What is “reverb13”? The Gift of Giving.

Via Michelle Margaret Fajkus
on Dec 2, 2013
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Green Gift

“I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.”

~ Maya Angelou

This is day two of reverb13. Go here for day one. Today’s prompt is:

What was the most cherished gift you received this year? What was the best gift you gave?

I’ve received so many thoughtful, generous gifts throughout the year. We were literally showered with clothing, blankets, toys and everything we needed for the baby. It was all such a blessing. The most cherished? Hard to say. The most practical and useful? Cloth diapers, for sure.

As for giving, I didn’t give traditionally bought gifts this year. It may seem like a cop-out, but the best gift I gave was the gift of Life.

Having a baby made me slow down and become more mindful. It made me appreciate how fast time flies—she’s already 11 months old! Becoming a mother is the gift I received; being a mindful, loving mother is the gift I try to give my daughter ever day.

(Read the rest of my personal response.)

About Reverb

Reverb is a  personal and communal writing practice that provides a means to reflect on the year that has passed and set intentions for the coming year.

From now until December 14—I’ll post a daily writing prompt here on elephant journal. You are invited to participate, as privately or publicly as you wish, as frequently as you wish, in as few or as many words as you wish.

Keeping your writing in a private journal is one route. Or, if you want to share what you’ve written, add a comment below. If you’re into hashtags, it’s #reverb13.



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Image: Wiki Creative Commons


About Michelle Margaret Fajkus

Michelle Margaret is a Gemini yogini, writer, teacher and retreat leader who founded Yoga Freedom in 2002 in Austin, Texas. Her home since 2012 is Lake Atitlán, Guatemala where she lives in a tiny eco cabin with her Colombiano partner and their adorable daughter, dog and two gatos. Michelle has been writing this column for elephant journal since 2010 and has written some inspiring books, with more on the way. She leads yoga and mindfulness retreats and serves as the retreat managers for the stunningly beautiful Villa Sumaya on majestic Lago Atitlan. Her lineage is the very esoteric Yoga Schmoga, which incorporates hatha yoga asana, dharma (Buddhist) teachings, pranayama (breath work), yin yoga, mindfulness practices and meditation. Join Michelle on retreat in Guatemala!


12 Responses to “What is “reverb13”? The Gift of Giving.”

  1. valturner says:

    In the large scheme of things, I cherish the love I receive from my children through all their tiny daily offerings, the adoration my partner showers upon me in the form of late night grilled cheese sandwiches and ever present thoughtful attention, the fruit of my meditation and yoga practices, my health… I have a gratitude list a mile long.

    But to be specific and concrete, the most cherished gift this year was given to me a week ago by one of my physical therapy patients. I had been treating Jack for about four weeks. He was a harsh man, rough around the edges, diagnosed bipolar and riddled with tension. He had discs herniated in his lumbar spine and sciatic pain climbing down his legs. On his first day to our office, I was warned by our receptionist that Jack was brittle to say the least, and he was. Except that all of that began to evaporate the moment we started our work together as just two humans with a problem to work out. And as a sidebar to our endeavors, we kept up an engaging discussion on the meaning of life and death and its various in-betweens.

    So, last week at the end of our session, Jack sat up, symptom free, and said he had something to give me. He handed me the book “Be Here Now” by Baba Ram Dass. He handed me the most precious gift that I immediately pressed to my heart. He handed me his gratitude, his vulnerability, his basic goodness that lied beneath his steely armor all the while. And so “Be Here Now” is my most cherished gift this year, as well as a worthy life-time mantra.

    I wish someone could tell me what the best gift I gave this year was, because how could I possibly know what was most appreciated? I asked my kids, and Emma said love, Dylan said happiness, and Christian said candy. To be sure, candy is always an excellent gift. I asked my partner and she said “unconditional love”. Well I couldn’t possibly give better than that!

    But I’m going to say that my best gif this year was my longing to be here now, because the better I am able to do that, the better I will be able to give.

  2. andrea says:

    received: a mother's day card from my dead ex-husband the day after mother's day when I was wishing for a sign. it fell out of a pile of old cards and papers I'd been sorting through. eerie timing. completely cherished.

    given: angel cards for everyone when the occasion arises.

  3. Kristy says:

    The best gift I received was Victoria. Yes, that’s broad, but the opportunities and happiness and growth it has brought me are endless…so to choose one gift, it would be the home my friend lent me when my life in Vancouver fell apart and I had no foreseeable way to make things work. I took a leap of faith because that gift was offered to me freely… how grateful I am!

    The best gift I’ve offered is my vulnerability. Through it, I’ve inspired many people to accept that it’s okay to be bare, to show pain, to run free of the pack sometimes in order to take care of yourself. I think many of my connections are due to this quality and I’ve been humbled. Vulnerability has brought me to teaching yoga, and through it I intend to keep teaching vulnerability. It has given me the courage to love more deeply than ever before. Has taught me to try despite possible (or even probable) failure… and to learn from it and to try something else. That asking for what you need helps everyone. If it has taught me all this and so much more, I know others will always benefit from such a gift!

  4. sunyataru says:

    The greatest gift I received this year was time. Time and space to rest and reflect, reground and release in order to move forward with clear intention and rejuvenated passion. For a year that has seen profound upheaval in my life, had I not had the opportunity to slow down, find greater presence in myself, for myself and my son, I would be looking back upon the year as tragic rather than the blessing it has been.

    The greatest gift I gave was that very gift of time. By adjusting priorities, releasing that which no longer nourished me, drawing on savings, I have been able to honour and harvest the pearls of intense transition.

  5. yoga freedom says:

    Beautiful! Thank you for sharing. Namaste.

  6. sunyataru says:

    Amen! You are a gift!

  7. yoga freedom says:

    Thanks for participating! Namaste.

  8. yoga freedom says:

    Thanks for sharing your gifts! Namaste.

  9. yoga freedom says:

    Thanks for sharing! The gift of time should never be taken for granted. Namaste, Michelle

  10. Paleoyogamom says:

    Hi Michelle, I am really loving this #reverb13, but am having trouble finding any writing prompts past day 2, can you guide me where to look? I love your writing, thanks for sharing!

  11. Paleoyogamom says:

    Hi Michelle, nevermind!! I just liked your facebook page, and the info is all there!! YAY!! What a great start to my day!!

  12. Jennifer says:

    The best gift I received this year is my daughters help. She is just two, but she shows such compassion. She’s rubbed by back while I was getting sick from being pregnant with her sister. She asks ” you ok mommy?” When I am done. She has made me laugh (intentionally or not) when I was having a glum moment. And she’s shown me love like I’ve never known. She is my blessing and so sweet. I could never ask for a better gift. She is sunshine.