You Are A Gift To Others
There is an old Chinese story about a woman who lost her only son and went to the holy man in her village and asked, “What mystic powers do you have that will lift the pain from my heart?”
“There is a wonderful thing you can do,” he said. “I want you to go get me a mustard seed from a home that has no problems. Such a mustard seed can ward off your own problems.”
So she traveled to a beautiful mansion. Nothing could possibly be wrong there, she thought. She knocked on the door and said, “I am looking for a mustard seed from a home where there are no problems. It is very important to me.”
“Oh, they said, “you have come to the wrong house.” They began listing all of their family problems, and the list went on and on.
The woman thought to herself, “Well I certainly know something about problems, for I have my own. Maybe I can be of help to them.” And she was. She listened, comforted them, and they all felt better.
Instead of giving gifts to others this holiday season, maybe this is a good year to give yourself. There are many charities that are hurting, especially during this pandemic and the hardships it has set on so many.
Fortunately, the options are many, even when we’re locked down or limited in opportunities to connect in person.
Financial donations are always appreciated, regardless of the size or scope of the organization. And if you are good at raising money, offer your services. There’s always a huge need for help, and even if you can’t afford to donate cash, giving your time will be greatly appreciated.
You don’t have to look far to find a good place to start. Participating in – or organizing – a food drive serves an immediate local need. I’ve heard about several local companies, whose employees are currently working from home, that have opted to collect food and cash from employees as a holiday project. The employees from one have even decided to continue the practice monthly, due to the enthusiastic response from their co-workers. What a gift to folks who lack the basics.
Clothing drives, toy collections, giving trees: there are so many activities around the holidays that can use all the help they can get. It doesn’t require a big commitment, but sharing with someone you don’t even know is the kind of gift that means so much to the recipient.
The pandemic has kept us apart, but it has also helped us find new ways to be together. A phone call to brighten a friend’s day, an errand for someone who can’t leave their home, a little surprise package left on a doorstep or at a homeless shelter – all these are simple ways to share your gifts with others. Write a letter to a service member, a thank you to emergency workers or a school whose teachers have worked hard to keep in touch with their students.
In other words, it’s an opportunity to focus on someone else’s needs besides your own. Like the woman in the story above, we can all find ways to connect with people who could use a little encouragement or assistance. And as she learned, this is a gift you also give yourself.
Don’t limit these gifts to the holiday season. The need never goes away. As you will discover, there is always someone who needs something you have to offer.
It all boils down to one truth: We’re all in this together. Whatever we do to help a neighbor or stranger can change a life. The rewards are often so much greater than the gift itself.
December 26, 2019
I hope it’s okay to regift!
Sunny Lenarduzzi’s gift-to-you is My Gift To You! There’s a time and place for great content.
The place is here. The time is now.
Too often my at-home-business, if your job is anything like mine, it requires a lot of sitting, computer work, and phone calls.
I’ve got 5 Ways to Get Moving!
And as awesome as the job may be, it makes it challenging to stay active. Being at a desk for too long can lead to feeling tired, stiff, and sluggish by the end of the day. So what are some ways you can get moving, decrease muscle stiffness, and boost your productivity? Here are my top 5:
1. Set a recurring timer for 45 minute increments, and take 10-15 minutes to stretch and walk when it goes off. I prefer to use a web-based timer because I almost always have a browser open, and it generates a pop up directly on my computer. This works well for two reasons. First, the pop up serves as a posture check to keep me from looking and feeling like Gollum at the end of the day. Second, it boosts my productivity by motivating me to set tasks for each set of 45 minutes and by increasing blood ﬂow.
2. Take a 15 minute walk outside over your lunch break. I only get 30 minutes for lunch, so this is about all I can squeeze in! You can do it fast for exercise, or turn it into a mid-day walking meditation when you need more zen. It’s a great way to get some fresh air, de-stress, spark creativity, burn some calories, and log ~2300 more steps each day.
3. Keep a water bottle at your desk. The more we see something, the more we are likely to do it. Keeping a bottle or water jug at my desk helps remind me to stay hydrated AND it keeps me moving. Going to the bathroom regularly isn’t a bad thing; it prevents you from being in one position too long and forces you to get up! Hydration regulates your body, decreases muscle soreness, and can even improve sleep quality. Just try not to drink a lot of water before bed or a long meeting! A good general goal for hydration is to consume about half your weight in ounces of fluid (ideally water) daily. So if you weigh 150lbs, aim for 75 ounces.
4. Keep an exercise ball under your desk and intermittently swap it out for your chair. This provides some core stabilization exercises if you sit on it during the day, and makes for a pretty dang good stretch if you lie down over it. When you lie with your back over the curve of the ball with your arms resting on either side, this stretches both your low back and your neck. Additionally, this opens your body back up after being in a forward or flexed position for much of the day. Flexion, meet extension.
5. Always take the stairs. You didn’t honestly think you’d get through a “ways to be more active” post without it mentioning stairs, did you? It’s truly one of the best ways to stay active throughout the day, especially if you’re in an ofﬁce building. These steps add up quickly, and are great not just for your heart or waistline, but for building strength in your glutes and quadriceps. If you want to really get moving or miss your morning workout, try walking the stairs as part of your break every 45 minutes for an extra daily burn of ~200-300 calories.
Take these tips and make them your own! If 45 minutes is too small of an increment, or 10 minutes is too long, adjust and do what works for you. You know yourself better than anyone else!
Keep The Body Moving, 🙂