It is December, and for many of us it is the season of good will to all men and the time of giving. I have always found it a little odd that we have reduced it to a season, truthfully to just a few days of the year. To me giving is as vital as breathing. It is the out breath of the heart and we can no more afford to stop that exhalation than we can afford to stop our usual out breath; to do so is suicidal to our spirit and maybe to our entire life support system.
When I was younger giving meant presents, money and stuff. I always delighted in that form of giving, but it also formed a belief in what it meant to be a “good” girl. I grew up with an unspoken understanding that stuff was a replacement for giving time and attention. Consequently as an adult I found it all too easy to continue that pattern of giving money and material gifts; it went hand in hand with the lifestyle of high achiever career girl … sorry, no time to visit… too busy at work, here’s an expensive present instead. It was also the perfect way to avoid all fears of being enough without the “stuff”.
As my career developed and I earned more I started to give to charities anonymously, not because of humility, but because I couldn’t cope with the emotional overwhelm and the reality of how much of a difference I could make to someone else’s life by giving so little of mine. I suspect that if I had had the courage to give my contribution, or gift, in person, and had to confront the reality face on, then I would have fallen to pieces. At some level I knew that I would have been incapable of reconciling the inequity, and that most likely if I had to face those in need directly I would have had to change my whole life there and then in an instant. At that time I had no idea that I had it in me to turn my back on the brainwashing of my society.
In general I think there has have been too much emphasis on working to give our loved ones stuff to prove our love. Then it’s all over and you realise that ‘stuff’ robbed you blind of the many moments that you could actually have given the priceless gift … you, your attention, your spirit. There’s a pervasive unspoken affirmation going on that says stuff is more valuable than our own being. It reinforces a consistent undervaluing of ourselves and has become a cornerstone of a growing collective poverty consciousness; it’s the lie that keeps reinforcing the belief that we are not enough just as we are. I feel that if you made it here, to this life, then you are by definition enough. You are part of the universe, already validated and the world could only be less by your absence.
“That which comes unexpectedly is a gift from God”
The experiences of giving that have changed me most came from the occasions and places I would have least expected. An example that profoundly altered by understanding of giving came through the unlikely challenge of having to ask for help. When I founded the Delight Makers we were operating out of a spare bedroom, just two of us full time. At the end of the first year we were ready to reach out for participants and Ambassadors for our first project, A Thousand Grandparents & Bed Time Stories. I was nervous we wouldn’t be taken seriously as we were new, small and our vision was big. When I reached out to ask people to be part of vision and become storytellers something extraordinary happened that I had not anticipated.
Each storyteller responded as though my request to them was a gift to them. Each felt honoured to be asked, some were surprised to have been asked, but it was their softness and delight that blew me away. I was inviting people of the highest integrity, people who walked a path of heart with such purity, many of who were well known figures with huge followings. It hadn’t occurred to me for one moment that they this invitation was a beautiful gift of appreciation and recognition of the treasure that they are to the world. The beauty and generosity of response, from people I hold in such high esteem, had me in tears; we had an amazing 95% YES response. This took us from a tiny team to the “virtual” and real Dream Team for our vision.
By asking to receive I was giving others an opportunity to be recognised, appreciated, share their value and shine. It was the circular breath of love, of giving, and a nourishing gift to all of the beautiful people involved. Everyone was receiving and giving at the same time whilst creating a gift of beauty for the world.
A New Understanding of Giving
Learning to receive has also profoundly changed my understanding of giving. Somewhere along the line I had absorbed the idea that receiving was not good, that it was selfish to receive unless you had earned it or were really in need. I had it that somehow receiving was supposed to end with childhood. It took me a long time to see through the nonsense of it and to realise that refusing to receive was invalidating the gifts of others.
The gifts of greatest value have been those given innocently when a person’s heart and true nature has simply been responding to the moment. By that I mean no calculated exchange, no price or agenda allocated to the gift. It happens most often when the person giving has had no idea how priceless the gift is, and that is often because they have no idea how priceless they are just by being their natural authentic self. A child that tenderly kisses the cheek of a suffering person is not a calculated act but an unedited response of the heart. A friend who really listens often accesses the perfect ‘in the moment’ wisdom to share with their troubled companion. The artist who surrenders so purely to their spirit to bring us their art can transport us with them into a connection with our own magic and greatness. Those moments happen every day, sometimes directly to us and often, if we pay attention, we receive just by witnessing of others giving and receiving. Now I see that the world is giving to us in every single moment; each moment beckons me to expand my sense of abundance, with every breath I take.
As I give I receive; I receive the affirmation of myself as source with the power to make a difference, to love and to add to the beauty of the world. As I receive I give that to another person, animal, plant, to life itself.
We simply cannot afford to stop giving. Giving is the out-breath of love and receiving the in-breath of love; and breath at its core has no start and no end; it circulates as one and the same. In just one moment of genuine giving we have the potential to collapse the illusion of separation between ourselves and others.
If I refuse to receive I invalidate us both and starve us both of recognition as the infinite beauty of life. If I refuse to give, holding on, in fear and concern with self preservation I invalidate and starve us both of the confirmation that we are source. What will become of humanity if this stops? Our hearts are already struggling, look at the medical statistics; our bodies replete, our hearts dis-eased and calling out to us to heal and address the balance of what we give and take in life.
I have identical twin sisters. When in the womb they shared one source of nourishment, one placenta. In their case Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome occurred. This is where the babies are not taking in nourishment equally. Their output to their environment goes out of balance too, with the result that the lives of both at risk; one through excess and one through a sort of starvation. We were lucky that the situation was identified early and the then pioneering treatment was given to bring them back into balance. In a sense it is perfect example of the importance of equal giving and receiving for those dependent upon one life source; as all life is on this beautiful Earth!
Maybe in the future we can evolve our giving. I exhale the gift of me to you. You inhale it. You exhale your appreciation of my gift. I inhale the gift of your response and receive the realisation of the love that I am, and vice versa.
I was inspired to start this charity simply through having lived with the pain of today’s definition of wealth, and from being raised in a system that tried hard to get the majority of people to view everything and every being as a commodity or resource. The values of the “western world” consumer culture pretty much turn my stomach. I grew up under the Margaret Thatcher era. There was never any mention of building the future for love, beauty, caring, happiness or peace … it was all war, profit and clamouring to be the top dog in an ugly, soulless and arrogant hierarchy where money was the only thing that mattered. I am so thankful for the rebellious Sir Bob Geldof, a courageous and fierce voice of the heart amongst the insanity of the times.
One of The Delight Makers core messages comes from an ancient wisdom “that prosperity be measured by the level of laughter in the world’s children”. We want to do something to evolve our definition of wealth, to return it to love and laughter. I sense this will transform the pain and suffering that our obsession with “price, cost and material value” is causing to every element of life on our planet, from children, education, communities, the elderly, animal welfare and nature herself. I would love to see humanity’s heart put back in the driving seat of our destiny and for us to realise our power to do this now.
The decision lies with each one of us, to make misery or delight, both take the same amount effort.
Willy Wonker’s Everlasting Gobstoppers
The Delight Makers are creating projects that will provide a means for universal participation and sharing of wealth beyond just the material; projects where each person can share wisdom, creativity, inspiration and skills. Giving to The Delight Makers is the decision to support projects that will nourish the soul with life long treasures of wisdom, inspiration and empowerment.
Every dollar and pound is being invested in putting the heart back in the driving seat of life, recognising wealth beyond the material and providing platforms for the treasure of every being to be valued. Your donation will extend far beyond making a difference for a child for short period of time, with each investment reaching millions of children for years and years. That feels good.
In a way it is magical, like Willy Wonker’s Everlasting Gobstoppers as your money will keep feeding the souls of millions of people for generations to come.
Delight Maker Challenge : Win a copy of Embrace, by Deva Premal
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About The Delight Makers
Our mission is to end poverty consciousness and help every person experience and know themselves as source… i.e. more than enough, priceless in fact. We do this by investing in projects that will spread this experience to increase individual and planetary happiness and well being.
Our projects are beautiful, inspiring, joyful and celebratory allowing each individual to contribute the gift of their unique essence and wisdom to the beauty of the whole.
Our measurement for success is to see wealth redefined to one determined by the level of happiness and laughter in the world’s children.
If you would like to find out more about being part of our amazing community, Champions of Delight, please Click on the Button below. Your support will enable us to bring the gift of love and wisdom, through beautiful bed time stories, to children around the world, of all ages.