The word sustainability has been used a lot in reference to our environment and the impact we are making on the planet. Recently the word sustainability has been coming in more and more for me in reference to our internal environment and being of service in the world.
How can we truly make a difference in this world in a way that is sustainable?
How can we extend love and support without self sacrifice?
Is there a way to shift from being of selfless service in the world to being of self fulfilled service to others?
It begins within our own hearts and minds. We must first set the intention to extend from a place of love not fear.
When fear meets fear, fear expands.
When love meets fear, love expands.
Giving from a place of fear is not serving anyone including you. When we give out of guilt, obligation or fear it is dis-empowering the receiver and comes at a sacrifice to self. A simple way to discern is to ask “Am I giving from a place of love or fear?”
Listen deeply and pay attention to how you feel physically. Generally you will feel an expansion if you are in alignment with love and a constriction, niggling or tension if you are giving from a place of fear.
This is where “caring too much” can be more harmful than helpful. When you care too much and give from a place of fear you are expanding the energy of fear within you, within the receiver and extending fear out into the Universe. I often compare it to being an enabler to an individual who is an addict. Parents and friends of an addict often give money to an addict hoping they will change but they are actually enabling them to continue their self destructive behaviour.
When you give money from a place of guilt or obligation you are enabling them and preventing them from receiving the lesson or opportunity to heal. They may come to rely on you to bail them out whenever they are financially struggling. This is what I call giving a “hand out”. It is not sustainable. It does not create long term change for the individual.
When you give from love, meaning you are clearly guided in your heart to extend money to another, you are extending love. When we follow our hearts it is for everyone’s highest good including us. We feel good about giving because there is no fear, guilt or obligation. There is only love. When it is guided, you are meant to give them money and they are meant to receive it from you. It is a win-win. There is a lesson in it for both the giver and receiver. This is a “hand up”.
Recently I was speaking to a dear friend of mine from Kenya. Edel Quinn is a social worker who provides education as well as emotional and the financial support to women in the Kibera Slums.
The Kibera Slums is the most densely populated area of extreme poverty in the world. It is estimated that there are 1 million people living in 1 square mile of land with most earning less than $1 a day.
When I first met Edel Quinn in 2012 I knew instantly this woman was following her heart’s work and fulfilling her life’s calling. Edel has been selflessly providing business education, entrepreneurial training and emotional and social support to the women of the slums for many years now.
Once they complete the Karraffa Business Academy for Women they receive micro-loans to start their own business. Edel told me that many people want to help and often come to Africa to share information but don’t provide the means necessary to create change, like the financial means. While others provide money but don’t provide the education or information women need to make the necessary changes to shift their circumstances. The money is a temporary band-aid. This is a “hand out”. I am not saying it is wrong, what I am saying is that it is not sustainable.
Many of the women in Kibera have no education and are desperately trying to provide for their children. Some even turn to prostitution as a last resort to feed their family.
So what would make it sustainable? It is the combination of education, information and financial support that provides the means to create change and ensure long lasting success. Edel has successfully helped many women start their own businesses and 17 women were actually able to move out of the slums. They feel empowered and determined and vow never to go back. This is providing a “hand up”. Empowering women with education and the financial means to start their own business and create a new life for themselves and family.
After working tirelessly for years Edel has been able to secure a company who offers interest free microloans to the women who complete the Karaffa Business Academy for Women. While Edel is making a huge difference in the lives of many women and their children, she has not been able to create financial stability and sustainability in the business so she can pay her own wage each month.
Edel has inspired me so deeply that I will be traveling to visit with her and meet the women she is working with as well as those she has helped over the years. We will be laying the ground work to create a sustainable business model so that she can continue her heartwork without her own financial worries.
This is where you come in. Our Heart Led Living Foundation is now accepting donations to extend love and financial support to the women and children of the Kibera Slums and to our angel on earth, Edel Quinn.
Tune into your heart and if you feel moved, inspired and guided to extend love in the way of financial support we would love to add your energy to this heart led cause. If you are not feeling a heart yes to extend money please extend love toward our cause. Any loving energy is welcome.
You can click here to donate. Any amount is most appreciated and will make a difference.
100% of the proceeds collected go directly to this cause.
Remember to tune in and follow your heart when it comes to this donation and when it comes to every other decision in your life. Is it coming from love or fear? Choose love now and contribute to the expansion of love globally. Be open to ways you can be of self-fulfilled service in the world and let’s raise the level of love, one inspired action at a time.
If you would like to learn more about the Heart Led Living Foundation please click here.
Here are two videos of Edel Quinn sharing about two of the women she has helped through the Karaffa Business Academy for Women