Today's mindful Monday mantra is about giving back for no reason other than to just give.
So often we find ourselves jam packing our schedules, making sure we get enough play time, sleep time and food into our children. Our routines, our kids and hopefully ourselves get all this attention and we end up losing a sense of other people, of our community.
While self-care and proactive parenthood are things I definitely participate in, and hold near and dear to my heart, I am coming to find that there has been a lack of giving in our home. Not to each other or our friends and family, but to others, our community. In the beginning of winter we had a large turnover in clothes where we donated about 8 bags and a couple bags of toys to our local Good Will. Since then, there hasn't been much done.
The back story to this revelation: When we arrived in Daytona Zinnia's great grandmother had clothes, sandals and hats all laid out on the bed for her. There was also an abundance of new books and toys for her to explore. A neighbour had lent her some trains, tracks and a ride on truck you maneuver with your feet. The neighbour called over to our house and we notified her that Zinnia had loved exploring the new toys and we were so thankful she had lent them to us. She said that they had been lent to her when her great grandson had been down visiting and that the previous owner said not to give them back, to pass them on to another child who will really enjoy using them, just as Zinnia had been doing. The pay-it-forward model.
This reminded me the power of generosity.
Another friend of mine has done this a few times with her son. Once in a while, she takes her son to a local store, buys a bouquet of flowers, and waits out front. When she see's someone she feels might need them, her and her son (almost two years old) approachs the stranger, tells them that they would like to give them the bouquet of flowers and heads home.
This type of simple and completely selfless act is so priceless and so powerful. The payoff is monumental and the payout can be nothing at all.
It can start with simple acts like donating old clothes, to buying a bouquet of flowers just because.
So, it is my mission, for the next week, to use this mantra to remind myself and my family to give back. You never know the incredible impact you might have on someone else's life.
Now that a new season approaches it is a great time to bring along some gloves and a plastic bag and tidy up our neighbourhood while out on a walk. Once the snow melts lots of garbage is unveiled.
What will you give today? Your time? Your unused yet perfectly conditioned items? Have fun thinking up your next act of random kindness. Participating in this mission with your little one is a great way to spark a truly wonderful conversation.