Heartworks is about the connected energy that takes place between the receiver and the giver. It is never just about the giver or just about the receiver, it is about the connection these acts create. After 15 years of actively witnessing this exchange on a daily basis, we have come to understand that it is this energy that heals us. It is this energy that helps us to see ourselves more clearly. The invisible exchange that takes place when one human being reaches out and another receives is ultimately what we are all searching for in this lifetime. Receiving heals us. Giving heals us. Heartworks is about moving through the resistance we often feel to reaching out and coming into an understanding that this exchange is what expands our lives, heals our hearts and helps us cope with the uncertainty of life.
At Heartworks we often hear “I don’t know what to do.” Here are 100 ideas to help spark some creative thinking. I often think about the culture of giving and receiving we all experienced in the weeks following September 11, 2001. I don’t think that people asked this question. I think everyone was so emptied out, so on our knees, that people just gave whatever they had to give and the receivers were so disoriented they just said “YES.” There was no room for perfection, hesitation or insecurity about how good of a lasagna you made. In the fall of 2001, every lasagna was made with grace and love and a deep desire to connect. This is what the magic of that time was about. You just gave from whatever you had.
If you owned an ice cream truck you parked in my sister’s driveway and offered ice cream to her children and their friends.
If you were an orthodontist you offered to put her kids’ braces on.
If you owned a salon you gave haircuts.
If you were a gardener you brought her flowers.
If you loved to go to Costco, you went to Costco and bought her paper goods.
If you were a math teacher you offered tutoring sessions.
If you were a baker you sent her chocolate chip cookies.
People gave whatever they had to offer. The list went on and on and it carried my sister and her four kids through that first year. Somewhere between our culture forgetting about the sense of connection we all experienced and discovering Pinterest, we are back to feeling intimidated and paralyzed when faced with struggle.
Here are some helpful hints on giving. Pick and choose whatever makes most sense to you:
- Remember a time that you were in need and offer whatever helped you or what you wish someone had done for you
- Bring yourself back to the “no hesitation” time of the fall of 2001 and act now as you did then
- Stay away from trying to make things perfect and just reach out
- You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, give from your own talents and gifts
- Give purposefully, and if you are a prayer person, give prayerfully
Our greatest hope is to expand what we are doing in Basking Ridge, NJ across the country. Please join the movement to look inward at your life story and give outward to someone else. Thank you and please share these ideas with anyone who may find them helpful.