In order to give back to our community, I give a percentage of my gross weekly income from client sessions and speaking engagements to various charities and non-profit organizations, usually to those who serve the gay and lesbian (LGBT) and HIV communities.
I was inspired to do this practice, called “tithing”, by Jack Canfield’s book, “The Success Principles”, a wonderfully motivational book that I recommend highly and practically use as a text book in my practice (https://www.gaytherapyla.com/?page_id=76). In one of his chapters on money and wealth, he recommends that everyone, to the extent that they can, practice the “tithe.” In earlier times, and to some degree today, to “tithe” meant the tradition of giving a certain amount (usually ten percent) of your income to your local church, as part of a commitment to membership. Jack Canfield “updates” this tradition by encouraging people to give to an organization or cause they care about. He relates stories of once people start doing this, they often have more than ever to give. I have certainly found this to be true. It also supports one of my tenets that I teach my clients about “living in abundance.”
My weekly “grant disbursement” to the charity or cause of my choice is one of my favorite rituals of the week. I usually donate to the cause that has most “moved” me that week, either from current events, news stories, or stories that my clients relate in session that week. This can range from heartbreaking stories of antigay harrassment, to stories about animals, the environment, or social justice (such as child and elder abuse).
Previous recipients have included:
AIDS Project Los Angeles, LA Gay & Lesbian Center, Equality California, Aid for AIDS, AIDS Walk Los Angeles, Chris Kids Atlanta, Life Group LA, Outfest, MS Walk, Mustaches Versus Cancer, World Society for the Protection of Animals, National Public Radio, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Tour de Cure, Revlon Breast Cancer Run/Walk, Hope for Haiti Now, Best Friends Animal Society, Butte-Silver Bow Public Library, Actors Fund, Sojourn Family Services of Santa Monica, Junior Blind, Defenders of Wildlife, GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), Shambala Animal Preserve, Gay & Lesbian Elder Housing, Animal Welfare League of Arlington (VA), The Trevor Project, Project Angel Food, ACLU, Amnesty International, Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, Drug Policy Alliance, GLSEN (Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network), and SLDN (Servicemembers Legal Defense Network).
I can explain more of how this works in session. I encourage everyone to try this!