The Art of Thoughtful Giving

by Nikki Mark

I have always LOVED giving gifts and tend to put a lot of thought into finding just the right ones for the right person and occasion.  But after tragedy struck in my life, I became a lot more intentional about giving gifts that nourish the heart and feed the soul.

Within seconds of Tommy passing away, I very quickly realized that “stuff” has no value. In fact, so much of what I once treasured felt so utterly meaningless that I purged my life of almost all of it as part of my therapy.  Unless something had been given to me by a family member or close friend, or represented a memory I wanted to cherish forever, it had to go. Ninety percent of nick-nacks, clothes and shoes, regardless of their price tags and labels, got stuffed in trash bags and donated to a homeless shelter.  I even sold most of my jewelry and donated the proceeds toward building Tommy’s Field

Even when it came to Tommy’s things, I kept what was special to both him and my family and gave the rest away to others who I knew would cherish it all. 

And you want to know something interesting? No one in my family even noticed the massive purge.  That’s how meaningless all the “stuff” was.   But I had faith that if I could feel the healing benefits of it, on some subconscious level they would too. 

After sifting through every room in the house and giving most of it away to those who wanted and truly needed it, I felt lighter.  It felt as though old energy that no longer served me had been released and some much-needed space was opening for something new.

I didn’t read any books on this. I wasn’t aspiring to live like a monk.  I had little understanding of the laws of energy at that time, spiritual or otherwise.  I simply had trouble breathing through my grief and all the “stuff” in my life was only further suffocating me.  

Interestingly, as many hours as I spent in my waking life clearing out what no longer mattered to me, I also experienced a “clearing” in my sleeping life as well.  For at least three years straight, I spent multiple nights a week cleaning in my dreams and clearing out the junk drawers of my very own soul. 

Sometimes I’d vacuum and sweep neighborhoods I didn’t even know. Other times, I’d mop the floors of my childhood home, or clean the windows of very tall buildings.  By the time I woke up in the mornings, I had tossed out multiple trash bags full of grief, old belief systems and what felt like lifetimes of wounds that my spirit could no longer carry.

Because I experienced firsthand how smothering “stuff” can be, now when I buy a gift for myself or someone else, I do so with the intention of lifting spirits and touching hearts.  Seeing the warm reactions of those on receiving end has in turn been a gift to me.

And now I gift YOU this: My favorite holiday gift ideas for anyone looking for a simple but meaningful gift this year.

This is no Oprah or Goop holiday shopping list, but I’m hopeful some of the gifts I like to give will speak to the hearts you care about too.

Last, but not least, if you want to give yourself one of the greatest gifts of all this year, clear out some “stuff,” give it to someone in need, and signal to 2024 that you are ready for something new.   

P.S.  There are plenty of magazines, books and even TV shows dedicated to “editing” our possessions, but I bet if we all share (in the comments section) our favorite way to clear out the old, it would inspire others to do the same. So, share away!

1 thought on “The Art of Thoughtful Giving”

  1. Nikki
    It will be 5 months that my husband passed. I spend my time cleaning outside and inside my home, gardening and work. These take up my time. I do not think I can get rid of stuff. I going to try to get through Christmas and New Years. I do look at stuff with a new perspective. Gifts will be with more healing and compassion. Thank you for your thoughts and ideas. They are helpful.


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