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Loving and Giving

Loving Giving

I can’t think of anything else that would make the last week of the year and the arrival of the New Year better – loving and giving or give and love – whichever way you want to see it.

This year Christmas was on Tuesday, an auspicious day of the week when I light lemon lamps for the Goddess Durga (the other days are Fridays and Sundays). I prayed for everyone’s health. Y’all all know I have a hotline to God, right? And a healthy, growing list of requests. I looked into God’s eyes as I pray and shamelessly asked her to fulfill my friends’ wishes. Why not? God is the Almighty, and everything is possible for her. (Yes, God is a she)

lemon lamps

Just like all special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries and other celebrations, I arranged a special lunch at my local welfare home for girls (Seva Sadan). There are about 100 girls in the age group of 5 to 16. I love going there.

I also distributed food in the form of buns and biscuits outside the temples where lots of homeless people gather on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  I used to cook and make packets and distribute, but one Thursday, I didn’t’ have the time and  bought buns instead. And then, someone in that crowd who was a regular, actually told me they prefer buns and bread to rice-based stuff as they like to keep it for the next meal and eat it. I loved that – the value of feedback!

My year around gift box

Gifts

I have a large trunk to which I add things I would like to giveaway. I find it easy as I can grab something as I go out every day. The weather is suddenly much colder here, and I know that all my regular folks who live on the streets could do with a lot of extra things. I benefit from a happier heart.

A habit of loving and giving is born

This idea is something I learned from my elementary school teacher. Her name was Mrs.D’Abro (she taught two generations of our family, who attended the same school). She had a very pretty house. Back in the 60’s, we found the concept of curtains, table cloths, ovens, etc. very novel and fascinating because in our house, the cooking was done with firewood. We had no fans, no dining tables, no refrigerator (got our first one when i was 22)… we ate, sat and slept on the floor. There were just a couple of chairs for special visitors – the rest of us just used mats.

So…the teacher’s pretty bungalow with its floral curtains and lace table cloth was like a place out of a fairy tale. They use china tea sets and cups and saucers. Her kitchen always smelt of baking. She had a garden with fruit trees – and best of all? She had a generous heart. It was always a treat to go visit her.

Now she, at the entrance to her house, had a porch and near the shoe shelf, had a decorative chest sort of thing. (Always made me think of Sindbad the Sailor). We would expect all sorts of magic to be in it. And know what? There was. After she let us enjoy ourselves in her garden and in her “parlor” and gave us goodies to eat, she would send us off lovingly, giving us a small gift from the chest. I ate this fruit for the first time at her place when I was about six years old and she called them love-apples – she would give us lots to take home, too.

VidyaSuryLoveApple

This lovely practice has always stayed in my memory. Just as soon as I grew up, I too had a trunk where I put stuff I would like to give away. Today, I have a trunk of toys for kids who visit. Nobody leaves my house empty-handed or with an empty heart. I have a trunk in which I add stuff all the time to giveaway. Extra benefits of the bin? I can:

  • Be Clutter-free, knowing the extras I have are putting a smile on someone’s face
  • Feel good
  • Be more with less
  • Simplify
  • Experience the joy of loving and giving

#365daysofthanks

I’ve joined my friend Julie of Just Jules  in an exercise of gratitude. It is easy. Every day I use the hashtag #365daysofthanks to express what I am grateful for. Go ahead and join in. Saying thanks feels good.

See how easy it is?

And closer to my heart here is a post that made me feel very emotional – my dearest friend Zephyr wrote over at her blog – The gift of giving – Organ Donation. Please visit and read.

My friend Arvind Devalia just published his latest book Love is All That Matters This beautiful book is a simple yet powerful manifesto to bring more love into your life and into the world. Each short chapter concludes with a daily exercise – carry out these simple exercises and watch in wonder as your life magically transforms into a life filled with love, kindness and understanding.

And finally, some fantastic printables:

Ken Wert never fails to thrill me with his writing. I just read “The Happiness Pledge”  and highly recommend that you print it and put it up where you can see it often. Some of us need just that little push to propel us forward towards what we would like to do! I found that list highly energizing and motivating.

Tess Marshall, the guru on zapping fear offers 35 small ways to create a life of awesomeness – they are easy and instantly do-able!

And Sandi Amorim at Deva-Coaching shows a wonderful way to look within to start 2013 off exactly the way you want to, with her post Telling the truth (the whole truth and nothing but the truth)

How did you celebrate Christmas, dear friends? And what plans for 2013?
Love, Vidya

 

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32 Comments

  • Reply
    Sandi Amorim
    December 27, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    Dear Vidya, Such a wonderful sharing of love my friend. A perfect post to read curled up on my couch with tea, watching the twinkling lights of my Christmas tree. Thinking of you with love.
    Sandi Amorim recently posted…A Mala of Mindfulness (108 insights from 2012)My Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      December 28, 2012 at 3:06 am

      Sandi, I am so in love with your latest post. I was thinking how lovely it would be, made into cards and there was Lori saying the same thing! Just superb! Thank you! Sending unlimited love your way! May 2013 be unforgettable in a positive way for all of us!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Loving and GivingMy Profile

  • Reply
    Mayura
    December 28, 2012 at 3:09 am

    Hi Vidya,

    The Christmas days were awesome and still too until new year, with all my friends 🙂 I’m not a Christian, but together we celebrate every moment as we can. It doesn’t matter offline or online, no? 🙂

    That’s very kind of you wishing for friends and wishing you and your family back for a lovely, healthy and successful new year where will be able to fulfill awaiting dreams 🙂

    I’m grateful I met you this year and I’m learning from your life events 🙂 With all my friends around, I’m turning my minutes into loving moments 🙂

    Cheers…
    Mayura recently posted…How to Mention People and Pages in Blogger with Google+My Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      December 28, 2012 at 3:23 am

      What a lovely thing to say, Mayura! I am so glad we met and interacted this year. Gratitude helps us appreciate everything more…and naturally, when we appreciate, the love automatically flows. I am happy you enjoy my blog. And yes, offline and online can be happily merged – it makes the world a smaller and more enjoyable place!

      I look forward to a wonderful 2013 with you! Have a happy New Year, Mayura!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Loving and GivingMy Profile

  • Reply
    Galen Pearl
    December 28, 2012 at 1:03 am

    You say \”y\’all\”?! You must be from South India–ha! Once again, as a Southern girl myself, you have made me feel right at home. Looking forward to sharing more love with you in 2013.
    Galen Pearl recently posted…On the Razor’s EdgeMy Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      December 28, 2012 at 3:09 am

      🙂 Galen, it is a habit picked up from school days. Our teachers were always telling us \”y\’all are not going home without finishing this….\” \”I\’ll ground y\’all from going for games\” \”Y\’all are the most (fill in the blank) girls I\’ve ever come across\” and of course, she also said \”I love y\’all\” many times 😀 Somehow, writing y\’all seems more exotic than saying it!

      Yes, I look forward to 2013 with you, too! It can only get better. 🙂
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Loving and GivingMy Profile

  • Reply
    Harleena Singh
    December 28, 2012 at 3:57 am

    I agree Vidya!

    There is really no right time to love and give, nor should we wait for any one occasion to do so. We too have it all over our local newspapers where they are encouraging people to dish out their old and new clothes and things they don\’t use and give it to the needy. Just one way to make people more aware.

    We don\’t really celebrate Christmas as you know, but yes, I\’ve learnt a lot from it ever since we were kid\’s and practice that more than anything else. Plans for the coming year are on full swing as you already know, just hope and pray I can put them into action now. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing, and congratulations on the 7th position, and that award looks great on the right side, which I noticed immediately. 🙂
    Harleena Singh recently posted…Blog Anniversary – Making Merry this Christmas and New YearMy Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      December 28, 2012 at 5:00 am

      Thank you for your comment, Harleena. Yes, I think the spirit of any festival is celebration, regardless of whether we celebrate it or not. The joy in the air is quite catching and I think that alone is reason enough to feel happy and join in!

      I am sure 2013 is going to be a wonderful and successful year for you – and that all your plans will be fruitful beyond your expectations. 🙂 If there’s anything I can do to propel your success, don’t hesitate to let me know!

      Thank you for your kind words, Harleena. I always appreciate your constant support. 2012 was extra-special because we met. Much love to you and your family!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Time For Some DIY Home DecorMy Profile

  • Reply
    Margarita
    December 28, 2012 at 4:38 am

    Vidya,

    beautiful post, noble idea. The only condition is just to give from the heart and never to expect anything in return. Thank you for recommending the other resources, especially the happiness pledge. Blessings!

    Practicing daily gratitude is empowering. Yes, I smiled today. 🙂
    Margarita recently posted…Reflections on MoneyMy Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      December 28, 2012 at 5:13 am

      Welcome, Margarita! Yes,my Grandma always emphasized on the not expecting anything in return and it is a very valuable attitude. As kids we would get so mad that the “bad” people got away with everything (or so we thought) while the “good” always seemed to suffer. Of course, as I grew up, I knew better. It takes strength and a shift in attitude.

      🙂 Thank you for smiling! You have such a sweet one!

      I enjoyed your latest post about money – what an interesting perspective! I am looking forward to more interaction between us!

      Love and wishing you a wonderful 2013!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Of Cakes And Personal DevelopmentMy Profile

  • Reply
    Ken Wert@MeanttobeHappy
    December 28, 2012 at 4:42 am

    Love the gift box, love the message of love and giving and love you!

    And thanks so much for the mention, Vidya! I would love for your readers to print out the Happiness Pledge and even alter it as desired before they hit print.

    I think I\’ve told you this before, but we sometimes keep food in the car to hand out (canned goods mostly). What I love about the Gift Box is that it could include all kinds of useful things for those struggling through rough times and it\’s always there, ready and available.

    Simply awesome, Vidya!
    Ken Wert recently posted…The Happiness PledgeMy Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      December 28, 2012 at 5:38 am

      Entirely my pleasure, Ken! It is the perfect time of the year when all of us open our minds (and hearts) to doing good things, adopting good habits and so on. There’s magic in the thought that we’re concluding one year and starting a brand new one. Although I must admit I feel that joy every single day when I wake up in the morning and look at my mobile phone screen to see what time it is – after turning the alarm off. The screen also has a sketch by my son that puts an instant smile on my face. So the day begins on a great note already.

      Yes, I remember you mentioning the food in the car – it is a fantastic idea to have something on hand to give. I love it! I also remember a particular post you wrote at The Tiny Buddha.

      In those days, you know, my Mother could always rummage in her large handbag and come up with something or other to give any child she met. Later she began carrying a bag of giveaways.

      That gift box – I am sentimentally attached to it. There used to be a time when my son was small enough to play in it. Even when he was very young, he understood that what was in it was for giving away and would put everything back in neatly after playing. It was so funny.

      Ken, I absolutely love your style of inspiration – it is so real, so enjoyable and oh, so doable!

      Thank you! Happiness to you, always!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Of Cakes And Personal DevelopmentMy Profile

  • Reply
    Zephyr
    December 28, 2012 at 6:44 am

    You never cease to amaze me, Vidya! That post itself was so full of loving and giving, not to speak of the trunk full of giveaways. I think that it is a wonderful idea to have such trunk at home.

    Thanks for the mention in your post. Hugs.
    Zephyr recently posted…Chalees saal baad – a journey back in timeMy Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      December 28, 2012 at 4:38 pm

      I am privileged to share your post on my blog, Zephyr. I dream of the day when I can have you on the Red Carpet here. 🙂 You know, I love that trunk…I recall so many happy hours playing with Vidur and that trunk, and a huge cardboard carton. 🙂 Warm memories.

      Thank you for coming by! Love you.
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Children, Chores and ConfidenceMy Profile

  • Reply
    Jack
    December 28, 2012 at 9:39 am

    God fooled you again because she is a he. 😉
    Jack recently posted…There Is A Difference Between Best & Most PopularMy Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      December 28, 2012 at 11:05 am

      I must say I am not at all gender-biased, Jack!. Our man Shiva treats his consort Ms.Parvati as his equal, proven by the fact they are half-he and half-she. 🙂

      😀 What is the logic, though, Jack? I can’t stop laughing at what you said! Hugs!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Loving and GivingMy Profile

  • Reply
    Cathy Taughinbaugh
    December 28, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    Wonderful post, VIdya. Sending love and gratitude – beautiful.

  • Reply
    Vishnu
    December 28, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    hi Vidya – I enjoyed reading this post.

    I’ve been thinking a lot about resolutions for the new year – this post might have done the trick. Give more! I don’t like to come up with hundreds of resolutions just a simple theme for the year. This is it. Unless we consciously think about giving, it falls back in order of importance. The trunk idea and other active giving practices should help me put giving on the forefront. Wishing you a great new year in 2013.

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      January 3, 2013 at 7:12 am

      Hi Vishnu. I know what you mean. I used to write down resolutions as a child, encouraged by my Uncle…but managed to keep up with only about 60%. I don’t make resolutions any more. I just decide to do certain things and set about doing them. I am glad you find the idea of the trunk inspiring. You know, just looking at it fill up and then passing on the contents will make your heart full!

      Happy 2013!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Home – No Airline Tickets To Vacation Here!My Profile

  • Reply
    Lisa @ Grandma\'s Briefs
    December 28, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    You are so beautiful and giving. Love this! I need to find a trunk for myself and follow your lead.

    Happy New Year to you and yours, my faraway friend!
    Lisa recently posted…Glimpses of ChristmasMy Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      December 28, 2012 at 4:56 pm

      Hey Lisa! How lovely of you to come over! 😀 I have three trunks – one for toys/kid stuff, one for clothes and one for linen and other miscellaneous stuff. I like that some people come over with hope, sure they’ll get what they want. In this instance, it warms my heart to be taken for granted.

      Each time I open the trunk, I say a silent prayer, thanking my teacher 🙂

      Hugs, Lisa. Wishing you and your loved ones a happy 2013! I feel as though Bubby and Mac are part of my own family!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Children, Chores and ConfidenceMy Profile

  • Reply
    Julie @julesmpg
    December 28, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    You are a beautiful woman with a lovely heart. My goal in the new year is to be better friends. Thank you for the lovely shout out and all of the support you give me. I appreciate you so much.

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      December 28, 2012 at 5:20 pm

      Jules, I look forward to your posts. I see how you write, so full of compassion and love, so heart warming. It is always like visiting a friend’s place. I am very happy we’re connected, thanks to Pamela! I also love your posts at Finding purpose in the pain.

      I am excited that you’ve started a new consulting company and wish you all the best! Hugs! Vidya
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Children, Chores and ConfidenceMy Profile

  • Reply
    My Inner Chick
    December 29, 2012 at 12:06 am

    Vidya–You. Are. A. Beautiful. Colorful. Dazzling. Gift.

    Xxxx much love from MN.
    My Inner Chick recently posted…21 Things I Learned In 2012My Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      January 3, 2013 at 7:14 am

      You always inspire me, Kim. I bask in your love. Hugs and wishing you a super 2013! I’d love to see your book this year!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Loving and GivingMy Profile

  • Reply
    Joy
    December 28, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    You have the most beautiful spirit, Vidya. The gift to me, is all that you share through your words. I love words and each message you share overflows with treasures. I can only imagine how a visit to your home feels 🙂 Thank you for being you and for sharing as you do! Thank you for your generosity, for amplifying love, and for sharing gratitude 🙂

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      January 3, 2013 at 7:13 am

      Thank you, Joy. I cherish your presence in my life, too and am so grateful we connected! My fond wish is that you’ll visit me! And I am super-thrilled to think we’ll meet soon! Hugs!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Home – No Airline Tickets To Vacation Here!My Profile

  • Reply
    Jodi @ Heal Now
    December 29, 2012 at 3:07 am

    Vidya,
    I was so touched when you said people don\’t leave with their hearts empty. I think this is the most important part of being a host- to make people feel loved. It is the ultimate healing. I think being a host is underrated, it can be so powerful! Caring for and feeding people is how my great grandmother healed others. There are some amazing stories!
    Jodi recently posted…Life Is PreciousMy Profile

  • Reply
    Unknown Mami
    January 3, 2013 at 4:57 am

    What a beautiful post and I love the opening quote.

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