It’s funny to notice the reluctance I have around this topic, and it makes me wonder how many others do too – tithing or charitable giving. I generally don’t consider myself in the category of people who have so much expendable income that they give some away at the end of each year. However, I’ve been doing some work with a coach around bringing my spiritual life and my money life together.
This coach suggests that by giving away some portion of your income each month, that we can practice believing that we are in a situation of abundance. So often, we feel like we don’t have enough – that there’s not enough time, enough clients, enough love, enough money. But if we give some away, we are making a statement to ourselves (and maybe to the universe), “I DO have enough.”
Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I’ve never made charitable contributions before – I have. But it’s usually been when I’ve been asked – it has been a reaction to being asked for a donation. And it certainly hasn’t been a part of an active spiritual practice.
I think that there is potential with the idea of proactively giving on a monthly basis, rather than (or in addition to) when asked. It doesn’t have to be the same organization nor the same amount. One idea my coach suggested, was to give a percentage of income – start with the idea of 1%. What would that look like? What would that feel like – giving 1% of what you earned this month? Even if you have a very low income – what would 1% feel like? Can you imagine giving to an organization that has benefited you, or someone you care about? Does that seem too small to be meaningful? Raise it by 1% until it feels just right.
My purpose in writing this, is not to cause feelings of obligation, but rather to invite you to take a look at your own relationship with ideas of abundance, money and spirituality. I just was lying in bed last night, thinking about Living Yoga and the good people there, doing such great work to change the world through spreading yoga teachings among those in correctional facilities and drug/alcohol rehab. And then I remembered – I haven’t given yet. It doesn’t matter how much – what matters is that I do give, and that I keep giving - whether it be money, time, love or whatever feels scarce – to give it away and to remember that practicing abundance is the only way to create more abundance for myself, my family and the world.
If you do consider giving to a non-profit – give to something that you connect with deeply. If yoga and awareness practices are important to you, consider these fine non-profits. We support them with our time and money, and they also support unfold studios:
Living Yoga, in this year's Willamette Week’s Give Guide.
The Samarya Center
One House of Peace
Written by teachers at unfold studios and guest authors.