Guess what would be a great gift for Christmas? Not something from a Black Friday bust-out, but an awesome recycled gift! Now, before you roll your eyes, and stop reading, give me a minute to explain what you (the giver AND the receiver) get out of it by starting with a story…
I love music. Everybody in my life knows this. I identify with so many genres of music in so many forms. To re-create the soundtrack to my life would literally take a lifetime. I recently had to sell (practically giving away!) my vinyl record collection along with my cool record player. It was so difficult because it was a collection that I had painstakingly cultivated for the past several years.
Earlier this week I saw that the Red Hot Chili Peppers are reissuing Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magic on a red vinyl LP, and I almost cried. I was so sad that I no longer had my record collection, and I wouldn’t be able to listen to the reissued album on my record player. But then I became upset with myself for identifying so closely with my record collection that I was grieving over it as I would a person (or a close pet at the very least).
I became concerned that I was terribly sad over material objects, and I wondered how I could have allowed myself to become so attached to the material realm that I would feel pangs of sorrow in their transition away from my life. When I searched my psyche further, I realized what I truly missed was:
- The hunt. I seriously enjoyed searching out old vinyl, and I enjoyed listening to it for the first time on my record player. But here’s the kicker – those things have already come to pass. I hadn’t been actively seeking records in a while, and my “first times” were already over. They were memories, and I plan on holding on to those.
- The nostalgia. There were many records there to simply remind me of my childhood. I’ve been a record maven since the age of 4 when I was given my first Fisher-Price record player, and my mother gave me her entire 1960’s 45 rpm Beatles collection (oh Mom! How those could sell today, huh? Oh wait. That’s not really the point of this exercise, is it? Or is it?)
- The signature. I think I enjoyed that some people defined me through my musical and artistic tastes (when, in fact, one should prefer definition by one’s own creations).
I realize that we are not defined by a single word, but by many words; though, this meditation has made me realize that I want something more tangible than “She has an awesome record collection!”. I would like to be identified by my work and intentions (as in “She’s a good writer!” or “She’s a good person who helps others!”).
I’ve rationalized it to the simplest points: I needed something in my life (shelter/rent money), and I no longer needed the record collection. It will make somebody else(s) very happy to stumble upon one of those records one day, and that (again, along with the rent money) is very gratifying to my soul. In my world, gratification trumps grief every time.
I recently posted this quote by the Dalai Lama: “Nowadays the world is becoming increasingly materialistic, and mankind is reaching toward the very zenith of external progress, driven by an insatiable desire for power and vast possessions. Yet by this vain striving for perfection in a world where everything is relative, they wander even further away from inward peace and happiness of the mind.”
We are on the physical plane of existence; however, that doesn’t mean that our entire person should wholly identify with this one and only existence. We have a spiritual existence that is tapped through things like prayer, meditation and service to others.
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
Again, because we inhabit the physical plane, I don’t expect people to give up all physical aspects of their existence, but wouldn’t it be cool if they maybe gave up those things that are used almost as a crutch?
Putting an end to our collective addiction to conveniences that scorch the planet or kill other species to the point of extinction would be a great end-point, but a great place to start is in our hearts and homes.
Many peoples have always believed they should sacrifice for their God. What if we realized that every human, animal and plant form carries a consciousness connected to All That Is? Giving something of great personal material attachment away to another, with no expectation of anything in return, is an incredible sacrifice for which you will be rewarded through emotional or material return.
This is also a law of karma. I think somewhere along the way, a lot of people forgot how to practice it because our society now requires “instant gratification”. Karmic return doesn’t always present itself on our expected timeframe. We must simply have faith and KNOW that our output of energy is returned in kind. FAITH (removed from fear and desire) is a lost concept in many modern societies. We’ve come to distrust each other, and therefore, we distrust our universe and gods.
“Those who are highly evolved maintain an undiscriminating perception. Seeing everything, labeling nothing, they maintain their awareness of the Great Oneness. Thus they are supported by it. “
I suggest something to begin the process of setting ourselves right with our SELF, our collective God-Energy and our planet: the Karma Campaign.
Give something of great value, something that you identify with, away. Give it away to a person who has envied or needed your object for quite some time. If it holds great material value, sell it at a ridiculously low price to someone who will love it as much, or more, than you.
While some may feel that this is feeding the “envy energy”, it’s actually quite humbling for both the giver and the receiver (and humbling is something we could all use at a time when it’s important to assess true priorities).
- Sell your old car (as long as you have other means of transport) for $100 – or even $1.
- Let go of a destructive habit at the request of a loved one (i.e. smoking, too much social media, too much tv… give away your computer, tv, etc)
- Go through all of the clothes in your closet, and give away half. Let your friends take first pick, or give them to a local Goodwill or other charity.
- VOLUNTEER YOUR TIME! Time is more often a hotter commodity than cash. Truly help someone(s) in need: the destitute, elderly, abused, addicted. They need our energy now more than ever.
You will be amazed at the time and energy you have after giving up/away certain things in your life that have required the spirit of your attachment. You will free up a space for a new identifying word for yourself (let’s make it good one!).
The most important thing, again, is to give it away without any expectation of return. Give it away because it feels like the right thing to do. Give it away for (and only out of) love. Give it away because you need to free up energy to begin something new. Let it go, and move forward.
I tried thinking of appropriate titles for this endeavor: Love and Let Go Campaign, Give It Away Campaign… everything I came up with sounded inappropriate (like a brothel giving away free love favors) or was already taken, so I came up with the Karma Campaign. Being a Libra, I have a born knowledge of karma and a universal understanding the scales of life will always balance in the end.
Let an object of your identification go out to the Universe, and then pay attention to the changes that brings to your life (and the others who receive your goods or energy). There is no better time than now. With 7 billion people on the planet, we could collectively offer so much positive energy, free of charge, to the Universe that a veritable Paradise on Earth could be achieved.
What we decide to give away is relative to the giver; however, the task shouldn’t be as simple as giving a dollar to a homeless person and walking away. Think about giving some of you precious time to a homeless person instead. The more you give, the more attachments you let go of, the more freedom you obtain.
Please share your Karma Campaign stories here (along with on Facebook and Twitter), and make sure to share this idea with EVERYONE!
I have created a Karma Campaign Facebook page and encourage the use of #KarmaCampaign on Twitter.