Friday, April 27, 2012

40 Gifts in 40 Days

40 Gifts in 40 Days. The invitation is to give a gift every day for 40 days. For example – I started working with this program a few weeks ago and these are 2 of my gifts: helping an elderly woman snap the lid on her coffee cup. I just learned how to this recently without spilling the cup – and so it felt good to help someone else do this and at the same time we had a brief chat about her being in town to visit her ill sister. I felt so good about that – I left without my coffee and had to turn around in the parking lot and go back and get it! A few Sundays ago I was given the flowers from the service. On Wednesday as I was leaving the house to go to the Wednesday group I thought – I could share these flowers. The bouquet is so large. I separated half the bouquet and brought them with me. Can you see how simple that is? Small things with great love as Mother Therese said. It is the simple small gifts that show people you care. Giving strengthens our connection with others – both strangers and loved ones. Giving brings us home to the Truth – that there is enough. That together we have all we need. There is a beautifully told story of feeding the 5,000 in the gospel of John. John 6:5 When Jesus looked up and was a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” Phillip answered him, “Eight months wages would not buy enough bread to each one to have a bite!” Another disciple, Andrew, spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many.?” Jesus said “Have the people sit down” and in some of the gospels he says in groups of four or five. This story is packed with metaphors……….. But for today we will focus on what is going on when it looks like there is nothing and you end up with more than enough. When we read the story and understand the situation we can see right away there is no human solution to the situation. There are too many people and no amount of money will buy enough bread for everyone to eat. That is usually our first response to a situation – use our human thinking to assess…and often the answer is – can’t do it, it’s impossible. And who steps up with the bread? A child. Innocent and generous. When we can express that childlike nature in ourselves – we don’t get stuck in the ‘can’t’. We take a step in the direction of a solution. Very powerful action. The commentary to this verse says that the disciples probably had more than the child – everyone travelled with a little bit of bread. But the difference is - they had already decided it would not be enough, so they did not even offer. And the truth is: If we offer nothing, we will have nothing. When we give from our abundance, we can never be depleted or empty. If you start feeling resentful – ask yourself: am I giving out of duty? Or guilt? Am I giving more than I am comfortable with? Am I giving in order to get something in return? Authentic giving always leaves us refreshed and revitalized – not empty. During the next 40 days wake up each morning setting the intention of finding a place to give. Know that this day an opportunity will come to you to give. There is no need to plan and try to make it happen - I would invite you to just see what comes to you. That is part of this experience – you will see how powerful your intention, your intention to find the perfect place to give is. We know that it is impossible for you to give and not receive. We are participating in an energy exchange. We are always blessed by the experience. Here is a prayer you can take into your time of prayer and meditation each day. You will notice that this prayer is not an appeal for something. It is only a reminder of what we need to remember - of what we may have forgotten. I Am One with Infinite Source. This is the way we start prayer – with a statement of Truth – reminds us of our true nature. As a radiating center of Divine Love I stand in the fullness of abundance and prosperity. – again – another Truth reminder statement My mind and heart are open to the power of Divine Energy - healing my body, harmonizing my emotions and renewing my mind. We are open – nothing can happen when we are closed – it is only with our permission and participation that we are changed by our experience. I easily release and let go of all beliefs and attitudes that stand in the way of my fully experiencing the richness of the universe of which I am a part. release statement – we are letting go and making room for something else, also remembering that we are One with our good. My good comes to me through all channels, some expected and some a delightful surprise. I cooperate fully with the law of circulation: I give and receive generously and joyfully - plenty to share and plenty to spare. Again – a reminder to open ourselves up to all possibilities, not just those we can imagine right now. I am so grateful that my good is not restricted to what I can see right now – I want to make room for the ‘unexpected’. Have fun with this project and share how you have been uplifted by this experience.