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Let Yourself Be Inspired

Each one of us has something to contribute. That’s the truth. But many times we don’t feel that way. We are told we are not enough, that we’re not ready, and that we lack what is needed, by others. And even by ourselves. The lies we are told can hold us back from the gifts we were made to give.

At younger ages it can easier to be faithful to our creativity and our dreaming than to our security. That seems to flip as we get older. But it doesn’t have to. There are steps each of us can take today to use those inspired parts of ourselves and use them. It could be singing, teaching, serving or learning, what is it that you long to contribute? Don’t let fear turn you against your playful heart. Let yourself be inspired again. You might be surprised at the impact it has–on you, and on those around you.

“Don’t ever let fear turn you against your playful heart.”

The Unseen

Much of what happens within Common Change, goes unseen. Acts of tenderness, done in quietness, without the applause of others. This is generosity at its best.

We invite you to experience the power of giving in secret. Take a moment to watch (click image below) how acts of everyday kindness can change one’s day (life).

 

 

Restored Relationship

“Unless a grain of wheat goes into the earth and die, it remains by itself alone, but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” This weekend, many will be thinking about Easter and considering the impact of death and resurrection. But what does it mean to practice resurrection? For some, a relationship have been virtually dead due to lasting bitterness. Perhaps you’ve given up on someone that has let you down again. Or maybe you’ve recently let someone down in a big way, and it looks like there’s no coming back from it. Asking for forgiveness is hard and choosing to can be even more challenging. Continuing without it tends to be worse, and often inducing more pain than we expect. As you go this weekend, consider how the practice of forgiveness can be renewing and restorative, not just for a relationship, but for yourself as well.dinnerwfriends

Your Words Matter

Words matter. One kind word can change someone’s entire day. Mother Teresa said, “kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” But in a culture that tells you you’re only valuable if you meet ever-changing standards, we all need to be reminded of our inherent value. We often think of words of encouragement but too often we buy the lie that says that thinking the thought is what matters, resulting in the robbery of words for others. Don’t diminish the power of words. Words written or spoken can change everything. The trouble is, without practice, it can be hard to create the space to think–never mind tell–the people you value how great they are. Who are those people that you love and esteem? Decide today to let them know it.

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Every Doorway Has A Story

Every doorway has a story. Each has a distinct character, speaking volumes of the people living behind the door. What could possibly be behind a door is often left to the imagination — an array of secrets, emotions, and mysteries. A home with laughter, heartaches, hopes, banter, and more. This week, for many who will be reflecting on Passover, doors and doorways are an important reminder. What sort of doors do you have? What transpires on the inside of those doors? Is there a spirit of love, hope, and faith on the other side of that threshold? What is posted on our proverbial doors? Do we have a symbolic “welcome mat” at the door, or is it more like a “do not disturb” sign? Do we welcome the opportunity to be hospitable and benevolent to those in need of comfort, friendship or sustenance? Or do we (figuratively speaking) slam those doors in the faces of needy individuals who seek entry to the sincerity of our hearts? Today make a commitment to open a door that can lead to a more generous you.

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What keeps us happy?

What keeps us happy as we go through life? If you think it’s fame and money, you’re not alone – but, according to psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, you’re mistaken. As the director of a 75-year-old study on adult development, Waldinger has unprecedented access to data on true happiness and satisfaction. Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. It turns out that people who are more socially connected to family, to friends, to community, are happier.  They’re also physically healthier and they live longer than people who are less well connected. It’s the quality of your close relationships that matters. How might you develop relationships that matter? It’s been said that we make a living by what we get and we make a life by what we give. May we give ourselves to building long and healthy relationships that cultivate a lifetime of happiness.

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Nonviolence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man. – – Mahatma Gandhi

Gift of Time

How valuable is your time?  One of the best ways to measure what is important to a person, is where and how they spend their time. Sharing your time with others is an act of generosity. So often we’re able to give not just in a moment of plenty, but in a time of our choosing. Are you optimistic about your ability to “fit things into my schedule” and then show up late? Punctuality is not just courteous to friends and neighbors, but it is also a way to measure generosity to others. We must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from our life, for hurry is a great enemy of being present in our world today.  Time might be the most precious gift you have to share. How might you spend it in helping others today?

Gift of Time

Violence & Peacemaking

If poverty is the worst form of violence as Mahatma Gandhi said, then generosity might be the best form of peacemaking. When people are impoverished not only does it rob them of their dignity, it can often threaten their very existence. It can lead to unrest and even put countries or neighbors at war with one another. Some might argue that what we need is larger fences and bigger military defense to keep us safe. When poverty makes the world less stable, we are all less safe. When it comes to questions of making the world a safer place; how might your generosity be a force for making peace? Today, seek to be a peacemaker in your family, neighborhood, city, country, or world. Take one step towards making peace by being more generous.

Photo: The Return of the Prodigal Son by Rembrandt in Hermitage Museum St. Petersburg Russia
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Who is our neighbor?

Ever spoke of people as ‘them,’ the ‘other,’ or stayed quiet when friends, family, or coworkers have? Attitudes to the ‘other’ and, frankly, anything outside of our culture, have shifted positions of fear into the mainstream. Now is the time to counter fear with generosity and ask the question – who is our neighbor?

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