I’m starting a month of giving. Every day I will give anything from a flower to a random stranger, a meal to a hungry person, a free hug, a warm smile, a nod of approval, an hour of patient ears, a heartfelt thank you… all with a conscious awareness of giving creatively, with a connection & mostly without spending money. Anyone ready to join? I’m sure it’s going to be an awesome journey…
Day#1 :: 10 Nov, 2009
Have a break!
Nearing the end of the day, fearing failure to start ‘giving consciously’… I stopped by Timmy’s to buy coffee. I offered to buy the lady who was working there a coffee or a donut. She looked at me with a puzzled smile as i was explaining to her my ‘month of giving’ scheme while her other co-worker joined us. With a chuckle, beaming with an expression of surprise, she said how they get everything for free for working there. So i got them two packs of KitKat from the gas station… the $3.39 was an insignificant amount to pay for the sense of connection & joy I saw in their eyes… & the way it uplifted all our spirits instantly was truly priceless!
Day#2 :: 11 Nov, 2009
It’s just interesting how during the day i keep searching for ways to give… creatively, with a connection & preferably without spending money. My mind races as the day comes to an end & i feel an adrenaline rush anticipating what’s going to unfold. Today was Ariana’s happy meal day after Tae Kwon Do. We usually get it from drive thru but today she wanted to walk in. I found some coupons in the car for free fries that she got with her Halloween treats & decided to use them for today’s giving. So we had two extra fries that we had to share, before they got cold! Before Ariana got much time to wrap her head around it, i put her on spot & asked her who she wants to share it with. After a few moments of a blank look & a quick search around, she got up with the fries, took it to a lady who was ordering & said softly, ‘I have some extra fries that i’d like to share with you!’ I was relieved to see how the lady reacted with such appreciation, hugged her & offered her an ice-cream! Ariana politely turned it down (I wish she was that polite with me at all times) & said how she has tonsil problems & is scheduled for surgery. After about 2 minutes of warm conversation with Patricia, Ariana came back triumphant! I said… ‘I’m really proud of you’. She said confidently… ‘I know!’
Day#3 :: 12 Nov,’09
Vision, vision on the wall…
Made a vision board for Ariana.
Day#4 :: 13 Nov,’09
While inquiring a possible drop-in class for Ariana at her music school, I saw this new girl at reception today. Beautiful facial features… just like the Disney characters! After she was done explaining the information that I was there for; I decided to GIVE her an honest, sincere appreciation for her beauty. Keeping the craziness of the world in mind, I jokingly clarified that I am very STRAIGHT and NOT hitting on her… & that i thought she was absolutely gorgeous like the Disney characters. While she paused briefly to take it in, I saw the eyes twinkle & a smile sparkle as she graciously accepted my compliment! BTW, all the time I was thinking Pocahontas… but my memory didn’t serve me right & I called her Mulan instead! But I think she got my point
Day# 5 :: 14 Nov,’09
Hard to say I’m sorry…
Wrote an apology letter to a friend that’s been long overdue… I gave up on my ego.
Day#6 :: 15 Nov,’09
Wrote a Thank You note from the deepest part of my heart to someone who lighted my flames beyond measure…
Day# 7 :: 16 Nov,’09
The ‘loonie’ story…
I’m loving posting my little tales of everyday giving here in this note… the fact that no one’s watching is so comforting. It feels like I am out in the crowd, but totally at home in my own privacy.
Today I went downtown to get the visa for my upcoming trip! It hasn’t hit me full blown yet, but whenever i’m realizing that it’s only 6 days away… i’m getting mad goose bumps! But that’s another story. So, on my way to the embassy, I stopped at Union station & needed some change. I went to this news stand & bought a drink for $2.99 & gave the rough-around-the-edges, mind-your-own-business monologued store owner a $10 bill. Every time I buy something & handed back the change, I experience a moment of blankness… as if my mind struggles to do the simple math & worries catastrophic failure (I’ve over paid countless times). As long as it matches the nearest round figure, i usually stop panicking. So, while experiencing THE BLANK MOMENT as I’m heading out… and going considerably far, I noticed that the shop owner is even more miserable with his maths & gave me a full dollar more than he should’ve! Now, this has happened to me before for much larger amounts & like all the other times my first reaction was that I’ll go & give it back to him. But this time I found myself caught in an interesting mind chatter… ‘Why do i want to give it back? What’s my take on it? Am i thinking of my Karma or do i want to look good in the eyes of the rather manner less shop owner who didn’t even have the courtesy of a smile? Am i doing this ‘cos this act of generosity will make me feel great? Why do i need to feel great?’… and on & on it went… so i stopped to pinpoint exactly what i wanted out of it & i decided, my reward will be to see a moment of thankfulness on this harsh man’s face. If I don’t see that, chances are i won’t, then my conscious act will be my fulfillment. I walked away with the latter, choosing to ‘give’ back the dues…
Day # 8 :: 17 Nov,’09
Let them go…
Today was one of the most hectic days that I’ve had in a while. With 3 hours of sleep & 24 hours of Ariana (no school); almost 200 km of driving & 2 hours of 5 pm homebound traffic – my nerves are fried. Not to mention the insensitivities of people who are supposed to be ‘the close ones’, that added insult to injury… but before the last part could happen, while i was still very much in the middle of the crazy traffic… i gave pass to everyone who indicated & wanted to go before me. I didn’t press gas & moved ahead of a waiting driver just because it was not his turn.
I say give to strangers, but don’t give in to the deliberate cruelties of an insider.
Day # 9 :: 18 Nov,’09
It’s in you to give!
But before you think I gave blood, hold on…. ‘cos I didn’t. I couldn’t! Yes, for the 5th time. I was .3 counts lower than required Iron level. Point 3. I just don’t understand why the Universe won’t allow me to give blood! In 2005 I ended up volunteering 160 hours over 5 months for the American Red cross while in Michigan at Shoma’s, just attempting to give blood… & here i am almost 5 years & 5 attempts later, still unable to give. But i’ll be kind to myself & count this event as ‘giving’ based on my intension & repeated action… yes I will! But wait a minute… I think i know what the universe is trying to tell me… i think i do… hmm…
Day # 10 :: 19 Nov,’09
Self care & a little bit of Retail therapy!
The best gift that we can ever give is when we give to ourselves! I do believe that. May it be some kind words shutting up our own nagging inner critic, taking our own self on a date or any kind gesture that gives our authentic self permission to play is pure goodness. Today I did exactly that. I’m not a girl who colors her hair every month religiously, or feels irresponsible when I can’t remember my last pedicure! A pair of clean jeans & T’s with my well abused flip flops & my leather tote (with whom I practice at least a yearlong monogamy) keep me content everyday. But today I took good care of myself & feel good to the bones … & see that killer pump? This baby is mine! Some good retail therapy once in a l-o-n-g while is a good thing – nah, scratch that, it’s a VERY GOOD thing!! )
Day # 11 :: 09 Dec,’09
Back after a break
Soooo… i’ve been out on ‘Taking’ a break from chronicling the giving activities… meanwhile i’ve ‘taken’ so much in the form of love, compassion, fun & adventure; that i’m good to get started again!
My friend Cecilie, whom i’ve never met in person, but can call her a friend since we’ve communicated via e-mails so much. Cecilie has the voice of a Goddess… I mean, seriously. If Divine could speak, & if the Divine was a woman, She would sound like Cecilie. Over the past year she’s been going through a rough divorce with two little children. Since last year i’ve got an inkling to send her the MP3 recordings of Martha Beck’s Finding Your Own North Star with Brooke Castillo, which for me was monumentally helpful. But each file was 35 KB & neither Hotmail nor Gmail would attach such big files. Finally today, after almost 10 days of dilly dallying, i figured a way out to send her the 10 files via YouSendIt! I hope this will help her through the bad ass square 1 time that she’s passing through… & that she’ll be woken up, shaken up, stirred up with Brooke Castillo’s narration, sitting cozy in her living room somewhere in Norway!
Day # 12 :: 13 Dec,’09
My recent find that i’ve really been hyped about is PhilosophersNotes.com. This dood, Brian Johnson, is truly inspirational at what he does, his latest of reinventing himself has been staying in Bali for an entire year, while he decided to give himself a PHD in optimal living. During this year, he read 100 of the evergreen books on positive psychology, philosophy, mysticism, religious studies, creativity, abundance creation, business and so forth; made a simplified 6 page PDF version of each book explaining 10 of the book’s main ideas, and recorded a 20 min quick discussion on the book in MP3 form. He made 100 such pdfs & mp3s of the great reads available for only $47 & his philosophy is to give away one free subscription to people eager for these PhilosophersNotes but in financial distress for one paid subscription. Now, that’s someone who’s aligned with his purpose & serving the world through his unique way!
So, i bought one for myself & felt free to pass on the free gift to Shoma! I don’t think Brian would mind…
Day # 13 :: 13 Oct,’10
Got some Reese buttercups to be shipped to the Siddiqi family on Stonetree Cres! Now, my earnest hope is that Mr. Siddiqi didn’t mean Reese Witherspoon instead!
Day # 14 :: 14 Oct,’10
What do you do when you don’t step out the door for the entire day? How do you give? But a commitment is a commitment, at least this is something i don’t have to lose on life to keep! So i gave myself the gift of silence, the gift of a freshly laundered bed, a de-cluttered space and … a brand new vision board!
Day # 15 :: 15 Oct,’10
Sometimes i feel as if one day i’ll wake up & see that i’ve grown roots! I suspect my own sanity, how can a 34 year old comfortably stay without the usual bustle of the world; quiet / connected / disregulated / happy - generally glad to just BE. I fear i’m becoming a tree. Yet another day of indoor monologues – therefore, my only salvation was another clear bag & heading toward the closet once again. *sigh* & giving away yet another bag full of goodies. Damn, amazing how much a tinsy closet can hold!
Day # 16 :: 16 Oct,’10
Made some Doi-Bora for two of my pregnant friends & made long distant home deliveries… lot of work, but the kind that makes the day worth surviving…
Day # 17 :: 17 Oct,’10
Gave to the Pakistan flood relief fund. It’s never too late to rehabilitate.
Day # 19 :: 19 Oct,’2010
Gave my delight-fund for the next 5 months to Sneha
The architect & the webguys who are helping with putting Sneha together need to get paid… sent 5 months worth of money to Sneha. Ariana’s activity got chopped from 7 to 2 [she said hurray!], no more Thai Yoga massages or froo-froo spending for me for the next 5 months. It needs personal sacrifice to bring about the good so here is one…
Day # 20 :: 20 Oct, 2010
Fear fear – go away
Gave away my fear & gave my dreams a chance. Stood up with 3 fine Jazz musicians at Chalker’s & sang Honey Suckle Rose!
Day # 21 :: 21 Oct, 2010
A patient ear
Met a friend after almost a decade & gave her a patient ear for the day. You know, the kind of ‘listening’ beyond the words that holds a sacred space & dissolves the soul shrapnels? That kind. In return, guess who was healed…
Days # 22 & 23 :: 22 & 23 Oct, 2010
KiVA – Gave micro-loans to two entrepreneurs across the world.
Jessica Jackley is an inspiration. Extended a small loans to two entrepreneurs of pride & honor. This will help them with their livelihood.
Days # 24 & 25 :: 24 & 25 Oct, 2010
Women For Women
I admire Zainab Salbi & her heroic journey. I’ve been wanting to do this ever since I saw her on Oprah some 4-5 years back! Finally did it. I feel good.
Day # 26 :: 26 Oct, 2010
15 cents for a print…
As my home internet was down & I was desperate to see a vdo clip sent my way from Bangladesh, I went & waited at the library 30 mins before opening. The kind lady at the desk tried in many ways to help – but no luck. While returning the laptop, there was this gentleman who was paying for the prints he took & was 15 cents short. When he went to the car to get it, I asked the librarian if I could pay for him as ‘an awesome deal’ for my giving spree ;-D By the time I quickly made to my car &was reversing out of the parking spot, the gentleman came out & waved & I waved back… two perfect strangers went about their own lives with a beautiful energy created with kindness…
Day # 27 :: 27 Oct, 2010
All my time to Sneha
These days, all I do is eat, bathe, walk, talk, breath & dwell in Sneha. This must count as giving, eh?
Day # 28 :: 28 Oct, 2010
Buying a burger for a stranger
Since cooking is out the door for a while with all the excitement happening with Sneha’s scholarship project, me & Ariana are surviving on [mostly healthy] eat outs… so tonight we decided to go all unhealthy & all indulge-y! We were crossing Burger King after shopping for her Halloween costume & decided to go to the drive-thru for some ‘deal of the day’ thingymajig. And I kid you not, it was Ariana who reminded me – ‘Mommy! Why don’t you pay for the car behind us? Remember, giving???’ [we discussed this option a few times at home before] I jumped in double the excitement & did just that. $3.84 for a burger, paid & zoomed out. But this young black kid zoomed right after & caught me at the lights! He rolled down the window, startled & friendly faced, and said – ‘why did you do that? You don’t even know me!’ I beamed & said – ‘just like that, pay it forward!’. The drive back home was so satisfying, more than the connection made, for my child witnessed & hopefully picked up the message by heart.
Day # 29 :: 29 Oct, 2010
Letting go of scarcity & embracing an abundant-mindset
Looks like I just lost $500 for reasons beyond my control to this business building retreat that I really truly wanted to attend. Part of me wants to curl up & call it doom’s day since losing $500 can never be an easy experience at any point of life, specially now. But there’s this other part in me that whispers to have faith & let go… guess which part I’m gonna team up with! It’s time to do as I preach, letting go of scarcity mindset & embracing abundance. I really think my meditation practice is paying off BIG time, cos’ I find letting go not so hard after all…
Day # 30 :: 30 Oct, 2010
Shelter to 4 dogs
This friend of mine put up a note on facebook for finding homes for 4 dogs that she’s been sheltering for years. These dogs were abused in the past by the members of us ‘humankind’, that she invested resources & years of her life to heal. I’ve never had dogs in my life, only some fishes & birds & chickens [my mom used to have a huge chicken farm in our home on a 1 acre land smack-dab at the heart of Dhaka city]. But I fell in love with these 4 lovely animals the moment I saw their pictures. Looks like I gave her a solution today, may not be the best, but good enough as a last resort.
My month of giving has finally come to an end – after interruptions & many challenges. But can we really ever stop giving? I don’t think so. Because, when we cease to give, we cease to live. This journey was more of a conscious effort to bring things to my own attention. When we give with sincerity, with all the genuineness of our heart – the result is nothing less than astounding miracles! I stand here as a witness.
As of today 61 scholarships has been sponsored through Sneha for 61 less fortunate children in Bangladesh by people who know me well, know me little, not know me at all! They gave in complete trust for their hearts resonated with the cause & their souls whispered to have faith. In the words of my beloved, it’s MEGA MAGIC!
I stand humbled. I know, this is just the beginning of something great that’s beyond my imagination!