The Gift of Giving

 

We’ve all heard the old saying “It’s better to give than to receive.” Lately, I’ve been experiencing the truth of that. I had somehow gotten to a place where I wasn’t inspired to give very often – not of my money, my time, or my Self. I didn’t realize it, but I also felt a disconnection from my fellow human beings. Where these two related? I’m not sure.

After inheriting some money from my mother’s estate, I started practicing giving financially. With a little money in my pocket, I could afford to be more generous when I tipped good service. Our local grocery is always collecting for something at the check stands; I could say “yes” more often. Every time I surprised a server,  bought a bag of food for the hungry or donated to prostate cancer research, I felt good – not just because someone else was benefiting from my ability to give, but because my heart was thawing.

I didn’t realize what was happening at the time, but now I find I am often excited to give. Over the months, as I practiced giving, I began to look forward to the next time I could give a homeless person a few bucks or buy a candy bar to help a neighborhood kid’s soccer team.  I began seeing the human being behind those requests. I’ve known people who went to bed hungry; I know cancer survivors. Once I could put a face to a cause, I began to see that I could make a difference.

As I work through coach training, I am finding opportunities to do scholarship work with certain underserved populations – and I’m so excited by the possibilities! Not just because the work will be interesting, not just because I can provide a valuable service, but also because I know what it is like to stand in witness to another person’s life, and I’m eager to have that experience again.  I’m eager to connect with other people in a real, deep, way and I know that as I say “yes” to the chances that come my way, I’ll have even more opportunities.

The truth is that we get when we give if we are open to the experiences and relationships that can develop. I’ll be honest here, I’m not giving out of obligation, or even because it’s the “right” thing to do. I’m giving because it makes me feel good and it enhances the meaning in my life. And on that count, I may be getting more out of the arrangement than the people I hope to work with!

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About a year ago, I came together with almost 400 other creative souls in Kelly Rae Robert’s Taking Flight class. It was an amazing experience. The course information was good, but the community that sprang up around that class has been even better. The community alone is worth the price of admission! We call ourselves the Fly Tribe.

Kelly Rae is teaching the class one last time. To celebrate our year’s anniversary, many of us have chipped in and will be able to donate eight classes for a giveaway. The exciting part is that Kelly Rae is matching us, one-for-one, so there will be a total of 16 classes given away! If you’d like to put your name in the virtual hat, drop by the Fly Tribe blog and leave a comment.

To further celebrate our anniversary, we are hosting a blog hop.  Be sure to drop by some of the other participating blogs and read their stories!

Janet Forrest http://www.tatterednworn.wordpress.com

Cat Athena Louise http://www.catathenalouise.com

Stacey Bockness Curry http://starhitchedwagon.blogspot.com/

Kris Lanae Binsfeld http://cherishdesigns.wordpress.com/2012/08/19/giving-flight-giving-back/

Renee Burke http://happilyeverafterbyreneeburke.wordpress.com/2012/08/20/tribe/

Mary Sterk http://www.justmarydesigns.com

Michelle Reynolds http://www.shellsinthebush.com

Constance Rawlins http://livingwithinyourharvest.com/2012/08/19/fly-tribe-anniversary/

Kelly Hoernig  http://www.kellyhoernig.blogspot.com/2012/08/flytribe-anniversary.html

Cindy Jones Lantier http://www.lantier.org/2012/08/the-gift-of-giving/

Kathleen Conard http://newfromoldcreations.blogspot.com/2012/08/giving-back.html

Claudia Dow http://www.claudiadow.blogspot.com

Susan M. Walls-Beverly http://susanscharmingtrinkets.blogspot.com/2012/08/flying-lessons-and-art-of-giving-back.html

Linda Barutha http://lindabaruthadesigns.blogspot.com/2012/08/giving-back.html

Linda Kinnaman http://lindakaysart.com/blog/2012/08/19/my-dream-journey-one-year-now/

Cheryl Dossey http://www.cheryldossey.com/2012/08/givingback-flytribeanniversary/

Sofia Dabalsa http://sofiadabalsa.blogspot.com

Jill Lambert http://jill-lambert.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-spirit-of-giving.html

Sally Rose http://sallyhow2.blogspot.com/2012/08/a-gift-of-flight.html

Ursula Smith http://EasyScraps.com/blog

Deborah Eaton http://www.deborahgeaton.com/blog/

Lori Leissner  http://www.leissnerart.com/2012/08/giving-thanks-giving-back-giving-flight.html

Creative Clearinghouse http://creativeclearinghouse.com/Online-Class-Reviews/blog/2012/447/Spirit-Giving

Lenore Angela http://lenoreangela.blogspot.ca/2012/08/giving-back.html

Katharina Star http://www.blog.katharinastar.com

Rachél Payne http://wp.me/pWRyw-10P

Sherry Richert Belul  http://www.simplycelebrate.net/cherry-blossom-soup/gifts

Deborah Velasquez http://deborahvelasquez.blogspot.com/2012/08/flying-giving-mentoring-and-celebrating.html

Shannon Etnyre http://www.livingwithumami.com

Live Laugh Love Retreats http://livelaughloveretreats.com

Kelley Miller Artworks http://kelleymillerartworks.blogspot.com/

Wini Dougall http://artloveandjoy.blogspot.com.au/2012/08/giving-flight-giving-back-blog-hop-and.html

Carol Bray http://theredpaintedcottage.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-spirit-of-giving-back-by-giving.html

Tracy Yarbrough http://chickpeastudio.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-spirit-of-giving.html

Diane Enright  http://dianeenrightphotography.wordpress.com/

Jamie Burch http://www.dancingdownserendipitystreet.blogspot.com/2012/08/giving-flight.html

Mary Cottingham http://www.barnbugstudio.blogspot.com/2012/08/fluing-lessons-anniversary-blog-hop.html

Susan Dietz http://flutterbeforeyou.blogspot.com

Lori Moon Studio http://lorimoonstudio.blogspot.com/2012/08/fly-tribe-blog-hop-giving-back.html

Kim Hyer http://www.apaperaddict.com

Tina Carlborg http://www.tinachicky.blogspot.com

Catherine Pistone  http://catherinepistone.blogspot.com/

Mary MacIlvain http://maryart.macilvain.com

Carolyn Chenault http://carolynchenault.wordpress.com/2012/08/20/the-big-giveaway

 

21 Responses to The Gift of Giving
  1. janet forrest
    August 20, 2012 | 12:49 AM

    Cindy, how wonderful that you are making such a difference in people’s lives! Glad to have you as a Fly Sister!

  2. Paying it Forward | cheryl dossey
    August 20, 2012 | 7:21 AM

    […] Cindy Jones Lantier http://www.lantier.org/2012/08/the-gift-of-giving/ […]

    • Cheryl Dossey
      August 20, 2012 | 8:05 AM

      Giving is a wonderful feeling and I’m so glad that the Fly Tribe is so willing to give of their time, talent and good will towards each.

  3. Giving Back
    August 20, 2012 | 11:16 AM

    […] Cindy Jones Lantier http://www.lantier.org/2012/08/the-gift-of-giving/ […]

  4. Susan Dietz
    August 20, 2012 | 12:07 PM

    what a wonderful post, it’s so nice to read about your generous acts of giving. Bless your heart. Happy Anniversary Cindy

  5. Mary
    August 20, 2012 | 6:31 PM

    Cindy – Thank you for sharing your heartwarming stories about your depth of giving in so many ways. It is so true that when we give, we reap huge rewards that we weren’t expecting.

  6. Sherry Richert Belul
    August 20, 2012 | 7:36 PM

    Cindy, what a beautiful post. I really love what you wrote about your heart thawing through the act of giving. May the year ahead be full of plenty of gifts for you to both offer and receive. Happy Anniversary! 🙂

  7. Mary Sterk
    August 20, 2012 | 7:49 PM

    What a wonderful story of giving! Your mother would be proud!

  8. Michelle Reynolds
    August 21, 2012 | 12:18 AM

    Thank you for your beautiful giving spirit and for being a part of our wonderful tribe.

  9. Jamie Burch
    August 21, 2012 | 8:44 AM

    Wonderful reminder of all the ways to give, Cindy! So happy to be in this tribe with you. Happy Anniversary! ((hugs))

  10. Deborah Velásquez
    August 21, 2012 | 8:51 AM

    Happy Anniversary Cindy! Love your spirit of giving! Your story makes me think I should pause more in the moments I come across in my day. Thanks!
    xoxoxoxox

  11. Carol
    August 21, 2012 | 10:26 AM

    Isn’t this wonderful what our Fly Tribe is doing!! I’m so glad we joined up last year and have become friends through all this. I’m even more thrilled that we actually were able to finally meet in person. Just wish we lived closer so we could see each other more often! Happy flying, my friend!

  12. Kris Lanae Binsfeld
    August 21, 2012 | 1:04 PM

    Cindy,

    Wow, I love how you are able to give, and how you are passing on daily, your Mother’s beautiful gift to you! You have an amazing spirit! Your blog post is very beautifully written and I enjoyed reading! I am hoping we will be able to meet in person soon! May you have an amazing year ahead! Love being a flysister with you! 🙂 Kris

  13. Stacey M. Curry
    August 21, 2012 | 1:18 PM

    Thank you for sharing just what you’ve been up to these past few months…really a good reminder to give more freely…and the good it does for both! Happy to have had the opportunity to fly with you this past year!! 🙂 It’s been a good one! Good luck with the future and your coaching…I hope it brings much happiness and success!

  14. Lenore
    August 21, 2012 | 2:38 PM

    Hi Cindy, such a lovely post and a caring person you are. I’m so glad to know you.
    xo Lenore

  15. Lori
    August 21, 2012 | 3:57 PM

    Lovely post, Cindy! Just great! xoxo L

  16. Ursula
    August 21, 2012 | 8:39 PM

    Great post, Cindy!! So happy to have shared this year with you!! Happy Anniversary!!

  17. wini
    August 22, 2012 | 7:28 PM

    Hi Cindy, Thank you for sharing this wonderful and inspiring personal story about giving and how it enhances ones life. Happy Anniversary and I am glad to be sharing this journey with you!! xo

  18. Sally Rose
    August 23, 2012 | 8:02 AM

    Happy Anniversary Cindy! It’s been a great year flying with you, sister. I love your story of how your heart thawed as you taught yourself to give again. Thank you for sharing that with us.

  19. Lori Moon
    August 25, 2012 | 6:27 AM

    Cindy – Happy Anniversary! I has been flying with you this past year. I love your personal story of giving – so touching. I also love that you did it in a lot of small ways to spread the love around. Thanks for sharing this! xoxo