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Sunday, 11 September 2011

It is more blessed to give than receive

One thing that I have been trying to do is to give a gift each day.  This has been part of my strategy to break out of the grief, confusion and stress of being told I have incurable cancer.  I thrashed around for a long time trying to find a point in life, but in the end I came to the conclusion that maybe I needed to try to give something back to show that I could still contribute to society in many ways. 

That said, my gift today was to myself a lovely mini rose plant to keep in my 'office' at home.  I managed to nurse it home without doing too much damage (did lose a couple of leaves on the way) with it hanging on the handle of my trusty shopping trolley.  Having an office at home sounds so grand, but it is full of 'stuff', which is a grand title for junk.

Let's get back to the giving thing...I make cards which I sell at work and then give the money to which ever charity we are collecting for at the time; Children In Need, a school in Rwanda etc.  At the end of the summer term (I work in a college) I had some money in the pot.  I finally got round to spending it as part of the 29Gifts Giving Challenge that I have taken up after reading Cami Walker's 29 Gifts.  http://www.29gifts.org/  I decided to do this as a structured way of giving and also thinking about what I can contribute to other people's lives.  The idea behind this is that it doesn't have to be something big, it could just be a smile, but it has to be something that you are consciously doing; and that by giving out we are also receiving.

I have a new colleague at work who started on Monday.  At work we have a 'milk fund' where a colleague buys milk, tea, coffee, biscuits etc in return for £1 a week from every one who uses this facility.  Mandy will be joining so one of my gifts was to pay for her first week.  Also she was mentioning how she liked to brew tea in a pot and I gave her a one-person teapot and cup set that I was going to give to a charity shop as I don't use it.  I like the idea of it going to someone who will care for it properly, and Mandy was delighted.  I gave something, received something and also managed to do something in tune with September's theme of 'Mothering our Mother Earth' by recycling and reusing.

I have found that my concentrating on the small and simple things in life that I have been able to regain control, of myself and my life.  Learning, through Mindfullness, to return to the sensation of the breath going in and out of my body, and the reassurance that right this moment I am safe and ok, has been a big leap forward for me.  It can stop panic and anxiety in almost an instance.  So, with giving in a conscious and structured way I am reminding myself of what I can do for others, and the contribution that I can still make.

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