I’ve been AWFUL keeping up with my blog the last few months. Like everyone, I go through cycles of good days and bad, and the bad have seemed to out weight the good lately. My health has been a bit troublesome but I am finally feeling like I am on the upswing with that — FINALLY. There will be more on that in a blog for another day. Today I want to talk about my 29 days of gift giving. Why? Because I can.
After the horrible acts that took place in Newtown, CT, journalist Ann Curry at NBC started a trend that took off like wildfire in social media circles called 26 Acts of Kindness. She suggested that everyone commit to bestowing one act of kindness onto another for each of the lives lost at the Shady Hook Elementary School. 26 random acts of kindness to people you might not otherwise come in contact with. If you haven’t started to do it yet, please do so. It will change your life. How do I know? I just finished 29 days of my own giving/acts of kindness inspired by a book written by Cami Walker called 29 Gifts.
I’m not going to belabor the contents of the book, but suffice it to say that Cami Walker had stumbled onto some pretty difficult times and a spiritual adviser suggested that in order to get unstuck, out of her dead energy zone, she might consider starting to give to others. This wasn’t necessarily about fiscal giving, but giving from the heart, with thought and compassion. A phone call, a hand written note, a donation of money or goods, running an errand for someone, flowers, a cup of coffee, a phone call to an aging relative or friend. You get the gist, right? The key was you had to commit for 29 days. If you skipped a day, you had to start all over again.
Many of the spiritual people I enjoy reading suggest that we get back what we give to the world, and I believe that whole heartedly. That which we desire in our lives we must send forth into the world in an effort to bring it back to ourselves. If you are grumpy, miserable and negative you will get more of it in your life. Period. If you are kind, loving and generous, people will be the same with you. My mojo needed a bit of a jump start, or realignment and I decided to jump in with both feet and go.
If you care to see what my 29 gifts were, I have quickly edited list of them below. But I want to tell you briefly about the outcome of giving for me. Why? Because I want you to be motivated to participate. And while it would be fabulous for you to do it out of the goodness of your heart, I want you to be CLEAR that the cycle of giving is beneficial for all. Those who give and those who receive.
My business has been slow in developing, but within days of my giving the phone started ringing, and not with crappy work, but GREAT work. On day 4, someone literally hid a $100 dollar bill in my bag after a lunch date. On day 24 I received another financial gift in a Christmas card from someone who had a fiscal windfall and wanted to share it with me. (I can’t wait until I’m able to do the same with others). I also found that by seeking out ways to be nice to others, my attitude changed. I smiled more, I was more compassionate and patient and I got that back tenfold. My Aunt Mary used to always say, “you get what you give.” She was right.
I’d love to hear from anyone who has participated in either 29 Gifts or 26 Acts of Kindness. Share the love!
- Today I dropped a bunch of GREAT stuff at the thrift store.
- Today I bought 5 Powerball tickets (jackpot $550 M) and gave them away to random people I interacted with during the day.
- Today I did a couple of things. I went to a friend’s house who is fighting cancer and prepared food for him. That will be a regular Wednesday thing, but a gift no less. I also brought a box of truffles to a friend for her birthday AND I brought some truffles and energy bars to another friend when we had an appointment.
- Today I brought a friend some energy bars and a smoothie to a meeting we had scheduled.
- Today I wrote an anonymous Christmas card to a US service member and dropped it in the mail.
- Today I gave a book and some papaya seeds to a lovely young woman I recently met on a job with one of the local schools.
- Today I had my neighbor up for dinner.
- Today I brought a friend a sprouting starter kit I pulled together from things in my house.
- Today I brought my friend an apron for his kitchen.
- Today I took a friend out for lunch and I gave another friend a papaya tree.
- Today I brought my acupuncturist (who is a foodie) some meyer lemons from a friend’s tree. I also had another friend over for dinner and gave him a bag of food goodies.
- Today I brought a friend some raw chocolates I made and some pumpkin seed oil. I gave another friend a bag of cacao powder.
- Today I gave a neighbor some meyer lemons and then walked over to another neighbor’s house and hung a bag with a few of them on her front door.
- Today I wrote and mailed a nice note to my cousin, Peggy, for her 70th Birthday. I also sent a package with some chocolate items to another friend via the mail along with a nice note.
- Today I called a friend who was seeking some advice about nutrition. I also made ice cream and brought it downstairs to my neighbor and friend, Eric.
- Today I planted two papaya trees for a friend.
- Today I brought some food to a friend.
- Tonight I dropped a bag anonymously on a friend’s porch with food and a cookbook. I wrote a few notes to moms I knew about the horrific CT massacre.
- Today was tough. I was hard pressed to put my best effort forth, but I let someone cut in front of me at Whole Foods and I wrote a friend an email telling her she was in my thoughts.
- Today I sent a sympathy card to the Sandy Hook Elementary School.
- Today, I picked up a friend who was visiting from Chicago and took her out to dinner.
- Today I brought some food to friends.
- Today I brought a bunch of kale from my garden to my friend. He loves kale.
- Today I brought some CDs and and papaya seeds to a friend. I’m gave three bags of my raw nut clusters to a friend.
- Today is Friday and I started my free week of cat care for friends who are out of town for the holiday.
- Today I am picked up my Chicago friend and brought her to the airport. : (
- Sunday, I was hard pressed to participate. I surely put forth some gestures while I was out and about shopping, but it wasn’t until later in the day that I realized that I had given a GREAT gift to someone earlier in the day. Unknowingly, I gave him (and me too) the gift of the “benefit of the doubt.” Instead of getting all worked up about this client not returning my calls, I decided to let it go. Who knew what was happening in his world. I decided to let him off the hook, and shortly after I decided to do that, the phone rang and he was on the other end. Fed the kitties today too.
- Today I bought a drink for a nice young man in line behind me at the Circle K. I thanked him for being so kind. Hopefully he’ll do it again.
- Today I brought several food gifts to a friend.
- Today I shared a case of satsumas with a neighbor.