a visioning practice when you gather with others. Continue reading “A hint for the holidays …”

Seek first to understand …

It is Thanksgiving Day 2016. We in the US are moving through a very challenging time following the US presidential election. As I continue my own journey of discernment around how I am to be, to serve, and to respond, I am reminded of two powerful pieces of music. I offer them to you today.

Adapted from the words of St. Frances of Assisi by Sebastian Temple, Make Me  a Channel of Your Peace 

And, from India Arie, Better People

May you and your family enjoy a day of blessings, gratitude, connection and understanding.