- The fragrance always remains in the hand that gives the rose. —Heda Bejar
I’m fortunate enough to be a part of a delightful collective of women artists whom I met in a class called “Flying Lessons” taught by Kelly Rae Roberts, an amazing and colorful visual artist, entrepreneur, and spirit. Today, a bunch of us are participating in a blog hop on the topic of "The spirit of giving." Down below you'll find links to everyone who is participating. Hope you'll bop around and meet all of these amazing women artists.
The Spirit of Giving…
The first thing that popped into my mind when I thought about the spirit of giving were the words, "small gifts; big impact." Last January, I chose the word "gift" as my One Word for the year. And as you can imagine, I've been living into that word all year long. And recently, I've been looking a lot at the big significance of each small gift we offer.
The other day I was going to visit a friend and decided to buy her a bunch of sunflowers because she'd been going through a difficult time, dealing with some loss in her life. As I was walking home with my coloful floral purchase, I decided to stop at the bank.
While waiting in line, this older woman, maybe 65, came over to me and said, "Oooh, those sunflowers are so beautiful. Are they real?" I smiled, "yep." She said, "I am like a butterfly when it comes to sunflowers. Could I touch them?" I smiled even more broadly, loving her description of herself as a butterfly. "You betcha," I said.
As she was gently caressing one of the flowers, I tugged another one loose from the rubberband holding them all together and pulled it free. As she straightened up to leave and find her place in line again, I said, "Here. I think this one wants to go home with you" and I gave her one of the flowers. (I knew my friend, whom they were a gift for, wouldn't mind a bit that I was giving one of her flowers away!)
The older woman looked at me in disbelief, as if I had just handed her $100 bill and told her to take it home. She said, "Really? You mean it? For me?" Her utter joy was contagious. I laughed, "Yes! Enjoy!" She held her hand to her heart and said, "Oh, this has made my whole day. Thank you so much.Thank you."
One sunflower. That's it. And as you are already probably guessing, not only did it make that woman's day. But it certainly made my day. And when I shared the story with my friend later, I'm pretty sure that it made her day, too.
Here's the thing. Money is kinda tight for me right now. I hesitated when the idea dropped in to buy the flowers in the first place. But I just decided to follow the nudge to buy 'em. Then, when I went to the shop, they were more expensive than I'd expected. I hesitated again. But I bought them anyway, enjoying their bright flower faces myself and just knowing that they would cheer up my friend.
That amount of money I paid for those flowers was absolutely nothing compared to the amount of joy it brought. And of course as these things often go, I thought I was buying them for my friend. But along the way, that small gift had a huge impact on a stranger's life. And my own.
Here I am, a week later, and still talking about those sunflowers and the butterfly of a woman in the bank. It's a gift I may never forget. No doubt, life's intuition was spot on.
Note to self: every day follow life's nudges to give gifts. Handwritten notes, a kind word, a single flower — these small offerings can have a profound effect on someone. And the real secret is, each gift we give is a joyful offering to ourselves.
August is the Anniversary month for the group of us who all took Flying Lessons together. In the spirit of celebration, we decided we'd like to give back to the world by Giving Flight. Kelly Rae is offering her "Flying Lessons" class again this year and we decided to take up a collection so that we could offer a scholarship for someone to take the class for free. Well, that one scholarship quickly turned into EIGHT scholarships. And Kelly Rae has generously agreed to match our donations. Sixteen lucky folks will win a spot in Kelly Rae's next class!To enter the giveaway, visit the official Flytribe page.
In addition, I want to do a little giving myself by offering 3 free copies of my ebook, Present Perfect: 127 Creative, No-to-low Cost, Wow-'em Gifts They'll Never Forget. I will do a random drawing of everyone who leaves comments on this blog post by 12n on Saturday August 25 . Three folks will win a free book. The ebook is chock full of great gift ideas that may cost little, but have a big impact!
You can meet the generous "Flytribe" women in a really fun way by hopping around to their blogs. See list below!
Janet Forrest http://www.tatterednworn.wordpress.com
Cat Athena Louise http://www.catathenalouise.com
Stacey Bockness Curry http://starhitchedwagon.blogspot.com/
Kris Lanae Binsfeld http://cherishdesigns.wordpress.com/2012/08/19/giving-flight-giving-back/
Mary Sterk http://www.justmarydesigns.com
Michelle Reynolds http://www.shellsinthebush.com
Constance Rawlins http://livingwithinyourharvest.com/2012/08/19/fly-tribe-anniversary/
Kelly Hoernig http://www.kellyhoernig.blogspot.com
Cindy Jones Lantier http://www.lantier.org/2012/08/the-gift-of-giving/
Kathleen Conard http://newfromoldcreations.blogspot.com/2012/08/giving-back.html
Claudia Dow http://www.claudiadow.blogspot.com
Cheryl Dossey http://www.cheryldossey.com/
Sofia Dabalsa http://sofiadabalsa.blogspot.com
Ursula Smith http://EasyScraps.com/blog
Deborah Eaton http://www.deborahgeaton.com/blog/
Creative Clearinghouse http://creativeclearinghouse.com/Online-Class-Reviews/blog/Ursula-Creative-Clearinghouse
Lenore Angela http://lenoreangela.blogspot.ca/2012/08/giving-back.html
Katharina Star http://www.blog.katharinastar.com
Rachél Payne http://wp.me/pWRyw-10P
Deborah Velasquez http://deborahvelasquez.blogspot.com/
Shannon Etnyre http://www.livingwithumami.com
Live Laugh Love Retreats http://livelaughloveretreats.com
Kelley Miller Artworks http://kelleymillerartworks.blogspot.com/
Wini Dougall http://artloveandjoy.blogspot.com
Diane Enright http://dianeenrightphotography.wordpress.com/
Mary Cottingham http://www.barnbugstudio.blogspot.com
Susan Dietz http://flutterbeforeyou.blogspot.com
Kim Hyer http://www.apaperaddict.com
Tina Carlborg http://www.tinachicky.blogspot.com
Catherine Pistone http://catherinepistone.blogspot.com/
Mary MacIlvain http://maryart.macilvain.com/
Carolyn Chenault http://carolynchenault.wordpress.com/2012/08/20/the-big-giveaway