Music For The Soul: Give

by Lance Ekum on December 25, 2011

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LeAnn Rimes: Give

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Giving + Receiving

by Tanya Geisler on December 22, 2011 · 6 comments

I adore giving. The idea of giving something, ANYTHING, that will make someone else happy makes my heart soar. That may be an acknowledgment, a gesture, my time, but for the sake of this piece, let's say I adore giving presents.

Confession: I also adore receiving presents.

As démodé as that may sound in this time of, the anticipation of an unopened present fills me with excitement.

Not because I need anything. (Oh, trust me…I do NOT need anything). And not because I'm envisioning something specific. But rather because I will glean some insight into how the giver sees me.

In his 1967 essay The Sociology of Gift Giving, Barry Schwartz writes: "Gifts are one of the ways in which the pictures that others have of us in their minds are transmitted".

Yes, yes, YES.

It's the reason we retweet a piece of writing that resonates. In that moment, we feel like we are being seen. Like the writer stepped into our heart and shared what was there. In their words. And to be seen is a mighty powerful thing.

It's part of what makes GIVING gifts so challenging. We want to make sure we GET. IT. RIGHT. It's a guilt-laden emotional landmine of "good enough"? "Spent enough"?


What if it wasn't about getting it right (or wrong?) What if we really just sunk into the gift of giving? The opportunity to tell someone: "I may be off on this, but I heard this CD and I loved how it made me feel. It's how you make me feel. I hope you love it too".

Dare to see someone and show them what you see.

Like the engagement ring my husband picked out for me 14 years ago. It is not the one I would have chosen for myself back then. It was 1997 and I suspect I was an emerald-cut solitaire kinda gal. (That's what Martha Stewart was showing in her wedding mags, after all.)

What he chose was very different. It represents how he sees me. In his words: funky + elegant. It's what I think every time I look at it and it makes me beam.

I'd say that trumps all, wouldn't you?

So when you open your presents this holiday season, believe that they were selected with the essence of YOU in mind.

That fruitcake with brandy crème fraiche may mean the giver sees you as a classic traditionalist.

Or those socks may speak to how they envision you to value luxury (they ARE cashmere, after all).

Or they may hope that the framed picture captures your love of adventure.

Even the gift card for the movie theatre may mean that they believe you desire more time away from the computer.

Whether you are or aren't a classic traditionalist, a luxury-lover, adventurer, or a movie-goer, know that this is the story the giver has of you. Get curious about knowing more of that story. Hear what they see in you. Find the gratitude there and share the impact of that. It may be an amazing opportunity to share more of YOURSELF with the giver. And isn't that what this is all about?

Being a gracious receiver is the gift that keeps on giving.

by Tanya Geisler

Is it possible to give your health to others?


The world continues to get sicker. This does not mean every individual is getting sick. Millions are thriving. Millions have it figured out. They know how to achieve superb health to the point where they can engage in any activity they want. They wake up full of energy, have a passion for life, digest food as well as possible and never get sick. They are well on their way to feeling like a kid when they become 80 years old. Even 90. They show no signs of slowing down and simply love life.

Is this you? Do you want this to be you?

I'm not there yet but I am well on my way. I'm on a life long journey towards superb health. I'll never reach perfection because it does not exist. But, I'll strive for it while doing my absolute best to limit my stress.

In order to give your amazing, vibrant health to others you must first find it yourself. You must feel the magic and live it day by day. You must move on when you feel like you have fallen through at any given moment. You must never stop educating yourself. You must study yourself. To find out if X food is wrong or right for you, experiment. I say wheat is not meant for any human being. To find out if this is true for you, eliminate it for 30-60 days. Keep track of how you feel. Then re introduce and keep track of how you feel.

Realize that health is a life long journey. Seek to improve but be okay with where you are at any given moment.

When you show improvements in your health your family and friends will naturally begin to ask you questions. If you lose a bunch of weight then they will want to know how you did it if they need to lose weight themselves. Maybe you had acne but now have perfectly clear skin. Those who still have acne will want to have skin just like you.

So give it to them. Tell them how you did it when they ask. Remember that health is a life long journey. Just because it worked for you does not mean it will work for them. This is great! Encourage them to never stop. Tell them that they may need to fail a few times. Failing is good. When you fail, you can learn a lot. If you fail it shows that you at least gave an effort. If you never fail then you are not trying hard enough.

Don't push your lifestyle on others. That's not giving. That's theft. It's stealing their freedom.

I live primally. I do my best to avoid grains, sugars, industrial oils, legumes and conventional dairy. After doing this for 20 months, my family is finally starting to jump on board. I don't push it on them. They see my overall health improving and want to see the same in themselves. They ask me questions. They want to learn more.

I choose to live a healthy lifestyle. This has enabled me to give health to others. This may be the greatest gift in the world. The greatest Christmas present anyone could open.

Or maybe a hug, smile and the words "I love you" will do.

What are you giving to your family and friends this holiday season? Love? Health? Appreciation? Gifts?

by Todd Dosenberry

Instead of, Try

by Paula Pant on December 16, 2011 · 6 comments

Instead of:

  • Maxing out your credit cards as an indirect way of showing people you care about them.


  • Writing a heartfelt note telling someone you care about them. Pair it with a small token of thanks: freshly-baked cookies, for example, or a small toy for their pet.

Instead of:

  • Driving yourself crazy racing to holiday parties and reunions that you don't really want to attend.


  • Giving yourself a break. Say "no" to the invite, put on your fuzzy pajama slippers, and watch that romantic comedy you haven't had the time to see.

Instead of:

  • Giving money you can't afford to charity, out of a sense of guilt or a desire for tax reduction,


  • Becoming personally involved with a local cause. Bring balloons to child cancer survivors spending the holidays in the hospital. Visit an elderly person spending the holidays alone.

Instead of:

  • Giving your business associates grief about the fact that their report is a week late,


  • Giving them a break. They're under stress just as much as you are – maybe more.

Instead of:

  • Giving someone a handout,


  • Giving them mentoring, encouragement, and advice so they can develop the confidence to succeed on their own.

Instead of:

  • Giving your neighbor, your grocery store clerk, or your local gas station attendant a polite nod with limited eye contact


  • Giving that person a hearty smile, direct eye contact, and a heartfelt inquiry into how their day is going.

Instead of:

  • Giving an anonymous blogger grief for their political or religious opinions,


  • Seeing the world from their point of view, if only for a minute.

Instead of:

  • Giving resentment to someone who wronged you,


  • Giving that person the benefit of the doubt.

Instead of:

  • Giving your attention only to the people, places and causes that are most familiar to you,


  • Giving yourself the joy of experiencing something new and different.


by Paula Pant

Extreme Giving

by Jason Kotecki

I’ve been doing a lot of giving lately. ’Tis the season, right? But I’m not talking about gift cards to Outback Steakhouse or the “I saw this sweater and thought of you” type of giving. You see, just about two weeks ago, my wife Kim gave birth to our second child, a baby boy named […]

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How To Help A Friend In Crisis

by Stacey Curnow

We think of the holidays as a happy time of giving to others. But sometimes the holidays are anything but happy for our friends and loved ones. Unfortunately, unexpected and undesirable events happen even in the month of December. Have you ever felt totally at a loss when it comes to soothing or helping a […]

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What Should You Give?

by John Spence

A Damn: “Life is a daring adventure – or nothing at all” ~ Helen Keller   Help: to anyone you can offer it to.   LOVE: to yourself first… then to as many others as possible – you have an endless supply!   Respect: because EVERYONE is worthy of it.   Hugs: as long as […]

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Givent Ake

by Jen Slayden

Once there was a man named Givent Ake. Givent had a life that from the outside people might appear green with jealousy. He had it all, one might say. A big fancy house with lush gardens and a swimming pool, fancy cars, and vacation homes scattered throughout the world, which were often the gathering place […]

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Bring the Give…To You

by Lance Ekum

It’s a Wednesday evening.  There’s a crispness in the air, as the temperature flirts with freezing.  It’s a good night for a sweatshirt, maybe a blanket, some hot cocoa perhaps… And it’s a good night to give…to you. We lead busy lives.  All that STUFF we have going on EVERY day.  All wrapped around some […]

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