I saved an Instagram post, around Christmas time, that strongly appealed to me. From my IG friend Transformation by Design, the post talked about how healing the act of giving can be, for both the recipient and the giver. These instructions were offered:
“Bring to mind 3 small gifts you are willing to give away. They may be material, symbolic or acts of kindness. Wrap them gently with your breath. Bring them with you into your day. Give them away by day’s end.”
I was enchanted by those words. And today, I accepted the give away challenge.
Choosing 3 Small Gifts
I do some of my best thinking in the shower. As I considered what gifts to carry into my day this morning, the three gifts that came to mind were these: Gratitude, Kindness and Joy.
My desire was to offer these gifts to three people, during the course of my day. The number 3 is considered the number of perfection or completion. Think of “beginning, middle, end” or “heaven, earth, water” or “body, soul, spirit”. There is a sense of completion in those terms. Three seemed like the perfect number of small gifts to give away.
While in the shower, this is what I did. I talked to the Divine, first asking what gifts to give. Having that question answered…gratitude, kindness and joy…I simply asked for guidance in giving to the people that I was supposed to. Breathing deeply and releasing my breath, which is symbolic is life and spirit, I “wrapped” each gift.
Cupping my hands, I held them beneath the spray of water in the shower. There is power associated with moving water, whether it flows from a shower head or roars in a mighty waterfall. I imagined that force, that energy, moving through the gifts cupped in my hands, and asked that what I offered would be blessed. For me moving water also symbolizes being in the flow, of life and of Divine guidance. This is how I choose to live. I trusted the flow would take me precisely where I needed to go.
And then I released it all…and got ready for the day, confident I’d know what to offer, to whom.
Gift 1: Gratitude
I had an event to attend at noon. My granddaughter Aubrey is in fourth grade. At her school they host a “Lunch with a Loved One” event and she invited me to attend.
I frequently eat lunch with my grandchildren, at their respective schools. It allows for one-on-one time. Whenever I visit Aubrey’s school, I take along a treat for the principal. This man is wonderful with the kids, engaging with each grade throughout lunchtime every day. He encourages discussion, plays interactive games with the kids and leads them in sing-a-longs. I appreciate Dr. Barlow and I show that by taking him a chocolate chip cookie when I visit.
Because Aubrey is my third grandchild to attend this school, I’ve taken Dr. Barlow quite a few cookies. He recently laughed, patted his tummy, and said his doctor was going to take issue with my gifts. Actually, having eliminated sugar from my diet, I’ve considered whether cookies were a good offering.
As I prepared to leave the house, an idea nudged my consciousness. Instead of cookies, what if I gave Dr. Barlow Cara Cara oranges? These sweet oranges are my favorite. The more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea. Not only would I be presenting this gracious man with a gift of gratitude, I’d be offering a gift of health as well.
As always, the principal was in the cafeteria with the kids and their family members, wearing a headset and directing the event. I loved the look on his face when I handed him three Cara Cara oranges and thanked him for all he does, for my granddaughter as a student in his school, and for all the children. We had a short but meaningful chat.
I am grateful for Dr. Barlow.
Gift 2: Kindness
While waiting for Aubrey to arrive in the cafeteria, I spied Mrs. Mayfield, a counselor at the school. She caught my attention because my granddaughter speaks so highly of her.
Aubrey’s observation of this woman is that Mrs. Mayfield possesses a great deal of kindness, a quality that is very important to my 10 year old granddaughter. I have wanted to speak to the counselor and today I was given that opportunity.
What do you give a kind person? Kindness in return. When I shared Aubrey’s words with Mrs. Mayfield, she was deeply touched. She said she appreciated knowing that she is considered kind. This was another brief conversation but it too was meaningful. I got to offer kindness and appreciation to this sweet woman and encourage her. Mostly I wanted her to know that her actions and words are seen and that what she offers makes a difference in the lives of children.
I am grateful for Mrs. Mayfield and her acts of kindness.
Gift 3: Joy
I didn’t know, when I left the house, that I’d offer all three gifts at the same event. My son and daughter-in-law worked today. However, my son, who is a police sergeant, hoped to be able to stop by and join us for lunch. As I entered the drive through at Chick-Fil-A, to pick up Aubrey’s selected lunch, I texted my son to see if I could pick up a meal for him as well. To my delight, he agreed to lunch from Chick-Fil-A, sure that he would be able to attend. I was happy to treat my son and granddaughter.
This was an amazing event. Fourth graders joined 168 family members, breaking a record for number of attendees for the Lunch with a Loved One event. What a cheerful chatter filled the cafeteria as kids, parents and grandparents sat together in groups, sharing lunches from a variety of local restaurants.
It was a joy to attend, and be there for Aubrey, and it was a joy to provide the meals. Aubrey didn’t eat her dessert and passed on the joy, giving the cookie to her teacher. I loved that 30 minute lunch, chatting with Nate and Aubrey and getting to know some of the people sitting around us. It was a festive time.
I am grateful for the Lunch with a Loved One and for the time spent with my son and granddaughter.
Giving Away 3 Small Gifts
What I discovered, giving away three small, simple gifts, was that I received as well.
Giving gratitude, gratitude was expressed back to me.
When I gave kindness, kindness was offered in return.
And joy came back to me multiplied, when I offered joy to others.
On the original Instagram post Transformation by Design wrote,
“We trust the magic of giving to do the healing where it is needed.”
I felt guided today, in offering exactly where I most needed to offer. Giving is a transformative action that has immediate returns, energetically. I benefitted and I look forward to another opportunity to bring into my day, three small gifts to give away.