Some of you may recall that last year I read and then participated in the 29 Gifts project. For those of you that don’t know what this is, here’s the story in a nut shell:
A woman named Cami Walker was diagnosed with MS shortly after her marriage. She was feeling pretty miserable – physically and psychologically – when a neighbor, who was studying to be some sort of healer, told her that to feel better she should give a gift a day for 29 days. Cami thought this idea was absurd at first. She could hardly get out of bed – how could she go about giving gifts every day? But one day she decided to try it. And it was pretty amazing what happened. So she gave a gift a day for 29 days, and then just kept doing it. She wrote a book about it. And started a web site where people, like me, can also give a gift a day and post about it. Because part of the process is to write down the gift you gave each day. You can write it down in a note book, or on the site. It doesn’t matter. But you have to write it down.
A little note about the gifts: they don’t have to be monetary. In fact, many aren’t. A gift can be a complement given, a phone call to someone you haven’t talked to in a while, helping out when asked even though you really don’t want to, a thank you note written.
What I’ve found is that the opportunity to give presents itself every day. Usually more than once. So I no longer think, “What can I give today?” but instead start my day eager to see what opportunity will arise.
Note, too, that the one qualification is that the gifts must be consciously given. None of this looking back on your day and trying to figure out what you gave. If you didn’t do it consciously, it doesn’t count.
And you can’t skip a day. If you do, you start over at Day One. Note it took me three tries before I did it for 29 consecutive days.
Anyway, I feel like now it seems you may think there are too many rules. But not at all. The idea is pretty simple: consciously give one thing each day. Write it down. Watch how your life changes.
I did this early last year. And I can’t quite put my finger on how to explain how wonderful it was. Giving also makes you more open to receiving, which is such a blessing to me as I’m not so good at feeling good about receiving gifts from others. Giving also opens you up to all that is good about your life – even when you think nothing is. Eh – I’m not doing it justice.
All I can say is this: I’m doing it again. You can read what I give each day by clicking here. And you can read other people’s stories by clicking here. And if you’d like to try it, I’d say order and read the book (it’s short, and a good, quick read) as it helps with some of the trouble you might have as you try to do it.
Today was my first day – again. I’ve already tried to start three times, but keep forgetting to consciously give. But there’s something so freeing about saying, “Eh – I failed. So what. I’ll just start over.”
One Comment Add yours
Gift received! Thanks, Rebecca.