Discovering an Inspiring ‘Flow’ to be a Philanthropist

I love going on holiday, especially when reunited with family and friends.  Holidays are great moments to rejuvenate the soul. I find that reading on my holidays really rejuvenates my soul.

During this holiday, I thoroughly enjoyed reading the inspirational writing of Lynne Twist, THE SOUL OF MONEY. Twist is a global activist, fundraiser, speaker, consultant, and author focused on influencing change for the way most citizens of western societies relate to money. In SOUL OF MONEY, Twist addresses the three most common money stresses – 1.) there is never enough; 2.) having more is better; 3 having a lack of is just the way it is – and theorises that by changing our relationship with money we will naturally create a stress-free lifestyle and actually grow an income over time.

How? Twist suggests to live with mind of sufficiency. She says that everything should be thought to live like a flowing river, especially money. Money is constantly available to us no matter our perceived financial situation – there is enough to supply everyone and everything. She encourages her readers to think about what we spend our money and where it actually goes to, rooting our purchases in similar values and beliefs we hold true of ourselves. Twist says, “Whether you are aware of it or not, you make an impact each day with your choices about how you live and how you allocate you resources. If ‘money talks’ it is with our voice. Each financial choice you make is a powerful statement of who you are and what you care about. When you take a stand and have your money reflect that, it strengthens your sense of self.”

At one point in the book, Twist reflects on the life of Mother Theresa who built her organisation caring for the poor with no money. Her institution is now a multi-million dollar business. Mother Theresa believed that she always had enough and when she needed more, she trusted God to provide.

Twist ultimately believes in a “you-and-me” world, opposite to our current state of living in a “you-or-me” world. “None of us want our children or our children’s children to live in a your-or-me world where they have to fight for survival. We want those children to be free, self-expressed, living in harmony and collaboration, with reverence for life and the resources we all share. All of us want a you-and-me world.”

What is my point? What am I inspired about this book? I am inspired by Lynne’s words confirming that we are all naturally philanthropic. Twist acknowledges through her 40+ years in fundraising, “I have found that everyone everywhere wants to contribute their money to make a difference in the world…Philanthropy at any level enables people to get back in touch with [a flowing] relationship with money. In philanthropic interactions, we can return to the soul of money: money as a carrier of our intentions…money as a currency of love, commitment, and service; money as an opportunity to nourish those things we care most about.” Philanthropy, remember, is the act of giving back to a cause, idea, organisation or person that betters the future of the community. We all have values, passions and strong beliefs about what contributes to a positive community but how often do we take the time to acknowledge those beliefs? Are we too shy to take a stand and proclaim to others who we are?

If you are interested in exploring more philanthropic opportunities, especially by supporting Melbourne independent artists, please contact me via email at bcausearts@gmail.com. I would be honoured to connect you with an artist who shares similar passions and values with you.

For more information about Lynne Twist and her work for The Hunger Project, please visit www.lynnetwist.com.