A few weeks ago I was reading Body and Soul magazine. One article really struck me and has stayed with me since. It was a profile of Cami Walker, the author of a book called "29 Days: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life."
Improving Your Life through Giving
Three months after her wedding, Ms. Walker was diagnosed with MS. Depressed, sick, and tired, she contacted a friend who told her to quit thinking about herself and focus on others. The book is about how her life has changed with the simple idea of giving something away every day. On her website she says, "The best way to promote abundance in your life is to be in a perpetual state of giving and gratitude."
Don't get me wrong, her problems aren't over (MS or otherwise), but what I'm learning from the book is that giving can make a difference. This is not rocket science, of course. We all know that giving makes us feel better. The book pushes that concept, exploring how giving can actually change the way you experience your life.
Giving Isn't Just About Money
When I think about giving, I almost always think about it in a monetary way. But that's far from the whole story. Giving can be as simple as voicing a compliment, sharing information, or doing a favor. Once I started really thinking about it, I realized there are so many ways to give.
What Do You Have to Give?
Because my business focuses on wardrobe and guiding people toward The Real You, I know that cleaning out your closet is often a giving experience. Frequently during a Closet Rescue, a client of mine will find something that might not work for them but may work for a sister, brother, or friend.
Turn Guilt into a Gift
I notice that people often feel guilty about giving away perfectly good things. The negative feelings are associated with the purchase. Focus on the outcome - giving away that piece that's been sitting in your closet untouched is a great way to make someone else's day, and turn a regretted purchase into a useful gift. Think of someone in your life who could benefit from it, or look to one of the many local charities.
Enjoy the Experience of Giving
As we head out of this year and into the next, I'm reflecting on giving - really enjoying the experience of giving, rather than feeling obliged to give. Doing one small thing a day for someone else will inspire others to give as well, and in the long run will benefit many more than you know.
Happy Holidays, and I'll see you in 2010!
|Goodwill: A Great Place to Give
|Can't find the perfect friend who needs your old clothing? When you clean out your closet, consider giving your clothes to Goodwill. Their mission: to enhance the dignity and quality of life of individuals, families and communities by eliminating barriers to opportunity and helping people in need reach their fullest potential through the power of work. This is a terrific organization to support.
Seattle Goodwill home page >
Find a Goodwill Donation Center near you >
|Dress for Success: Help Women Succeed
|If you are looking to give away business attire you no longer wear, check out Dress for Success. Their mission is to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support, and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. You can't go wrong supporting these driven women.
Dress for Success home page >
Dress for Success Seattle >