• Set a start date to begin
• Start each Day with a short meditation about your purpose. Be clear. If your intentions are vague or the energy is half-hearted your experience will mirror that

Consider beginning each day of your challenge with an affirmation:
• Today I give with gratitude
• Today I give with abundance
• Today I give with joy
• Today I give with love

Your gifts can be anything offered to anyone, small, intangible or big:
• spare change
• cans of soup
• your time
• kind words
• Anything you mindfully offer to another person.

Please remember:
• Don’t give from obligation guilt or resentment
• Write about your experiences daily in a journal or you can go to www.29gifts.org to create an online journal and share your experience with other givers.

The idea for my blog title came from something I wrote about my mother in her eulogy. My mother lived out loud. One of my favourite memories of her is that she loved to sing. SHE. LOVED. IT. She would sing while she worked, sometimes the song didn’t have real words, or it would be words she made up but it was a song nonetheless. She sang out loud and lustily in church so much so, sometimes it got downright embarrassing and many times I thought she was singing her troubles away.

I cant sing very well but I do want to live out loud.

Recently though, I’ve been restless. It kept coming back to me. This cannot be it. This is not the life you are meant to be leading. Over and over. Unrest, sleepless nights. I reasoned it away, thinking it’s my hormones, maybe they’re out of whack, maybe I need vitamins or I need to do more yoga. Yes I do need to take vitamins and definitely do more yoga but that was not the reason behind this overwhelming feeling that there more, that I was more than this. I am more than this job. I am more than this desk I am more than this building…this uniform. And the fact that I look at what I do every day as simply a job and nothing more…is not the way I want to live this life. As my friend put it, I was waiting for the “jump off to be sure” before I leapt. But sadly that’s not how it works. Change is always a risk, but the alternative: stagnation is unbearable. I’m going to have to leap soon…

I want to live. I don’t want to merely exist, which is how I feel between the hours of 8-4 everyday. I feel alive, when I’m doing everything else but what I currently get paid to do. Time for change.

What is it you enjoy doing? Then that’s what you should be doing. It really is that simple.

I decided to do the 29 days of giving not just to free up some energy in my life and to turn my focus outward, get out of my head and maybe out of my own way for a bit. But also as a way to commit to writing about this journey for 29 days. I’m about to embark on this adventure in giving just in time for a new year of life. My hope is that a year from now I’d look back on this “excited by possibility yet afraid of the unknown” phase as the beginning of the rest of a life truly lived.

You feel me?

29 Gifts by Cami Walker

My rating* – 4

29 Days of Giving

My odyssey with 29 Gifts started last November, when I was the recipient of a “gift” from my friend, mentor/coach…hmm I’m at a loss for words as to how to truly do justice to Giselle Hudson. She is definitely in my inner circle of awesome and I will soon dedicate a post to her and her tremendous impact on my life thus far.

After Giselle gave me my gift, she then described the book and what it was about to me. I immediately looked it up on Amazon and added it to my wish list. It’s been languishing there for at least 6 months; but nothing before its time.

I finally bought a copy in June.

Cami Walker, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) a month after her wedding day, at the age of 32. She thought her life was over. Then she got a “prescription” from a friend to give 29 gifts in 29 days. Cami took up the challenge and watched as her life changed in amazing ways.

The premise of this book is pretty simple: healing is not just physical, it’s also mental, emotional and spiritual. By helping/giving to others we often times help ourselves. I learned a lot about MS and its debilitating effects through Cami’s struggle and her triumph as well.

This is a great read, but at times it’s not very easy to read about Cami’s struggle to overcome this life-changing diagnosis. She is direct and there is no sugar-coating of her experiences. She however, never once comes across as seeking sympathy. I especially liked the journal-like entries of each day of gift-giving and the fact that the gifts at times, were intangible things, small things given in an “authentic and mindful” way transforming them into great things, priceless in value.

The gifts didn’t need to be big. Anything would do, as long as it was given authentically and mindfully.

Through her journey, Cami launched www.29gifts.org to encourage as many people as possible to take up the challenge and share their experiences. As I embark on my first 29 days of Giving, I also encourage you take up this challenge.


*my personal quality ratings are the scores I give books on a scale of 0-5 based on my personal opinion of a book. 0 is “birdcage liner” and 5 is “off-the-hook good”

I started blogging back in 2008. Stopped and started and stopped again to the point where I even forgot about my blog. I looked back on my early musings and I deleted all but the very first post. I deleted them because I felt that they were for another time, a different me. I am older and hopefully wiser and in the words of Wordsworth, I’m ready to ‘fill my paper with the breathings of my heart’.

Enjoy.

I’ve thought about this long and hard…and yes I’m finally ready to leave a legacy…a cyber-fingerprint if you will…granted a more organized offering, of my thoughts. As facebook’s “new-toy-shine” fades, I have to find another outlet for all this restless energy! My fingers are itching to get all that’s in my head down somewhere for posterity.

*cue cheese-y music* So it is with little fanfare and but much ado for the little people in my head that I begin this um…blog!