shine day 22: spark your commitment to something bigger than yourself

You want to know why I care about people feeling good in their skin?

Because I believe that every single one of us was placed here on purpose.  We are, each one of us, the ones that this world needs right now.  But we can only do the most powerful work that we are meant to do if we are confident about what we have to offer, if we are tuned into what we can do rather than naysaying ourselves into believing what we cannot do.  We each have a purpose that is uniquely ours and not one of us can serve that purpose is we are staring in the mirror lamenting, if we are defeated before we ever begin, if we are doubtful of our abilities.

Part of the urgency I feel to help people heal their body image and self-esteem woes is rooted in my urgency for this world to be healed, for there to be less suffering. Because I believe that each one of us is part of that solution, I am eager to help people realize their inner peace so that they can go fight for the needs of this world.

But, right now, you might be saying, “But I don’t even know what my purpose would be if I hadn’t made my project my weight (or insert your woe there).”  And that is perfectly okay, normal even.  It is hard for us to see what our purpose might be outside of ourselves because we are too often told to make our bodies our projects.  Today, I don’t want you to stress about what role you might play in addressing this world’s needs (and there are so, so many ways to do this and not all of them fall into our traditional ideas of solutions).  Today, we are doing one small thing towards being a part of the solution needed in this world.

Today:  I want you to commit, in some way, to a cause you feel is important.  You can commit by making a financial donation, a donation of your time, or a donation of goods.  Maybe you go on and make a $25 loan to an entrepreneur somewhere else in the world.  Maybe you check out DonorsChoose and help a teacher outfit her classroom.  Maybe you want to support a cause in a different way– check out The Greater Good network and make a commitment to “click” your support daily or even share the website with your loved ones.  Maybe there is a family in your community who could use a meal, a neighbor whom could use  a visitor, a non-profit or church who could use some supplies you have laying around (check your pantry and donate some items to the local food pantry!).  Do something that makes sense for you and that is accomplishable today.

1.  What connection did you make to a community member or cause?

2.  How did you make your decision about what to do?

3.  How did it make you feel?

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14 responses to “shine day 22: spark your commitment to something bigger than yourself”

  1. LadyEm

    1. What connection did you make to a community member or cause?

    There is a charity called ‘Mind’ which deals with mental health issues. As well as making a donation to the shop, I also spent some time chatting with the volunteers; three wonderful elderly ladies, who were jovial, kind and enthusiastic. We chatted and laughed like true ‘washer women’!

    2. How did you make your decision about what to do?

    Mental health is a cause particularly close to my heart and one which I don’t think is sufficiently well funded or talked about. It was an easy decision to try to do something to help and I hope to continue to do so.

    3. How did it make you feel?

    I’d been having a low day and chatting with the volunteers made my spirits soar. They were just so enthusiastic about my donation and were so welcoming in the way they chatted to me. I was so touched by these ladies that I went to my favourite cake shop and bought three delicious cakes for them. I had them boxed up and a ribbon put on to make them extra special. When I returned to the shop and gave them to the ladies they were so overwhelmed that it had quite an unexpected effect on me. I’d wanted to thank them for just being themselves and to let them know how they’d buoyed me up. To them, however, they were just being themselves.

    I left the shop with a tear in my eye. I was struggling to accept being the focus of such appreciation. My gesture hadn’t been intended to be about me, I was only thinking of them and hadn’t expected anything in return.

    On reflection, I now feel pleased that in the same way that they made me feel special, I also made them feel special, and this was done only via small gestures.

  2. Jamie English

    I am a counselor and before I moved (about a year ago), I volunteered every Tuesday evening at a counseling center….I did this for 4 years and LOVED it. I was even doing the same thing during the day but the energy I received from volunteering was truly amazing!!! I need to find something like that in my new community!

    Anyway, I appreciate these websites. Another pretty good one is I think will become a regular for me!!

  3. Susannah

    1.  What connection did you make to a community member or cause?

    I volunteered to teach a meditation and relaxation classc at my school. I wanted to do it, I think the kids could really do with a course like that, but there’s no money, and they don’t feel they could ask me to do it for nothing. But I told them I think it’s important enough to do it, and if it’s a succes then maybe they can pay me to do it next year.

    2.  How did you make your decision about what to do?

    I don’t have any money to give to charity at the moment, so I thought I’d give some time to something important. And this is it.

    3.  How did it make you feel?

    Great – I get to do something I like and think is important, and I like knowing I’m not doing it because I’m paid for it. I’m doing it because it’s important and I think it should be done. I’m hoping it will be incredibly rewarding, not as a career thing, but because it’s good for the kids.

  4. Valerie

    This is something I taught my kids from the day they were tiny…we help others when we can. If we can’t help them with money, we help them with time. It is just a routine part of my life, and I see them doing the same thing as they have grown up. If someone needs help, they are there. I love helping others who don’t expect it; their faces show the surprise that a stranger would help them and expect nothing in return.

    At this point in my life I am not in a position financially to help many people; I do what I can. There is one thing I do, that while it isn’t big, it has made a difference. I get rewards/coupons in the place I work, and I cannot use them; so when I get these, I watch from the position I work in and when I find a momma shopping for children’s clothes who looks overwhelmed at the prospect of paying for all that, I give her the coupon. Last time the coupon was substantial, and they were so surprised. I remember what it felt like having to clothe children; sometimes there just wasn’t enough to go around.

  5. Jenn

    I regularly donate money and supplies to the local animal shelter. When I had free time, I also gave time weekly to walk dogs etc. Wish i could do more. Would someday like to foster animals in need of a home.

  6. Cecile

    For some years I spent money to Unicef and a small organisation in Kenia called Asante, with the bad feeling I was “only” buying myself a good conscience because I had no time to spend (though I could have simply enjoyed to do what I was able to).

    Now I’m finally in the opposite situation!
    I chose to “act local”, even if totally unspectacular.
    – I spend clothes and toys to the local shelter for exiles.
    – I spend some food or personal care articles when I see somebody begging on the parkplace.
    – I take the time to hear, spend some cents and have a small-talk or pay a compliment to people playing music on the street.
    – In the coming weeks, I will begin to help our neighbourhood’s meeting place “for all generations” to serve once a week with coffee and cake.
    – I am looking for ways to help with my French as mothertongue, because I’d love to use my specifities. Offer support in schools or Kindergarten?
    – I have slowly begun to switch from my “not-sustainable” habits to more sustainable ones: I check which food I can get from local farmers (or my garden), I replace step by step cleaning products or personal care by more natural ones. I try to not support slavery worldwide by avoiding products I know are produced that way (if possible) or at least prolonge the life time of clothes by reparing them, leaning my / my daughter’s clothes, spending them, exchanging them, or sometimes buying 2nd hand. And I speak about it around me – maybe it will inspire somebody else?
    – And last but not least: I am registered as potential organ donator, and I am also registered as potential bone marrow donator, as this may be the only hope of somebody worldwide to heal from leukemia.

    Very little steps, but every step in the right direction is a good one! I feel that my little life has a meaning just as it is, and it can have a positive impact in this world. This feeling is so pushing my self-esteem up! Who cares that I am not perfect?!

  7. Marissa

    1. What connection did you make to a community member or cause?

    I regularly connect to the animal rights community. I post on a blog committed to veganism and animal rights, and today I posted a piece regarding the treatment of animals raised in what we commonly believe are ‘humane’ ways. I also donated to PETA to renew my membership.

    2. How did you make your decision about what to do?

    I had attended a community event where a speaker presented on this topic, and I have many friends who are not involved in the veg community who could benefit from knowing more about the facts on this topic, so I decided to post on my blog about it. I also wanted to share her message with a broader audience. Regarding PETA: I always donate, and feel they do such important work, so it was a no-brainer to renew.

    3. How did it make you feel?

    I felt great about finishing my post, and was renewed when I published it. I hope people read it and feel moved or challenged by it. Regarding PETA, I felt positive about renewing my membership and supporting such a great organization.

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