Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Gratitude in Giving

At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us. ~ Albert Schweitzer

This past weekend was a full one! I had an event on Saturday with Our New Earth (www.ournewearth.tv) in which they were premiering their TV show RAW, all about raw food and conscious living. I had the honor of opening and setting the energy for the event by teaching Kundalini yoga and doing a gong meditation. I also got to represent OneGiving and be the giving spokesperson for the day by introducing two nonprofits and the amazing work that they are doing. On Sunday, I got to be at an event to support a nonprofit fundraiser.

It was a full weekend of giving and service and left me fulfilled and full of peace and gratitude. It also got me thinking about giving and conscious living in general. We live in a crazy time and world. Things are changing so rapidly around us and sometimes it feels as if it is impossible to keep up with all the madness. I realized that if there is anything that is helping me to stay sane (other than my own yoga and meditation practice) it is the regular incorporation of gratitude and giving into my life.

What does this look like you may ask? It means finding things regularly, daily and moment by moment in my life that I can be grateful for and that I can give to. A large percentage of my life and time is about service. So much so, that many times I have friends say, how can you keep giving and giving? Doesn't it wear you down? How can you afford to give so much of your time and not receive a paycheck or otherwise for it. That is where the gratitude comes in. You see giving is a cycle - it really isn't just about giving, it is about all that you receive in return for the giving.

Now, of course, that isn't why I give, but I will tell you it is through my regular giving that I receive so much in return and it is why I can stay in a state of perpetual gratitude. Giving and receiving and gratitude all go hand in hand. Lately, so much of my time has been committed to building OneGiving a company about giving, receiving and making a difference on the planet (www.onegiving.com). Other than that my time is filled with teaching Kundalini yoga, meditation and service. I don't have a lot of social time other than that and the time that I do have, usually you can find me volunteering or being of service.

Sounds crazy? Maybe, but I think it is what keeps me going, committed and truly fulfilled and happy. Here are some of the nonprofits that inspired me this past weekend and have helped me to stay in gratitude and motivated to keep taking the next step in building my own dream of OneGiving.

Healing Bridges (www.healingbridges.org) - Healing Bridges is a nonprofit committed to address and create positive outcomes in the areas of health, education and sustainable employment in Africa. Healing Bridges is building the first high school for girls in the forgotten refugee camps in Eastern Sudan.

Create Global Healing (www.createglobalhealing.org)- Create Global Healing is a nonprofit organization committed to heart-centered leadership development for orphans in war-torn countries, US students, humanitarians and philanthropists. In September 2009, Create Global Healing is sending a team of professionals and humanitarians to Rwanda to work with over 100 Orphan Head of Households, all genocide survivors between the ages of 17 and 30, and caring for orphans, ages six and under.

Youth Mentoring Connection (www.youthmentoring.org)- Youth Mentoring Connection awakens at-risk youth to their power, unique gifts and purpose by matching them with caring adult mentors and placing that “match” within a structured group dynamic that provides the resources youth need to reach productive, conscious adulthood. We further seek to awaken society to the needs, promise and value of this overlooked population. I am inspired by this nonprofit and join them for their summer "surfing" activities where they bring youth from South Central to the beach to learn to to surf and connect with each other, the ocean and themselves!

What do you dream about and what inspires you to keep going for those dreams? What nonprofits do you work with? How do you give? And are you open to receiving when you give as well, to allow the love, light and gratitude in? Try it out and enjoy! And remember to have a great #2GiveTuesday (aka #charitytuesday on Twitter)!

You may find me on Twitter @pilarstella and Facebook at www.facebook.com/pilarstella.

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