Pay it Forward
Another way to increase the gratitude in your life is to “pay it forward”. I remember when that book came out, there it was sitting in a prominent position at the airport bookstore. I already had a book to read on the plane, but something drew me to it like a magnet. I did something (gasp) almost unheard of for me, I bought the hardcover book at full price. That book has inspired me at different times to pay it forward, and give someone else a helping hand. The best thing about the idea of paying it forward is that you aren’t simply repaying a favor to the person who did one for you, you are doing something good for someone else, thus paying it forward rather than paying it back, and keeping the chain of generosity going.
I always feel so good when I can do something that I know is going to make a difference for someone else. I’ve been the recipient of good deeds and know how good it feels to be able to accept what is offered with gratitude in my heart.
I know, I know, you find it hard to accept favors from other people. I heard something once that made a profound difference in how I responded to gifts or favors. If you allow someone to do something nice for you, they have a chance to feel a sense of satisfaction and that you know you are loved. If, however, you refuse the favor, you are depriving that person of the chance to feel good and to give back to you in a loving way. How many times has someone offered to help, and you’ve said “oh no, I can do it myself?” Truth is, you very probably would have loved the help, but think you’re showing weakness by accepting (or whatever your reason is). In truth being able to graciously allow someone to help you shows a certain amount of strength, and it enriches both the giver and receiver.
Here’s a chance to Pay it forward
I have a facebook friend, Kate, who is also a jewelry artist and she struggling to make ends meet. She had been counting on a holiday bazaar over the weekend to make enough sales so that she and her son could have a turkey for Thanksgiving and have a home for Christmas. I’ve done shows like this and there are often so many people doing jewelry that customers get overwhelmed and ended up buying very little simply because it’s too hard to make a choice, or there are vendors who import cheap goods and sell for almost nothing and they get all the sales. Kate, texted me yesterday that she had not yet made any sales. I know how devastating that can be, even when not in dire straits.
I bought a bracelet from her etsy store that an old friend of mine had expressed interest in on facebook, but I knew Linda would never buy it for herself. I got to pay it forward twice by buying the bracelet from Kate and having it shipped to Linda.
That was so much fun, I got even more inspired and sent out an email to a bunch of my friends and customers letting them know that they if they did a little shopping they would be getting a beautiful piece of jewelry, and making a difference in someone’s life. Kate just emailed me that she’d gotten 5 orders on Etsy yesterday and that “my son and I get to have a turkey this year!!!! first time in 3 years!!!!!!! ♥ gratitude”
I also suggested that she do a fund-raiser thru one of the sites that helps you raise money for a cause, product launch or other need. This morning she posted a fund-raiser thru ChipIn.com http://rootiebirdschakrayourkarma.chipin.com/rootiebirds-chakra-your-karma She donates a portion of her proceeds to for support groups for people dealing with depression. This makes it easy to give a little if you’re so inclined, or go online and buy some beautiful jewelry, or post on your FB page, Twitter feed, or email to friends.
Note: Chipin.com’s website was experiencing some issues today, so just keep trying. When you get to their site, check out some of the other causes and see if something appeals to you. Here’s an article about Kickstarter and IndiGoGo two other entries in the “crowd funding” phenomenon. Crowd Funding really is about matching up people with a need with those who truly want to Pay it Forward.
How do you Pay it Forward? Please share your ideas?