It’s Not About You

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It’s Not About You

Wow. These four words, while small, are extremely powerful. I had the opportunity of standing among some of the most motivated and inspiring people in the Lehigh Valley last night, and some of their words really stuck with me. At the annual Lehigh Valley Suits Awards, one award recipient started her acceptance speech with these four words. I’ve read them before from the book The Purpose Driven Life and was reminded that these are the very first words in the entire book.

This is what giving is all about. It’s not you. It’s not for you to get something from it, it’s not for personal gain, it’s not for praise or awards. You give and do good things, for others, for them. I love this. This honoree continued by stating that giving and helping others is about the reward and not the award. We do things to benefit others, and then see the amazing impact that was made and how others, communities, etc are changed. You propel the change by your good acts, and then the ripple affect begins! It really is amazing to think about.

How can you give now and immediately? The easiest everyday example of giving would be to smile at everyone you see. Think about it. What if each person you walked by, made eye contact with, passed in the office, etc. you consciously made the effort to smile or say hello to. It’s a small gesture, but I can personally attest to the power of a smile when feeling down or in a bad mood. The easiest thing to give, a smile. Simple concept, great reward.

The other speakers last night were nothing short of inspiration and their impact in our Lehigh Valley community is remarkable. I am proud to have been able to stand among them, and am honored to have received the Emerging Leader Award sponsored by the United Way.

The award ceremony last night made me appreciate the efforts of those right here in our community who are make positive changes and leaving their mark every day. My challenge for you is to see where you can make a difference, and go for it. The first step to volunteering and making a difference is to actually get up and go.

Find your passion, light the spark and make it happen.

And remember, it’s not about you.

Pay it forward ✨
-Aurora

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The Meaning Of Lent and Giving Up Things you LIKE!

Lent is here!!!! I can’t believe this time of year is here already! Do any of you give up anything? Any Christians out there who aren’t sure if you’d like to give anything up? Or what to give up? 

Growing up Catholic, I have given up something each year in preparation for Easter that meant a lot to me or was something I really enjoyed. My reason for doing this, as I believe, is that the smallest thing I am able to do, to prepare for Easter, is sacrifice something I really like. In my faith, we give up something for 40 days- something we love, something we desire, our go-to food, thing we do too much of (and maybe shouldn’t), etc! While we believe that God made the ultimate sacrifice by giving us his son, on the smallest scale possible, this is our time to prepare ourselves for his rising at Easter.

I do it for the exact reason above… to prepare myself, but I also think about it as a time to make myself better. Typically in Lent, people give up things that they enjoy too much of, or things they don’t like about themselves. For example, a good friend of mine usually gives up cursing. He knows his family doesn’t like it, and thinks he can scale it back, and so takes the 40 days to try and eliminate it completely. While he often goes back to it after Lent, his level of cursing has notably decreased each year. 

I’m a stickler for Lent. I put my mind to what I want to do and I stick with it. One year, I gave up coffee. For those of you who don’t know me personally, I drink coffee every morning. To make it worse, my office was about 20 yards from a Starbucks… where many times it was even brought to my desk if I hadn’t surfaced in hours due to workload! Even the people in my every day life knew how critical it was for me to have it daily {multiple times at that}!!! This was one of the hardest Lent’s I had ever gone through, because I felt like I was giving up a routine, energy from coffee, something I liked etc. But what does coffee stand for when looking at a scale of the greatest sacrifice in my religions history? Obviously, nothing. It was a difficult 40 days, but I felt like I really accomplished something. I felt good about myself, and even stronger in my faith. For one of the first times, I understood Lent.

So what am I giving up this year and why? This year, I decided to give up two things I enjoy and to add something into my routine to make me feel good and get back on track to where I would like to be! So, for Lent 2014, I am giving up soda and beer and adding 4 nights a week of 8+ hours of sleep! Over the last few years, soda has been something I can regularly get at work {best with ice cubes of course!}, and it makes me feel better and more relaxed after a stressful day– that’s right… I actually looked forward to getting a soda each day! In addition to this, after long days at work, or a busy work week, my boyfriend, friends and I often would kick back and have a few beers. Of all alcoholic beverages, beer has become my favorite!…{never thought I’d say that!!}, but this is the reason I want to give these two things up this year. I want to challenge myself to let go of things I really like, and appreciate the sacrifices made for me and my life. 

The 8+ hours of sleep for 4 nights a week, comes in for my desire to add a positive while taking away things I want to eliminate during Lent. I’ve done this on my own for years, and have always felt good about adding the one thing I wanted to change currently in my life. I need more sleep, so what better time to implement this then when I am being strict with out vices in my life?

Being open to Lent and giving something up is on an individual basis that truly only makes sense {or doesn’t} to each and every one of us. I do this because I choose to, and hope to offer strength and support to those of us giving up something we want to challenge ourselves with this Lent!

So GOOD LUCK to my fellow Lent-leapers out there, and please let me know what you’re giving up! I’d love to know! Lent starts today March 5th and ends Thursday April 17th!

Cheers :]

xo Aurora Beani