Sunday, September 29, 2013

Being taken advantage of

 There is a time in all of our lives where we feel like we have been taken advantage of.  We feel as if we deserve more money, time, power, or love.  We have given so much of our lives that it is time that we deserve a life where we are given to.  We all have been there at one point or another.  But why?

We have learned to expect to be rewarded if we give in our life.  If I give up my time and learn what my teachers are teaching me I will be rewarded with good grades.  If I get good grades in school, I will be rewarded with a good job.  If I work hard at my job I will make a lot of money.  If I make a lot of money I will be able to buy everything that I need.  It is really an endless cycle that we are taught.  We are taught if I give then I shall receive.

What if we gave without expectations.  What if we gave our time, our money, our power, and our love to others without any expectations that we shall be rewarded with anything for doing this.  Seems so simple, but we all know this is a hard concept.  Let's try to manifest the shift towards this change today.

A lot of people bring up the fact that if you give without expectations there will be people that will try to take advantage of you.  There has been a lot of people that have come into my life, and taken advantage of me.  The honest truth though is I probably did have some expectations where that person should behave a certain way because I was giving something to them.  I had expectations.

I have come to be grateful that I am the person giving, and not the one taking advantage.  I realize that some people begin to have expectations that I am always supposed to give them something to them.  The truth is I can only give what I am able to give.  Eventually I will become drained.

If you give your entire life your soul will quickly dwindle and you will be left with an emptiness.  You need to find ways to refill yourself.  For me I find my heart refilling when I do activities like paint, yoga, snowboarding, or writing.  Things that I know are meant for me.  It is giving time to myself in order to give more time to others.  It is important to find the right balance of this while giving.  You also may need to ask others for help.  This is OK as long as you do not have expectations that they are ultimately the ones that will help refill this emptiness.  Ultimately it is you that needs to refill your own heart.

Do not surround yourself with the people that are taking advantage of you.  There are soul suckers that will drain you faster then they will help refuel yourself.  Surround yourself with good, loving, and giving people who love you for you.

You can always find a way to give.  You can always find a way to give without expectations.  And we can all find each other by giving to each other.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Submit and Share your Giving Idea.

One of the most fun part of this experience has been reaching out to the community and gathering different ideas from other people.  Ideas like the "Merry Mason Jars" and ChaCha Charity Bags"  came from other people.  It has been fun creating these ideas and bringing them into reality.

I am reaching out again and asking for others to share their ideas so the rest of us can learn different ideas on how to give.  Please submit your idea by Clicking here.  Ideas can be about any way you think we should give back to the community.  Maybe it is an idea that you have done, or maybe it is an idea that you have always wanted to do.

I look forward to hearing others ideas.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Salvation Army

Today we donated to the Salvation Army.  Please join us by making a donation today.  Here is a link to their website.  The Salvation Army

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

ChaCha Charity Bags

This week's idea was given to me by Deb Fischbach.  She has helped me create what she is calling the "ChaCha Charity Bags".  They consist of change that I had around the house, toothpaste, a toothbrush, and a granola bar.  I am going to keep these in my car and anyone asking for change will receive a "ChaCha Charity bag."

This idea was so easy to prepare.  It only takes a few minutes, and was not that expensive to do.  Now instead of people seeking me for change, I am seeking them.

It is crazy the amount of ideas I already have in the arsenal to give something every day.  They keep on growing.  Feel free to email me your idea. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

When is a good time to give?

When is a good time to give?  Since I made the commitment to give every day I have found that the answer to this question is pretty simple.  The answer is now.  In the past I always had something that I put ahead of giving.  When I put it on the forefront of my day I am finding it very easy to do.    Give365days has given me an arsenal of ideas to choose to give.  It all comes down to what you want to give.

If you want to start giving money I think a lot of people get hung up on needing to get to a point in their life when they have enough money to give.  The truth is we all have enough money right now.  It comes down to us needing to give up something that we spend our money on.   Maybe you do not buy a bag of cookies this week and you use that $2 to give to someone.  It really is that easy.

If you are still hung up on giving the money to someone, you can give up something else.  You will always need to give up something from yourself.  Cookies, time, or money.  There is something in your life that you really can afford to give up.

Remember to keep you life in balance.  I see people on both sides of the spectrum.  Some people never give anything.  They take everything from others.  They feel justified for some reason that they should be able to receive all the time.  On the other side of the spectrum people give everything from themselves  They never take time to themselves.  This is also unhealthy.  Your body, mind, and soul is not made for a constant give, give, give life.  I always stop at this point, because most people start to justify saying they give too much.  Chances are, you are not this person.

Always look for new ways to give, and continue to share my journey as we come up with new ways to give.

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Pay the Bill Challenge

This week I a have a fun project.  I am taking on another pay it forward project.  I am just paying the bills, but I am paying strangers bills.  I guess the best way to explain this is to just give the example of what I did today.

Today I walked into a store to purchase a backpack.  As part of my purchase I went ahead and bought a gift certificate.  I instructed the sales clerk to give the gift certificate to the next person who came up to purchase something.  So basically, I helped purchase a product for someone who I have never met.

Yesterday I was talking about the act of giving to give.  There was nothing behind the act I did today.  I just knew that I gave to someone.  I did not know the story behind whether that person deserves the money, needed the money, or who that person even is.  To me this is a great way to practice giving to give.

I plan on doing this throughout this week.  I hope you will join me and "pay the bill" this week.  Maybe you just pick up the bill for a random person in a restaurant.  Maybe you end up taking a friend out to dinner.  There are a lot of ways you can "Pay the Bill." 

It should be a fun week.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Give to Give

 It is a simple thought.  Give just because you feel it is right to give, but let's look a little deeper into our thoughts into why we really give.  I think a lot of us know the concept that we should give to this world, but I also think that our society teaches us that we should receive something if we do give. 

Maybe our religions teach we will have a good afterlife the more we give.  Maybe there is an image of god sitting on a cloud counting the number of times we give.  If we give enough we will be rewarded with something when we die.  Maybe we think karma will reward us.  We think every giving event should be rewarded with something where we recieve.

Our society teaches us and commercializes that we should live expecting others to provide for us.  The harder we work the more we deserve.  In every situation there is someone who will give and there is someone who will receive.  There is a point in our lives that every receiver needs to recognize this and become a giver.  We need to find a balanced life where we can live as both the giver and the receiver.  I promise you though you will live a better and happier life if you stay closer on the side of the giver.  There is a lot of unbalance and unhappiness that comes to our lives if we live and stay in the world of the reciever.

When we come to a place where we can give in our lives we need to ask ourselves why do we give?  The answer we should strive for is because we want to give.  We should not be giving with the idea that if we give we deserve to receive.  We should not have any expectations when we give.  We should only be giving because we want to give.

Give to Give.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Marianne's "Merry Mason" Jars

Today I started a new campaign that was given to me by Marianne Broadaway.  I am really excited for this idea because this was the first idea that was presented to me by another person.  One of my hopes when starting Give365days was to get others to collaborate and come up with different ways to give.   These "Merry Mason Jars" are the first collaborative project for

I have started handing out the above jars around Orlando to business and other people.  Marianne has named them the "Merry Mason Jars"  It is a simple concept.  Fill the jars with change and then give it to someone in need.  Thanks for the fun idea Marianne.

I know my goal is to give something every day of the year, but I have to say that I am loving doing this, and am finding myself sticking with a lot of these ideas.  As these new ideas roll out I still love doing the older ones like the "Pay it Forward" envelopes.   I guess something must be working.

If you have any inspirational ideas please feel free to share them by Clicking here.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Adrew's giving idea. Give a "Feel Better" card

Today's giving idea is from Andrew.  Andrew is 5 years old and lives in Jacksonville, Florida.  Andrew suggested that I give a "feel better" card to someone.  I thought about it a bit, and came up with something that I wanted to do almost 6 months ago.

A while back I was walking my dog.  An older woman walked her dog in the other direction.  Her dog saw my dog and did a sudden jerk which caused the woman to fall hard to the concrete.  I helped her up, but found out on a later that she broke a finger and her arm.  I felt really bad, and continuously said to myself that I wanted to bring her flowers.  Time went on, and I never got to it.

Today I went out and bought some flowers and brought them to my neighbor.  Andrew reminded me today that it is never too late to buy someone flowers and let them know that I am thinking of them.  Thanks for the suggestion Andrew.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Give away your toys. Idea from Brody

Today's giving idea was given to me by Brody Ball.  Brody is 6 years old living in Jupiter, FL.  Brody suggested that I go through all my toys and give away the ones that I no longer use anymore.  My first thought was that I do not have any toys to give away (or do I)?  More on this later.

I decided that I should go through all of my clothes, and get rid of the things that I no longer use.  I drove down to the American Red Cross which is located three blocks away from me.  I dropped off the clothes in a bin.  Orlando is a great city that has a lot of these drop off bins for clothes and shoes.  If your city has these bins why not go through your closet and drop off some of your clothes.

Brody's idea about toys got me thinking.  I do have a lot of toys in my life.  I love to play video games, and have a ton of games that I have played and now just sit in my closet.  I plan on going through these games and finding an organization or someone who would love to play them.  I would like to thank Brody for expanding my mind and making me realize I have a lot more toys hiding in my closet then I even realized.  Maybe Brody will inspire you to go through your closet and see what you can give away.

Monday, September 9, 2013

The pancake giving idea from Savannah

Today I was inspired by an idea I got from Savannah Sisk.  Savannah is 6 years old an lives in Orlando, Florida.  When asked how she would give to others she suggested to give pancakes to people who did not have any money.  So today I decided to do Savannah's idea.

I cooked up about 20 pancakes and took them down to a local park to hand out to people who looked like they needed some pancakes.  I have been approached by people asking for change on the streets all the time, but this was the first time I ever went out seeking someone who needed something on the streets.  It was a nice stroll around the lake and the first person I came across was easy.  He was asking for change so I gave him some pancakes.  After that I started to wonder who I should give the pancakes to.  I did not want to insult someone by offering them pancakes if all they were trying to do was take a break in the park.

The way I got over it was to ask myself "Who wouldn't want pancakes?"  It made it a lot easier to walk up to strangers and ask them if they wanted pancakes.  Everyone was very appreciative of the pancakes.

Thank you for the idea today Savannah.  The rest of this week I am still doing ideas submitted by kids under the age of 10.  If you would like to submit your child's giving idea you still can.  Please Contact me and let me know your child's idea, name, and age.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Week 5 - How Children would give

 This week I am taking on a fun project.  I am taking ideas from children under 10 to find out how they think I should give back to the universe.  I will then do my best to do what that child suggests.  I am starting this tomorrow so it is not too late to send me an email.  Please send me your child's name, age, and idea.  He or she may be featured on this website.

So far my favorite idea came from Mason Imse out of West Palm Beach, FL (7 years old).  He said I should give $25,000 to everyone.  I cannot quite pull this one off.  I will however make the next donation under his name.  Some of these ideas I will obviously need to tweak a little bit.

Kids make giving sound so simple.  Somehow we complicate it and make it impossible.  If you are a parent please ask your child what they would give.  Then join me and try your best to make their wish of giving come true.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Here is my story. I would love to hear yours

Do you have an inspirational story that involves giving?  I would love to hear from you.  Please share your inspirational story and you may be featured on our website.
Click to share your story

Several people have asked to share the inspiration behind "Giving 365 Days."  Over the last year I have been making some pretty dramatic changes in my life.  I thought of all the ways that I have  talked about improving my life.  I asked myself what were the barriers stopping me from doing these things?  Throughout the year I have found that most of these barriers were only put up by myself.  I slowly made a shift  in my life in hopes to bringing these once thoughts into a reality of my life.  A lot of these changes can be seen in my last blog where I did yoga for an entire year (

My job over the last 12 years has been as an online marketer.  This July I attended a marketing conference where a marketing genius told a story on how he raised money for President Obama's 2012 election campaign.  He spoke how he was in charge of the online portion of the marketing which raised $635 million of the $1 billion that was raised for Obama.  I thought to myself that all of this money got raised and it sort of just vanished in the air.  I thought that Mitt Romney also must have raised about this same amount in hopes for becoming president.  I reality his funding really was for nothing.  So that is about $1 billion dollars that went into marketing that ultimatly brought nothing to anyone that truly could have used this money.  I thought how many other avenues $1 billion could better be spent.

What if someone took on the same task to raise $1 billion dollars and gave it towards people that actually could use it.  What if that person was me?  I decided to take on the impossible task to see what it would teach me.  I do not expect to raise $1 billion dollars, but after one month of "Give 365 Days" I have already learned that I have more then I will ever need in my life.  I have learned that other people are willing to give too.   If there is $1 billion out there that pretty much vanishes into a presidntial campaign can we change our outlook and give it to the people that really do need it?  What would $1 billion do for your community today? 

I am in hopes to start to gather an online presence that wants to make a change towards giving towards others.  I am in hopes that people will start to make a shift towards trying to give every day of their lives.  Stop living a life of what more can I get in my life, and start living a life on what more I can give.

It all starts today with you making a small change.

I really would love to hear your inspirational stories.  Click to share your story

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The 98 Year Old Beggar

There is so much good in our world.  Some people don't even see it right under their nose.  Did you ever here the story of Dobri Dobrev from Bulgaria?  He is a 98 year old man who walks 10 kilometers from his village to the city of Sofia and spends the day begging for money.

Most people would pass this man and feel sorry for the man who dresses in shoes and clothes he made himself.  We would pass him feeling sorry for him and wondering how he became the beggar he is today.

Here is the catch.  Dobri Dobrev may beg for money, but every penny he has collected has been given towards the resotration of his towns monostaries and churches.  He also gives his money to the power bill for his towns orphanage.  He has raised and given over 40,000 Euros.  Here is a great inspiring story of someone who has nothing and continues to give every day of his life.

Stories like these have allowed me to overcome the question of whether or not to give to a beggar on the street.   Any of us could get to a point where we have to stand on the street and ask for money.  Regardless of what they do with it, we all have lessons to learn in our life.  While in Puerto Rico there were several people asking for money on the street.  Instead of asking what they are going to do with the money I asked myself what I can give.  Here I am on a gorgeous trip across the ocean, of course I can give up something of myself.  I was able to give money and left over food on my trip, and look forward to figuring out more ways to give.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Week 4 - Giving on the Go / 38 ways you give

This week I am heading to Puerto Rico for my birthday!!!  I am on the road quite a bit in my life, so I am excited to see how this week pans out.  I want to take time out of my trip and figure out ways that I can give.  We all have 24 hours in our day.  Whether we are on vacation, working until the wee hours of night, or providing for our families, we all have the opportunity to give more throughout our day.

This week to continue with my mission of giving something every day I am bringing the "pay it forward" envelopes like I handed out in week 3.  Last week I focused on giving these envelopes to close friends and family, but this week I am going to focus more on complete strangers.  Also this week I want to focus on other ways to give.  I am keeping my eyes open for different ways to give this week.  I have a feeling that if I keep my eyes open and search for new ways to give they will continue to present themselves to me.

I ask one favor from my readers this week.  This year I turn 38.  To celebrate the number 38 I ask for you to write down 38 ways you give throughout this week.  These can be things that you already do throughout your life.  Maybe you have been doing this for so long that you do not even consider it giving anymore.  Maybe you make dinner for your family (this is giving).  Maybe you are someone's boss (you are giving this person a job and money).  Maybe you take your dog for a walk (also giving).  Write down as many giving ways you do throughout the week.  Be proud of the fact that you have given part of yourself throughout this week.  If you fall short let's try to give more.  If you are over 38 keep up the good work.

There is always a way to give more in our lives :)