Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Creative Tithing - The Other Stuff We Spend - Part II

In Part 1, we talked about Creative Tithing in monetary terms.

You make money in some kind of crafty, creative endeavor and you give 10% of it away to someone that has inspired you creatively.

The act is very powerful.

It is an act of expansion. You are expanding your own thinking about what is possible for you (ie there is more where this came from, alot more), you are drawing something new and creative into your life and you are expanding someone else's creative world, too.

If they also tithe 10% this goes on and on forever and ever ...

(just sit with that for a second and really let our power sink in!)

There are also ways to practice creative tithing and creative expansion without using money as our practice point.

One way is with applause.

Yes, as in put our hands together, whistle through our fingers, scream bravo until we lose our voices - tell 'em that you love 'em - applause!

This is a very easy practice point, but very powerful.

When you see something that someone has created and you love it - TELL THEM! Convo other sellers on Etsy just to say WOW!

This can't help but send little ripples (which can turn into tsunamis) out into the world.

Encourage people. It's not about blindly saying - “you can do it”.

(although that's nice, too!)

It’s deeper than that. It’s seeing the truth of the other person, especially when they can't see it yet for themselves.

Also, remember to practice expansion by practicing gratitude when you get this kind of applause.

If someone tells you how great your work is and your first thought is - well, then BUY something for pete's sake - the energy just stops ... right there ... clunk.

Or, if you think- "what? my work? it's just ok" - clunk.

Now, if you really allow yourself to take it in and let it expand the way you see yourself and the way you see the world - stuff happens, big stuff happens!


Another great practice point for creative tithing is with your time.

There are as many ways to do this as there is creative inspiration out there.

Time is a very powerful tithe.

You can always make more money, but we all get just a finite amount of time in a day and to tithe some of this into the creative community is a very powerful thing.


If you sell on Etsy, making treasuries to promote other sellers is a huge tithe of your time. Giving your time to creative people and creative groups expands your world in very powerful ways.

Your talent is also a very powerful practice point.

Giving away your talent in terms of work, skills, mentoring, training, information, etc is a huge way to expand.

Our talent is something that we are called to express. It isn't so much a gift to us, as it is our gift to everyone else! We are called to pass it on. We cannot waste it!

If you are called to paint - paint! If you are called to write - write! You never know who will read your words or see your work and in what way they will be moved and inspired to bring more of that creativity into their own life!

Donating your work to charities that support the arts and schools are great ways to practice creative tithing of your talent.

You don't have to be a teacher to be a teacher. You don't have to have it all together to pass on the stuff that you do.

(and have you ever learned anything really true from anyone who wasn't a total train wreck at some point in their life?)

You are always mentoring somebody - even when you are just doing a really good job, maybe especially when you are just doing a really good job

Inspire them.

You can tithe other abundances in your creative life, too, everything from supplies to connections - it is kind of endless.

Now, these are all practices. And practices need to be practiced to work (and just like the practice that you put into your craft and the practice called exercise - it doesn't just work for other people, it has to work for you, it can't not work).

If we didn't do things unless the outcome was guaranteed we would never do anything of value.

Faith comes from first doing the thing – not necessarily knowing that everything will turn out the way we want it to. And creative tithing is not a religious act, but it is an act of faith.

Tithing your time and talent and praise and money probably will not work in any positive way for us if we do it grudgingly

(if a situation feels wrong then don't do it - the lesson for that type of stuff is most likely about standing up for ourselves and our value and saying no to things) -

because tithing keeps our energy at the level of the act, so making it a selfless act

(as much as possible, we are not expected to be Mother Teresa here)

and letting it go is very important.


I also think it is very powerful to do the thing that is the hardest thing, for us to do.

For some people it is easier to give money than time - for others it is easier to give away their time than to part with 10% of their creative income and I do think that maybe always doing the easier thing can dillute this a bit, so try to do the thing that makes you uncomfortable and work with that once in a while.

Because creative tithing is about expansion and expansion is about growth and growth is about challenging ourselves.

What else can we do; what do you think?

great job on that thing you did card by sycamorestreet
make time don't kill time - flourish print by daisyjanie
waste of talent t-shirt by wasteoftalent13

35 comments:

Thirty-Six Ten said...

I so agree when you said here:
"because tithing keeps our energy at the level of the act, so making it a selfless act ...and letting it go is very important."

it's hard not to think about the outcome and how it will be received. We must ACT because that is where the tithe lies, in us, not in the outcome! The tithe is for our hearts and souls. Some tithes will bless others, some will not, but they will always bless us. Hard to see and do, especially at the 10% level, but it's a universal paradox, it always comes back in abundance.

Catherine Ivins said...

Yes, I agree Thirty-Six 10!

Kendra Zvonik said...

i love you, cat!

Cardinal Lane Farms said...

WOW great post! You hit it dead on with all the ways to tithe. Sometimes we don't think about praise...you never know how a simple "good job" can make a person's day. So to you Cat...Good Job, no GREAT JOB. Keep it coming, I look forward to checking out your blog every day!

Catherine Ivins said...

Thanks Kendra and Cardinal Lane Farms- love ya's back!

donauluft said...

To share this all makes you to the grand vizier of creative tithing!
Its always like a little push in a direction I do look already...Thank´s, love it!

Catherine Ivins said...

you are scaring me Viktoria- you know I don't know what the hell I am talking about...

Jessica said...

I adore these two posts. What a fabulous example of the creative community's spirit. I am going to think of ways that I can tithe in my little creative community TODAY.

Cynthia said...

Great post with lots of food for thought -- thank you!

iHanna said...

You put my philosophy into words, and I applaud you greatly and with both admiration and gratefulness - I just can't write it like this but it is my thoughts too! :-)

VintageGeek said...

I am so glad I found this blog post, along with the previous one from last Wednesday. What a marvelous and insightful concept! I have always wanted to support the indie crafts community as much as possible, but I am dirt poor and rarely get the opportunity to buy things I don't absolutely need. But the ideas you present in this blog post have inspired me to do more than just spend my money (although I will make a concerted effort to do so more in the future).

We all need encouragement, and the encouragement is what drives away the harsh competition that, I think, kind of defeats the purpose of the crafting community itself. Everyone who makes the effort to put their talents out into the world deserves at least our time and recognition. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. I'll happily link to this from my blog, even though I think I'm the only reader, haha.

Much love to you!!

Catherine Ivins said...

thanks all- Vintage Geek- yes, I am in total agreement that anyone with the cahoonas (is that a word) to put their work out here in the big old world totally deserves our support- we need each other!

xo

Rowena said...

I really just found your blog and was looking through it. I've already encountered the creative tithing idea, and I love it, but I love also the deeper thoughts you write about here.

It's not just about money. It's about time and energy. It's about getting involved and showing your love. I can be a very private person, so I forget sometimes that people love to hear about my love for their work. I think my love doesn't matter, but I can see that it does.

All you need is love, right? ha ha. Sorry. Love and tithing. ;)

Jenny Wynter said...

I think being a friend - even to somebody you don't necessarily know - is a very powerful way of tithing. Yes, words of encouragement, but also just pointing out the beauty that you see in somebody even (or especially!) when they struggle to see it for themselves.

I've been really inspired too just to be more generous in my blog/cyber-life i.e. sharing links, profiles, etc. of other people's work that I find inspiring and amazing, rather than just making it an "all about me and aren't I fabulous"-fest!

Don't get me wrong, it's all that too... ;-)

But yeah, sharing the love.

Love your blog btw, really truly. x

BeachGlassGems said...

This article is awesome...inspiring and motivating. I already do some things mentioned...but this article nudged me not to become complacent...keep improving. Thanks so much!

Nicole said...

Thanks so much for this great post. Now I have words to put to the time I use helping others. Now when my someone says 'why are you spending so much time helping *her* out on improving her photographs when you could be making more soap?', I have an answer: Because it feels good. And it will come back to me some day, somehow. :)

Catherine Ivins said...

Great comments everyone- and yes, I think it will come back to you Nicole and the very act of tithing is elevating your own energy and putting you in a higher place and then your own work- whatever it is-can't help but come from this higher place!

eNVe said...

this is so brilliant cat! thanks for continually sharing your inspiring posts with the world. :)

Sierra said...

I really enjoyed this post. I hadn't ever thought of giving a "tithe" with yourself and crafting, but it makes sense. We could all benefit if we did this!
Thanks for writing this!

Victoria Whincup said...

Really interesting blog.....I like it! Thanks for sharing.

Useful Books said...

Excellent post! In a "ME-ME-ME" world, we begin to think it's okay to focus only on ourselves and our success. Giving back is CRITICAL to real success and happiness. Great advice!

Megan V said...

This is an amazing article. Your life outlook is so wise and "big picture". It's amazing how often people DON'T think about the fact that everything we do sends ripples out into the universe and causes an effect. Sometimes, it's hard to see the effects of things right away. This post has really inspired me to think more often about ways that I can give, and not just monetarily. All types of giving are of equal importance!

Thank you so much for this post :) it's going to make me think all day!! :D xoxo

Botanical Bird said...

Wow Cat!! I'm am continually amazed by you, you done rocked my socks off with this post girlfriend.
Yep, it is when we give that we truly receive.....Love it!!

xo
Cyd

PK Studios said...

LIke everyone else....I agree! I've been putting away 5% for an organization that helps people that have inspired me (CAI). I've been searching for another cause for another 5%..Well, I saw your Kiva icon. I just LOVE the concept of loaning to other women. I think I've found my other 5%!

I saw an incredible article a few months back in the New York Times magazine about women and the future. We MUST help other women....Greg Mortenson said "Educate a man and you educate an individual, educate a woman and you educate a community"... the same goes for supporting a woman with a loan as she will then help her community!

Eva / Sycamore Street Press said...

Great generous way of thinking...I totally agree. And thanks for including the image of our card!

Catherine Ivins said...

Thanks everyone- PK studios- I love that quote!!

Jessica said...

I just came here from a link on the etsy forum and i am so inspired by both of these posts. I'm JUST starting out in creative business, pretty sure I haven't made a profit yet, but my wheels are turning about creative tithing! Thank you, you are a great writer!

BobAnn said...

I agree with all that you said in Part I and II. Reading all the comments made it ever nicer when you see how many believe it to.
Thanks again for sharing and reminding us what just 10% can really do.
My Etsy shop is 1 month old, no sales yet but they are on the way. I have still given my 10% in other ways then money. Live is filled with abundance.

SweetbriarStudio (Christie) said...

I almost didn't read this because I thought I knew what you were going to say (yeesh). Then I skimmed it just to see.... Then I printed it so that I can read it again and again when I need to remember how valuable my talents can be to others. In so many ways. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

"Our talent is something that we are called to express. It isn't so much a gift to us, as it is our gift to everyone else! We are called to pass it on. We cannot waste it!"
We owe it to ourselves, but we also have a responsibility to everyone else to put it all out there. It's what keeps us all connected. Thanks for showing me another way to connect

Sara said...

Once again you made me want to be a better person. The tithing idea is fabulous and win/win for everyone involved. Giving is just the right thing to do, especially when so much has been given to me.

Bella Biscotti said...

You never know how you can change a person's day by one kind act. We all know it but often forget to do it. Great reminder and great connection to the creative community.

FOXJEWELS said...

Awesome article It is inspiring and uplifting to learn some new ways we can use our creative ability. I have been blessed tremendously by others I have met along my way that cared enough to teach and support me. To Cheer me on! I look at how far I have grown so so much from my early stages through now. I am always looking for ways to give back...I LOVE this article. I find it overwhelming and with gratitude that I can never out give what blessings and treasure I have been given by others in so so many different ways that have come my way. It is amazing what the power of tithing in so many different forms and ways beyond monetary have become reasons for my success along the way. I thank each and everyone that has taught me to grow ,learn, create and accomplish to bring me at where I am today!!!! Thank you for heeding the call to inspire with your tithes :) Wishing You all on Etsy and beyond Joy and Prosperity.

Brenda FOXJEWELS

Sarah Palisi illustration said...

That really is an inspiring and beautiful philosophy.

Thanks for this:)

The Jul-Ree Box said...

Wow! I grew up hearing about tithing my whole life- but never in my wildest dreams would I ever think I would come across an encouraging post like this recommended by Etsy! YOU GO GIRL! These principles are timeless, tested and fruitful! Thank you for stepping out and following your heart.