How to Give and Grow Connection
Original Date: Mar 4, 2015
One of my great joys is cooking for people.
As you may have noticed, I LOVE cooking and having food at our events. It’s probably my Italian background, “Mangia Mangia!, You’re not eating enough!”. For me, feeding others is an easy way to give, to nourish, to connect and be in community. One Yoga student has described me as the “Martha Stewart of Yoga”- That gave me a good laugh! But I do enjoy nourishing people and nothing makes one more comfortable than good food. Last year, our yoga teacher trainers ate lunch downstairs on our yoga weekends, & sometimes there was a common dish to share. But this year, it has opened up to a full community eating event! Now I wish I could turn the clock back and invite last years trainees to eat at my table too. We are taking turns making food, and everyone gathers around my kitchen table and dining room upstairs to eat together. It feels so much nicer! Food is such a simple way to give and to connect with others.
At our recent home Kirtan, we took in cans to donate to the HAVEN. THANK YOU- to those folks who came out and brought cans, and joined us in that event! We collected about 10 pounds of food. It may not be a huge amount, but think about it, 10 pounds of food for someone with no food, that might mean everything to them. It feeds my soul to think that others are being fed by our community.
You can give in so many other ways besides food. In Sanskrit, the term for giving is “Seva”- it means “Service”. You can serve others in any infinite number of ways. There are many charities you could give to. Too many to list here! But you can serve others by simply sitting and listening to someone talk to you or tell you their troubles. You are giving your whole self, your presence to them in that moment. What greater gift can you give! Can you just sit and listen, make eye contact and be with them, without thinking about what you have to do, or what you should say? Its very difficult, more so than it sounds. I work on this practice when listening to my own daughters, I find it too easy to nod and half listen, instead of really looking at what they are showing me and giving them my whole presence.
I used to have a quote on my refrigerator by Mother Theresa. It said something like this: “If you want to have world peace, go home and love your family.” Your service and giving can simply be loving your family. How great is that! If more people practiced this, I think a lot of problems would be resolved in the world. And a little love goes a long way.
I will leave you with this Quote by Marianne Williamson:
“If you give your life as a wholehearted response to love, then love will wholeheartedly respond to you”.