Today it’s time to talk about contribution.
Right now, you may already be contributing to life/society/community in a different way than before, or you may be wondering how you can contribute now that you’re starting to come to terms with this new reality we’re all living in and perhaps have more time on your hands.
I think we all know that this is how it’s going to be for a fair while, so let’s make the most of this opportunity to actually open our heart 😉
Right now, conscious contribution is one of our main priorities because:
- The world needs us
- People need us
- Our children need us
- It creates a focus point (See Day 1 post for more on the importance of focus)
- It enables us to feel that we are doing our part – i.e. make a difference and drop any guilt
- Lack of guilt then frees us up to focus on other things that we want and need to do for ourselves
Everyone must find their own way and balance with this, of course.
It’s not for me or anyone else to say what you should or shouldn’t be doing at this time – except the government, of course, who are likely telling you to stay at home for at least 23 hours per day.
Doing your part in this regard to prevent further spread of covid-19 is hopefully a given, but you may be feeling the call to do more than this in order to assist your fellow wo/man. You may also have spare time on your hands and giving back or helping others will enable you to feel that you’re making the very most of this time. Truly, nothing feels as good as giving – FACT. And this is our chance to feel even more of that.
Personally I think this is one of the most positive side-effects to come out of this whole situation so far. I have never seen people and companies being so community-focused, kind, thoughtful and charitable than I have these past few days. I think it is truly wonderful. We are remembering our human-ness, our fragility and our hearts. If nothing else comes out of this crisis than that, we will already have made a major shift as a species… assuming that it lasts!
Let’s each do our part to make sure that it does.
Below are some ideas to get you started. These ideas really are just for starters. I have seen some truly inspired ideas on social media AND I would love you to share ideas you have come up with or seen in the comments section below.
I will come back and revise this post periodically to integrate new ideas that I think should be added to the main list. So please don’t hold back!
- Volunteer to help a neighbour(s) to go get their shopping, prescription or anything else that they need
- Start something useful in your community – e.g. collection of resources, food, volunteers, books, magazines
- Pick up the phone or video chat and call friends, family, neighbours, those who are ill, alone or vulnerable – whoever you feel called to connect with
- Send gifts via mail order – a bunch of flowers, a food parcel, a special self-care package – who isn’t going to love receiving one of these?
- Text friends and family or use social media to ask if anyone needs help
- Emphasise that asking for help or accepting it is not a sign of weakness! You want to help, and them allowing you to help will enhance your world as well as theirs.
- If you know of any small business who have had to lay off staff and yet still need help to keep their business going, reach out to them and offer to help in whatever way you can – this might be admin, phone calls, food delivery, book keeping, virtual assistance, anything. The small business owners are going to have lots of stress at the moment because as well as trying to keep their business afloat they will have personal and family commitments added on top and won’t necessarily know how to juggle it all.
- Pooling resources to look after children so people can work from home with less interruption – or just to get a break! Take it in turns between friends and neighbours etc. Obviously use discernment and common sense here.
- Support homeless people by giving more food and old clothing to food banks and the Salvation Army.
- Help elderly people at the supermarket with their shopping before doing your own.
- Organise small group fitness, yoga, running etc. outside in the park following social distancing guidelines but helping people stay motivated to get out and exercise.
- If you’re home making food for your family and you have more than you need, make a little extra for an elderly or sick neighbour.
- Create a “Swap Supplies” Facebook Group for your local community so that people can trade food and other resources in an easy and effective way.
- If you’re a teacher of anything, skill-swap or volunteer to Skype/Zoom/FB Live, children who need entertaining/home schooling right now. Of course, this can equally apply to adults too!
- Consider what your own personal gifts and strengths are, and play to them. For example, for me personally, writing these blogs, creating step-by-step guides and resource lists is playing to some of my strengths. I love to organise information and make it easy to read and apply.
- Bake cookies for someone in isolation or a non-profit (better still, make a large fruit salad or freshly squeezed orange juice!!)
- Make encouragement cards for someone in need or in isolation (nursing home, those stuck at home, etc).
- Make thank you cards for health care workers, fire department, police, grocery store workers, etc.
- Take your band instrument to an elderly person’s home and play for them on their front porch or lawn.
- Tutor a classmate or friend online.
- Write a snail mail letter to a relative, family friend that lives far away or someone in need of encouragement.
- Post words of encouragement via social media on a regular basis so people have something to look forward to!
- Pick up trash in a specific area. Take photos while collecting trash. You could also invite a friend to virtually collect with you in a separate area.
- Volunteer for LibriVox: Read and record books in all languages for free on the internet.
- Check out dosomething.org for more great ideas on service you can do from home!
- Organise a community gathering online. Share good news, lead a game, invite others to laugh together.
- Set up a CARE time with friends or family online. Select readings, give a short meditation and invite others to share their thoughts on the readings.
A special thank you to Lynne, Sheri and Ian for your contribution to this list.
And here’s yet another great idea – this is one of my personal favourites from a local children’s nanny:
“If everyone made their own rainbow for the window it could bring a bit of brightness back to the world right now. Also if all we are able to do is go for a walk soon, it would be lovely to see all the different rainbows in the windows for the children to spot.”
And then she posted this the next day:
“Please everyone keep this going! There are some lovely rainbows so far to brighten us all. The children that I nanny for have been so happy to see everyone putting them up and have said our posters worked. The sense of achievement and the positivity it has given them has been amazing. Let’s keep making the little ones feel happy and not scared at this time!!!”
Since then the rainbow pictures and paintings have been appearing all over the local housing estate close to where I live and even in my apartment building which is a short walk away across a green. I’ve committed to doing one as well – just imagine how cool it would be if every home in the world had a rainbow up at its window.
** Specials thanks to Marie Whittington for permission to use the photo of her rainbow painted windows featuring special guest Phil the Pheasant 🙂
Someone has now also started a “bear hunt” in the same area based on Michael Rosen’s book, “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt”. This is where people are putting teddy bears up in their windows and children are then encouraged to go out on walks with parents to try and spot as many bears as possible. (Random fact: I used to work for Walker Books who publish this book many years ago and I met Michael a time or two when he visited the London office, so this is kind of cool for me to see his book coming to life in my local area all these years later.)
A local P.E. teacher has also set a challenge in the local Facebook Group outlining a running/fitness challenge and has challenged children to go out and do the course, record their time and post it in the thread so he can create a leader board: “Post up your names and times and I’ll put together a leader board for ages under 5, 5-7, 8-10, 11-13 and 13+. Good Luck!”
As you can see just from these three local ideas, people really are having so much fun with this and it’s giving people the opportunity to share their gifts with others in a way that usually goes unseen or under-utilised. It truly is a wonderful thing!
HOW TO APPLY THIS
In Day 1 I talked about the importance of FOCUS.
Contribution can absolutely be an amazing focus for you if you are still struggling to find one and your energy is still all over the place at this point.
In Day 2 I talked about your own INNER GUIDANCE.
Allow yourself to feel into what and where and how you are feeling called to contribute. The best form of contribution will actually come from your heart and not your head and will actually feel pleasantly addictive!
Yesterday, Day 3, I talked about creating a PERSONAL CURRICULUM.
You may choose to create a contribution project/day/weekend or week (or more) as part of your own unique plan.
When you combine all three aspects (Focus, Guidance, Project) you will absolutely make a mark on this world in an awesome way, and this would ultimately be my invitation/challenge to you today.
So let’s hear from you! What are you going to commit to? Please post in the comment section below…
MY OWN CONTRIBUTION
Right now, this blog series is taking up a HUGE chunk of my everyday, but I truly love writing them and collating this information for you and I truly believe it will make a difference, so I will keep going 😉
I also did an interview a couple of days ago for a podcast about how to stay calm and positive as a business owner during this time which you can now find here.
I’ve also restarted my own podcast and while I’m not sure yet how often I’ll be posting, there’s a decent back history of useful raw food information that can assist you in your health journey moving forward!
I’m also giving away free gifts on the daily on these blog posts, most of which is/was paid content but which I really feel called to share.
Behind-the-scenes I’ve been doing a lot around family, friends and clients to keep connection up and spirits high.
I’ve also given a TONNE of stuff to charity these past few weeks and have given business and money-making help to people where I’ve felt so-called.
I’ve also been prepared and ready to drive 90 minutes just to drop off a bag of shopping for a relative if required – even though I won’t even be able to hug them at the door 🙁
And tomorrow I’m helping my mother set up her online shopping account so we can order groceries to be delivered direct to her home as she can’t go out.
Oh and then there’s painting that rainbow!
Next stop at some point is creating a resource or three around diet and immunity. Ultimately what we must also take from this situation is that we need to look after our health better, but unfortunately most people still do not seem to know how. Let’s put a stop to all of that! Best starting point? Vitamin C people!!
My goal is also to get my new website finished and UP asap so that all of the raw food goodness I have to share with people can finally be accessed all in one place… and more 😉
I share this list with you to show that we can have a very diverse portfolio of helping others at this time and it will be personal to each and every one of us. Like I said, go with your heart, and also, don’t forget to prioritise your own health and well-being also, because that is also part of your contribution. We can’t help anyone if we get sick or depressed or overwhelmed – plus we also potentially then become part of the problem rather than the solution, which is not what any of us want. Personally, I’m spending extra time on self-care to make sure that my cup continues to stay full to give from.
With every post I share a free gift that I feel is pertinent to whatever I’ve been writing about.
This is great news for you as each gift is juicy, highly usable and valuable, and also it genuinely makes me feel good to gift it. So it’s all a win-win 🙂
There is no opt-in required, just click on the link below and enjoy.
Today’s gift is a guided meditation (mp3 file): How to Birth A Great Idea
This is a great tool to use when you know that you want to come up with a way of contributing that is different and unique, and perhaps a way that no-one else has thought of so far… but you just don’t know how to access it. Well, look no further! At the end of following along for these 10 minutes, who knows? You may just have come up with the best idea yet for how to be of service at this pivotal time in history. It’s entirely possible, and what have you go to lose?
Click to open the audio file or right-click to save.
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Coming tomorrow: Your new daily routine – what to include in it and why
I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!
I’d love to know…
- What ways are you already contributing or plan to contribute?
- What’s the coolest ideas for contribution and helping you’ve come across so far and where have you seen these?
Please go ahead and share unreservedly in the comment section below.
Please remember: This isn’t about me… this is about inspiring each other 🙂 Share your ideas with others and everyone benefits. Plus it feels good! And I really DO want to hear from you…
And if you feel this has brought value to your life and you want to share this post, YES! Please do. Thank you in advance. I want this series to reach as many people as possible because it’s as divinely inspired as can be and it fuels me to keep going. Merci!
Final message for today: Stay safe, love hard and receive fully whatever gifts are already in your life and those that are newly uncovered because of this powerful time.
If you want to go back to the beginning of this series…