Day #5, #6 & #7.
#5: Set up monthly donation to Farm Sanctuary (their site). Farm Sanctuary is a farm animal shelter in Watkins Glen, New York. I have been “looking” for an organization to make a regular donation to and on Monday night they called me and asked if I would agree to make a monthly contribution. If I believed in coincidences I would call that a coincidence. Here’s me: “What organization should I give to monthly? ::hem haw hem haw:: Which is THE RIGHT one…?” But my decision was made for me when I got a 310 area code phone call at dinner time, thank you Universe. This is my first experience with monthly giving. Farm Sanctuary holds a dear place in my heart. In 2008, I spent a month interning at their shelter. It was an amazing experience, I spent 4 weeks with cows, chickens and goats; was surrounded by other folks who ate a vegan diet…and I was bit in the behind by a pig (I kid you not and those creatures have sharp teeth and really strong snouts).
#6: The gift of coffee. When I was Googling “giving” suggestions I repeatedly came across the suggestion to buy the person’s order who is in the back of you in a drive thru… Well, Tuesday was the day because I wanted a latte and acquiring that could easily involve a drive-thru. As a general rule I do not go through the drive thru. I prefer walking into cafes/restaurants and staring at the menu as though I haven’t read it a dozen times before; looking at all of the merchandise and taking my time leaving. I went through the Starbucks drive-thru on this day though because it was important to the mission at hand. It would allow for an anonymous and speedy exchange. I intended to pay for the beverage of the person behind me. I ordered my drink and requested it burn my hand as they never steam soy hot enough, okay anyway anyway, I look behind me and see that there are not one but two people in the car…two young people. “CRAP” I thought, $5 Frappucinos here we come…I then shrugged, reminded self not to worry (re-wiring my reactions) and said who cares and laughed at myself a bit, that’s who the Uni sent me I guess! So I gave the Barista $11 and was all prepared to dish out some more to cover the whipped high fructose corn- beverages and she then returned $4 to me. Only one of them had ordered something…I imagine a tall latte (I worked 4 years at a coffee shot). haha, shop. It really barely cost an additional $4 w/tip.
This was a steaming good because: That woman got her coffee (I think it is safe to say that she felt that way too)…I allowed myself to experience my initial, honest, reaction “CRAP” which translate to mean “I will have less money!!” I imagined their drinks would cost $8 or $9 but I got over it almost immediately. Who cares? I didn’t decide to buy someone’s coffee “only if it is under $XX.XX,” that isn’t what this is about. Freely giving can’t have “but but buts.” It is about giving something that a person will enjoy, in an attempt to brighten their day simply to brighten their day, with the hopes that they will pass on the love to someone else. But that isn’t requirement or even requested of them. And they might not even appreciate it – but they were given the chance to. And in exchange I had the opportunity to share. Oh, and face my life-time old fear of not having enough money! There’s that.
THE REALITY IS though that the Universe knows what I am capable of giving out. The Universe knows what we are all capable of giving out. It ensures that if you remain open and move forward with love (instead of kinda sorta move forward, but not really forward at all, with FEAR) you will not be presented with anything you are unable to handle or that will leave us worse off than before. Hence the ~$4.00 drink. Basically the cheapest bill you can get at Starbucks, side from drip coffee or a single espresso shot…(p.s. coffee art is SOY IMPRESSIVE. Look at those petals!)
Day #7: Giving clothing to local homeless shelter. I deposited a small bag of gently used (as they say) clothing at a drop-spot. I have had this bag for weeks waiting to be donated. This challenge gave me the kick in the behind (not like the pig bite) that I needed to get it out of my room and into a drop box. I thought about what a friend of mine said about giving away that which I am resistant to giving. What is it that you reeeeaally do not want to give away? Or, rather, that you want to KEEP FOR YOURSELF. I love long black sleeved shirts. I have 4 of them and am tempted to wear them everyday. So I added a black long sleeved shirt to the bag. PACT suggested I donate my unopened pair of underwear that I know will be too small for me instead of sending it back (also coincidence…? :)) and a really warm, retro wool sweater that was gifted to me. This act was pretty simple and I am glad it is done. As a stage 1 clinger with one bureau and one closet in her living space I could use another 10 or 12 acts this one…
I imagine I am not alone in these feelings, eh? In terms of actual scarcity, where is the line between healthy giving and giving away more than you can handle? How many times can I afford to buy one customer a $3.50 coffee? What does “can I afford” mean? Surely totally different things to totally different people.
How does one differentiate haaaanging on to something because they are over-attached and not wanting to part with it and because they just really like it? Does it even matter if there is a difference?
All things to…give…some thoughts to.
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