The Every Body Is Beautiful Project

This Season, Dare to Redefine What the Word "Giving" Means

Ophelia's PlaceComment

Give to receive.
Give to others.
Give to yourself.
Give freely.
Give without constraint.
Give with an open heart.
Receive humbly.
Receive proudly.
Receive knowledge.
Receive help.
Receive love.

This time of year, the concept of giving is on our minds. On Thursday we will celebrate the holiday of Thanksgiving; a time for us to gather with our loved ones and reflect on all we have to be grateful for in our lives. A few short days later, on November 27 is Giving Tuesday, a global day created in response to the spend-heavy theme of Black Friday, that has millions of people ALL OVER THE WORLD giving to a cause that feels worthy them. All on one day!

On this Giving Tuesday, we're supporting our cause Ophelia's Place, and if you believe in the mission like we do, we’d love for you to consider joining in by giving $5 to their education program, which empowers people every day to reach their full potential.

Small gifts do make a BIG impact.

But, we’d also like to get a little unconventional here, and invite you to consider these two alternative methods of giving that require no financial act. You can practice them any time of year, but right now feels especially poignant. Right now feels right.

  1. Give yourself some grace.
    We are so good at “doing” a lot of things. We chase exciting career goals, we care for our families and communities, we nourish ourselves, we nurture romantic relationships and friendships, we volunteer our time, we work hard, and through it all, we try to “hold it all together.” But what if you didn’t have to hold it all together? Can you imagine a reality where it’s okay to, some days, “just get through”? What if it was okay to feel like a hot mess, or heck: just a boring old regular mess?

    Most of us are generous in our allowances for others to struggle, be human, and show up as less-than-perfect. But we don’t often have that same gentle grace with ourselves. Although it might feel awkward or uncomfortable at first, try extending the same understanding and kindness to yourself. This can be as small an act as saying to yourself, “It’s okay. I am okay. This is okay,” when you feel frazzled. You can cancel plans. You can break a commitment that doesn’t feel like it will serve you. You can say no to others and say yes to yourself. One of the most daring acts of self-love we can take is to listen to what our hearts have to say … and then to honor what we hear.

  2. Give your compassion to others.
    It is beautiful to give your time, your talents, and your treasures to those in need. But there’s something else, just as powerful, you can offer to your community — and to the community of our world at large: Your compassion. We need not agree with others, or even understand their lives and choices, to give compassion freely.

    How do we cultivate this gift? By reminding ourselves that we all have the same capacity for suffering, for healing, for resilience, and for love. Every being shares these qualities, no matter where they grew up, what they believe in, or what they don’t. By reconnecting to our own deeply human qualities of pain, growth, and love, we are automatically tapping into the collective consciousness.