When I started my own business, I made a decision to be public about our charitable giving. It was a practice I learned from Anita Roddick and the Canadian-based leaders (all women) of The Body Shop. The Body Shop was my first job-job and it baked the concept of a triple bottom line into my happily bleeding heart. The idea of sharing this is to inspire giving through business. I think we’re all gifters at heart. The flow of allowing and aiding is our natural way of being.
I’ve been meeting every month with the same five women for seven years. Goddess Night, we call it. Of course it’s a divine lifeline. And of course, we bring food. When we first started meeting my boy was a newborn and my first company was taking off, and I was five kinds of exhausted. I’d usually show up late to Goddess Night. My contribution to a beautiful potluck spread would be like, a bag of chips. Or half a sack of store bought cookies…
Favours are good. And bad. And divine. And dangerous. Favours are … complicated business.
“Obligation” is a heavy duty word. You can hardly squeeze a quarter cup of vitality from it. By it’s very nature, it restrains, binds, and requires obedience. Energetically, “obligation” blows. Strike “obligation”, insert: “choice”. You’ve got free will. All of it is a choice. Even if you have to decide to rise to each committed occasion, you are choosing to be moral, loving, responsible, integrous. No victimhood, no obedience, no torture. Just free will…
Your mother had the right idea: eat your dinner, there are children starving in the world.
Faith, whether it be in ourselves, God, Goddess, Buddha, Mohammad, or the powers of the Universe, is a potent and beautiful thing.
I realized that most of my love was being poured outward, not homeward.
That uncomfortable silence after a friend has told you his bad news or a rant of how overwhelmed she is. Break ups and broken arms and melt downs. Even for our best friends we don’t always know what to say or do to make it better. We fumble to fill the space with salving words, or sometimes worse, with solutions. When really, all we need to do is ask…
Sometimes, it’s best to compliment someone as a ‘drive-by’ or last minute gesture. I once walked up to a woman in a food court and said, “You look fucking fabulous.” She just about choked on her salad roll.
Salma Hayek breastfeeding an African baby: “When my daughter grows up, I’m going to make sure she continues to be a generous, caring person.” This is a boundary-breaking gesture. Love it.