Thrilling Me!

23/5/2013

Kiva + The Artist’s Way + Dan Pallotta + Chilli Tea

Kiva

Having worked in and around the area of financial inclusion and microfinance for the better part of five years, Kiva has come up on my radar a lot, particularly as I worked with a number of their field partner institutions.

Kiva

I became a Kiva lender a couple of years ago and have since lent to women in the Pacific and in Asia. Kiva crowd-sources funding to make small micro-loans to entrepreneurs and business people in developing countries. You get to choose whereabouts in the world you’d like to lend, and whose business you want to lend to – and this comes back to your Kiva account in monthly instalments. Once you have enough paid back, you can then choose another person to lend to – and so on.

A very kind and clever Kiva donor has initiated a ‘free loan’ trial, whereby if you’re new to Kiva and click on this link, you’ll get to become a Kiva lender, with a free $25 to lend to a Kiva client of your choice. Get on it and start lending today!

The Artist’s Way

I’ve been using a couple of tools from Julia Cameron’s seminal book, The Artist’s Way, for a few years now – namely the Morning Pages exercise – which is basically writing three hand written pages every morning, without censoring, to clear out the gunk that can reside in your consciousness and creatively block you. They are fantastic and I highly recommend them to anyone who is remotely interested in freeing their creativity – regardless of which form that plays out in. You don’t need to be a writer to benefit from this practice.

Artist's Way

So after using the Morning Pages for awhile, I’d been wanting to take myself through the entire 12 week Artist’s Way course that’s set out in her book, but had never gotten around to it. Until now. And it is fantastic. Two very enthusiastic thumbs up. I’m only in to week two, but am already seeing HUGE benefits from doing it.

Dan Pallotta’s TED Talk

It’s with a semi-sheepish raise of the shoulders that I admit to you that I’ve only just recently gotten around to watching Dan Pallotta’s phenomenal TED talk entitled, ‘The way we think about charity is dead wrong. It’s been brought up in numerous conversations and I’ve seen it flitting about on the interwebs on social media, but I’ve always pushed it to the side ‘for later’.

Dan Pallotta

Well, later came and I’m so glad I finally watched it. He does an excellent job of succinctly puttin forward the case for non-profits to be unshackled from their puritan approach to keeping overheads low and not spending more than 10% on ‘administration’. Because this approach is very effectively strangling the innovation and potential of non-profits to make an even bigger difference in communities than they currently are. I love this, from Dan:

“Business will move the mass of humanity forward, but will always leave behind that 10% of the most disadvantaged and unlucky — which is why we need philanthropy and nonprofits. But couldn’t the nonprofit sector use the same strategies as the business world to grow their profits and give more money to the needy? After all, how do you monetise the prevention of violence against women?”

Grab a cup of tea and watch it!

Chilli Tea

With the onset of colder weather here in Brisbane, I’ve taken to drinking copious amounts of mostly herbal tea, like jasmine and green tea. By the way, when I say colder, I do mean around 20-22 degrees celsius and generally clear blue skies. So we don’t get it too cold down here in South East Queensland. But by god do we reserve the right to whine and complain about how freezing it is while wearing just a cardigan and open-toed shoes.

Chillis

Anyhoo, a colleague of mine brought in a gorgeous batch of home-grown chillis and I have been gleefully adding some chopped chilli to my herbal teas. And I love it! It’s super warming, helps clear my cold-shocked sinuses, and chillis also have a very high level of vitamin C – so definitely a good thing to be chowing down on in these winter months. I’m planning on experimenting with a whole host of additions to steep with my chilli in the coming months. If you have any other suggestions, pop them below!

I’d love to hear what’s thrilling you this week – or is there anything on my list that you particularly like the sound of? Comment below, gorgeous!

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