Buddha’s eyes are shown to remind us to have compassion towards all living creatures. Hither and Yon
Look around, these are hard times. People who never in a million years thought they would be out of a job, are looking for work. Those lucky enough to have a job are still reeling after a year of gas prices that can best be described as obscene. Now winter is upon us making it even harder for families to make ends meet. To top it off, it is the holidays.
How can we celebrate this season, however we celebrate it, in the midst of all this suffering?
The answer is – we celebrate mindfully – with open eyes and an open heart.
First we look, without turning away, at what our neighbors and communities are experiencing – then we do something within our celebrations, however small, to make a difference.
How to share your celebration
Shop mindfully – support those merchants and artists who give back to the local and global community.
Give your shopping dollar twice the impact – buy from merchants who share the wealth and resources this holiday season. Closest to my heart is Cleveland Heights merchant City Buddha (the first presents my youngest son gave me were from City Buddha’s Ohio City Store – one particularly lean year he gave me a Buddha Sticker with an offer of a free meal on the reverse side – I never redeemed it) who is sponsoring a month long food drive. Bring a nonperishable food item and not only will you get a 5% discount on your purchase, City Buddha will deliver the food and match that 5% with a cash donation to the Cleveland Foodbank. Get the details here – City Buddha’s Buddha’s Bowl Food Drive
Think outside the gift box with certificate for services. You may not realize how big an impact you can make with a certificate for a hair cut, beauty services or massage and healing to someone in need. More importantly, you probably don’t realize how much the service providers give, sometimes anonymously, to the community. You know they are top on your list when you need a donation for your silent auctions and raffles. You can thank them, and make sure they will be there the next time you need them, by buying gift certificates. It’s time to give back.
Lorna Richman, craniosacral therapist, licensed massage therapist and Reiki master. Lorna is a gifted healer, craniosacral therapist and teacher. You can make an appointment with Lorna by calling 216 371 2321. Be sure to check out her free classes this January at the Coventry library.
Neal Szpatura, Tarot Reader, Shamanic Practitioner and writer. Neal is more than a psychic, he is an intuitive life coach, a law of attraction teacher and all round mensch. You can contact Neal at 216 371 3433 or by email to nealdragon @ aol.com. Check out his website – Shamanspath (Internet Explorer only) and his Shamanspath’s blog (be sure to sign up for his daily inspirational email). For a special holiday treat listen to Neal’s original radio play “Alexandra, the Christmas Imp” on WKSU.
Sarva Natural Soaps are exquisite works of practical art created by local artisan Michelle Gilbert. Made in small quantities with the highest quality ingredients everyone on your holiday list will feel blessed by these treasures – I know I do.
Cut Hair Studio – a friendly and hip neighborhood shop offering quality service with kindness. An hour spent at Cut will make you look good and feel good.
For the readers on your list, choose local writer and activist Christopher Barzak‘s new novel – The Love We Share Without Knowing. Double your local impact by buying it (and his first novel – One For Sorrow) at Jospeh Beth Booksellers.
Thanks to Web 2.0 sometimes the community that sustains us is global. I have been blessed with kindness from Ophelia Chong over this past very difficult year. She is an artist whose visual and written work is stunning and a reflection of her magnificent heart. You can see more of Ophelia’s work on Flickr.
Bazaar Bizarre – Indie crafts from local artisans
Buy DIY for the holidays and support local artists! Bazaar Bizarre, Cleveland’s fabulous original indie craft show takes place Saturday December 13th from noon to 9:00 p.m., and Sunday December 14th from noon to 6:00 p.m. You may remember the building complex (former home of 1300 Gallery) from the first Cleveland BazBiz shows, but the entrance is in a different location this year: 78th Street Studios: 1300 W. 78th St to 1305 W. 80th St., North parking lot, North entrance — accessible from W. 78th OR W 80th St.
Cool Cleveland publishes a northeast Ohio holiday shopping guide – check it out here before you head to the big box stores.
Thank you to Jill Finlayson from Social Edge, a program of the Skoll Foundation, for dropping by and sharing another unique gift guide – the Holiday Gift Guide for Social Entrepreneurs 2008. From the gift of Transparency to the gift of Social Return on Investment, Jill offers the perfect wish list for all social entrepreurs. Whether you are in the nonprofit arena or engaged in change through advocacy in the for profit world, Social Edge should be in your RSS feed.