The first thing I read this morning was “Paying it Forward: Why Our Gifts Always Keep Moving” by Wayne Muller (http://www.dailygood.org/story/1136/paying-it-forward-why-our-gifts-always-keep-moving-wayne-muller/).
And last night I decided that the first task of today was to write a blog for Serene Women.
Never ignore synchronicity!
When I was thinking about starting Serene Women I looked on the web for things that might already be out there that would support people on a spiritual journey. Daily Good (http://www.dailygood.org) is dedicated to spotlighting the good things that are happening in our world and, perhaps by highlighting them, helping more good things to happen. It regularly offers stories about people living their spiritual journey in a pragmatic way — having it appear in their lives each day in a way that anyone who is looking can see but in no way forces anything on the person looking. I knew that the scope of Daily Good was well beyond what I wanted to do, but it remains an inspiration.
So, why write about it today? The idea of gifts needing to move just struck me, not in the thunderstruck way, but in the settling-in-and-pondering kind of way. In many ways, I see Serene Women as a gift. It offers beauty, insights, thoughts, and smiles from Leslie (my talented web-designer and soap-maker sage) and me. And I want it to grow and have more readers. If we have more readers we have richer conversation and with richer conversation we are moved to get out in the world and share our gifts — our gifts of compassion, humor, assistance, knowledge.
The article described how a couple of people created several amazing projects through their own passion and effort and how that energy brought many other people on board to complete projects that none of them could have done alone.
How do I do that in my life? It was an easy process for teaching Qigong classes. I talked to a few people (OK, maybe just one, but she was a great one!) about where to find people who need some healing (of an energetic sort) and who probably could not afford it or have access to it. She told me about her activities with the local Hope House. I went there and, voila!, I am teaching one class a week there to about 20 women and several have come forward to help with the teaching or to lead the group if I can’t be there. This class is the highlight of my week!
In keeping with Muller’s article, what gifts do you have that you can offer to the world? Are you a storyteller that the library would love to spotlight one afternoon so you can read a book to some children? Are you a baker who could bake a batch of cookies and take them to the nearest fire station as a thank you to the people who protect us? Are you an artist who can offer an after school session at a local school or daycare facility? Are you a senior who could offer your services through Senior Corps?
I have had a much harder time figuring out how to keep the gift moving with Serene Women. The initial thought of “build it, they will come” has worked to develop a small readership and we have had some interesting conversations. How do we get it bigger? Not 100,000 readers big but big enough that a conversation engages ten or so, big enough to have rich input from many different perspectives, big enough to inspire each of us to keep our gifts moving.
I do not want to buy ads; that just seems wrong. I have hesitated about posting messages about Serene Women to BIG groups because it seems impersonal, and I want Serene Women to be personal.
That puts you distinctly in the picture.
If you find Serene Women a bit of an oasis in your day, send it to someone else who might need an oasis and let them know that they can subscribe. As more people join us, our conversations become richer, our gifts move on.
We all have gifts. We all have passions. Finding those gifts and passions can be a daunting task at times; we have often stuffed them down pretty far. Do a little digging. Then do a little sharing. Then do a lot of smiling!