Daily OM for October 31st – Giving the Gift of You

Giving the Gift of You

Serving Your Community

by Madisyn Taylor

Being of service to our community is part of being a good citizen of the planet earth.


To live harmoniously, we need to be supportive and helpful to all people, creatures, and plant life that share this earth with us. While “being of service is part of being a good citizen of the world, it also feels good to help others. When we do something for others in service, without the expectation of anything in return, we are turning our actions into offerings.

There are many ways to be of service to our community. There are the obvious and much needed volunteer opportunities, such as serving Thanksgiving dinner at a shelter, mentoring our youth, or cleaning up a beach. Then, there is the kind of service that we may not even think of as being acts of service. Learning a new language (perhaps sign language) so that you can talk to more people is a way to reach out to others. Inviting someone who isn’t motivated enough to exercise on their own to join you on your daily walk is a way to give of yourself. Sharing flowers or vegetables from your garden, organizing a poetry reading, offering to babysit for a busy parent, or donating pet food to an animal shelter all are simple ways to offer your services to your community.

There are many ways that you can serve the world. Imagine the impact we would have on the environment if we picked up one piece of trash off the street everyday and chose not to drive our car once a week. Even gardening tactics such as throwing wildflower seeds onto a vacant lot can brighten the lives of others including the lives of birds and insects. Everyday, you can do something to make this world a better place. During meditation, ask for guidance on what you can do to be of service. This can be a wonderful way to start your day. Smiling at a stranger who looks down in the dumps or teaching your neighborhood kids how to whistle will impact someone’s day or even their life. Giving of yourself is the best gift that you can give.

The Daily OM

Calendar of the Sun for July 24

Calendar of the Sun

24 Haymonath

Day of Bast

Colors: Pink, yellow, clay-color
Element: Fire
Altar: Upon a cloth the color of clay, set ten lit candles of pink and yellow, and the figures of many cats. In the center should sit a figure of Bast, and a sistrum. The one who has been chosen to do the work of the ritual should pick up the sistrum before the invocation, with an obeisance to Bast, and it should be shaken after every sentence.
Offerings: Give aid to an animal shelter. Give food to household cats.
Daily Meal: Fish.

Invocation to Bast

O great Mistress of Cats,
Lady of pleasure in ancient times,
Your eyes sparkle with mischief
And you grant your favors capriciously,
Giving them only where the whim takes you.
Yet we who inhabit this strange world,
Below you yet in power over all your subjects,
We would ask your blessing on us
As we give our blessing to those who are in our mercy.
May we never forget, Lady of tame predators,
Who are not so tame as we might like to believe,
That when we are in a position of power
We should never forget the spirit of those beneath us.
Bless us with joy in life, Lady Bast,
And may we go to our graves
Never forgetting what it is like to play.
Hail Bast! (Repeat response)
Hail Bast! (Repeat response)
Hail Bast! (Repeat response)

(For the rest of the afternoon, work should be done at an animal shelter, or spent playing with cats, which on this day alone is not shirking the work. Some folk of the House may choose to be cats themselves for this day; they need do no work, and it is lucky to pet them, but they must not stand on two legs or the spell will be broken. During this time, they must meditate on what it is to be in the strange predicament of the tamed predator who is dependent on the whims of humans.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Special Kitty of the Day for March 31

Morris, the Cat of the Day
Name: Morris
Age: Seven years old
Gender: Male
Kind: Domestic Shorthair
Home: West Boylston, Massachusetts, USA
Morris was adopted from an animal shelter in June 2011. Our previous cat had passed away and we decided we were not going to get another cat. But in a few months we were ready for another one. We are both retired and thought it would be nice to adopt an older cat.

Our daughter had stopped in at a nearby animal shelter and saw a friendly yellow cat named Morris. (When our children were young we had a very nice yellow cat, so of course he caught her eye.) Anyway, we just had to go see Morris and, of course, ended up bringing him home with us. It is the best thing we ever did.

Morris is a very social, affectionate, handsome boy and enjoys any attention he can get. He loves to play with his catnip birds, batting them around and chasing them. He also loves to play laser, running after the light and getting his exercise. (which he needs as he could lose a few pounds) He enjoys his scratching lounger and after he has scratched a while will snuggle up in it and sleep there. Morris also spends a lot of time looking out the glass doors to the outside deck watching the birds and chipmunks.

Morris was a great choice for us and we really enjoy him. We hope other people consider adopting older cats.

Special Kitty of the Day for March 14th

Gryffindor, the Cat of the Day
Name: Gryffindor
Age: One and a half years old
Gender: Male
Kind: Korat
Home: Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA
Irealize every pet owner believes their furry friend is the ultimate pet of pets. However, Gryffindor is more than a pet to me. As a college student with a busy schedule, Gryffindor is ultimate companion. I can always count on him to greet me each and every time I step through the front door. He anxiously awaits on the same step (where he has a clear view of the driveway) day in and day out and sprints down the stairs to offer a warming hello upon my arrival. Good luck finding a human with that type of commitment! I received Gryffindor as a 21st birthday present. I remember the day I picked him out from a Kansas Humane Society Shelter. I had been previously viewing photos on the shelter’s website days before Gryffindor’s adoption. Growing up, I had the same cat, Snowball, who I loved more than anything in the world. After almost nineteen years with me, Snowball left to join Kitten Heaven. I needed to find not a replacement for Snowball, but a companion that could fill the empty space Snowball had left in my heart and who I could devote my time and attention to the way I did with her.

Then, one day I came across this beautiful gray kitten with the bluest eyes that warmed your heart with one look. “Asher” was his name and he was only weeks old. I saved his photo as the background of my mother and father’s phone screen so they might get a hint of the one thing that would make my birthday special. I would causally throw into conversations what it would be like to be “Asher’s” owner. They would laugh it off and tell me I was being silly. Then around a week later, I remember my father waking me up and asking how I felt about giving “Asher” a home that day. I leaped out of bed and was ready to go in seconds. Once we got to the Humane Society I made an appointment to meet “Asher” before any other kitten. I wanted to keep my options, but the minute they handed him to me and I could feel his tiny little self start purring I knew I had to have him. I viewed a couple more kittens, but none of them greeted me like “Asher” did. He started playing with my shoe strings right away and I couldn’t leave that place without him in hand. We adopted “Asher” that afternoon and that evening a Harry Potter marathon was on. I’m not the biggest HP fan, but a scene was playing in which a professor transforms into a beautiful gray cat. I looked at “Asher” and decided he needed a name as unique as his personality. That’s when “Asher” became my Gryffindor.

To this day, the name Gryffindor couldn’t be more fitting. Gryffindor is the ultimate social ham. He loves people and he loves attention. He’s the most agile cat I’ve ever seen. He finds new obstacles to climb every day. He loves paper balls and will fetch them much like a dog would. His personality is the perfect mix of spunk and compassion. He can entertain me for hours but also cuddle with me when I’ve had a bad day. I am the luckiest girl in the world to call Gryffindor mine.

Dog-Gone Doggie of the Day for November 29th

Cheeney, the Dog of the Day
Name: Cheeney
Age: Fifteen months old
Gender: Male Breed: Chihuahua, Dachshund mix
Home: Florida Panhandle, USA
I thought maybe I wanted a dog after my son moved away leaving me and the two cats alone in the house, and someone came knocking on the door in the middle of the night scaring me out of my sleep. I arranged for a week off work and thought it would be the perfect time to get a dog… if I got a dog. A week before that, I visited the animal shelter where I walked one small perfect dog. I thought I should look at other dogs just to be fair and picked out a beautiful little long-legged dog that paid me no attention. The shelter lady said she wanted me to see this one other dog. She brought him in, soon he was in my lap and that’s how I got a dog a week before I planned to. He is what we call a Chiweenie (chihuahua dachshund mix).

Cheeney cuddles all the time. He pushes up against me when we sit on the sofa or he puts his head on my leg. If I’m in a chair with no room for him, he stays by my feet. He gets along well with the cats as you can see. He began by chasing my girl cat but she quickly learned that she could take refuge behind a chair then jump out at him and chase him back. Cheeney is smaller than either of the cats.

Cheeney and his mom were given up by people who felt they didn’t have time for them. The mom, a purebred dog, was taken by a no kill shelter. Both dogs were eaten up by fleas when they came in and Cheeney lost a lot of hair. It grew back coarse and grey so he has a sort of white stripe down his back. When I got him a lot of hair was still missing on his tail and I thought he was chewing it off but it all came back nicely.

Before putting him up for adoption, the shelter vet performed some necessary minor surgery on him. He had been at the shelter almost two months when I found him.

Cheeney is not perfect. He’s not quite housebroken. He doesn’t think his paws should get wet and he has to be coaxed outside during or after a rain… unless he hears the neighbors’ dog barking, then wet grass means nothing. But he doesn’t chew up things he shouldn’t; he tries to please; he plays fetch by chasing a toy and bring it back to the sofa for me; he barks when he thinks there’s a good reason. I wouldn’t have waited so long to get a dog if I’d known what great companions they can be.

Paws-Shelter.com is where I got Cheeney. I’ve had him about three months. The other dogs I looked at have since been adopted, too.

Cheeney, the Dog of the Day
Cheeney, the Dog of the Day

Dog Gone Doggie of the Day for Sept. 20th

Bella, the Dog of the Day
Name: Bella
Age: Four years old
Gender: Female Breed: Cane Corso, Pitbull mix
Home: Levittown, New York, USA
I adopted Bella from the Town of Hempstead animal shelter. She came in as a stray, so nothing is known of her original home. I previously owned an American Staffordshire terrier and was familiar with the bully breed. In my opinion these breeds get a bad rap. Bella is such a joy to have living with us! She loves to play with her squeaky toy and run like a racehorse around our backyard. She also has perfect manners and is very gentle with people. (Don’t let her looks, or her breed’s reputation fool you.) She is a great addition to our family. I am so glad to give Bella another chance at a wonderful life. Bella and I wish more people would consider adopting from their local animal shelter and save a life!

On a personal note from me, Lady A, this is a beautiful dog. Unfortunately the breed has a terrible reputation. My daughter has raised Pit Bulls for years. They are beautiful, loving dogs and it is a shame they have the bad reputation. My daughter and I get in the pen with them and all they want is to be loved and the only attacking they do is with their tongues (they lick you to death, lol!).