I started today with an affirmation:
Today I give from abundance.
I chose this affirmation to start my 29-Gifts journey because I have a seriously dysfunctional relationship with money. It pervades other areas of my life as well and even though, I know the gifts do not have to be monetary, it was the concept of enough I am trying to get comfortable with. I need to accept that I have enough of everything, right here and now, enough, to share with another.
All day, I was looking for an opportunity to give a gift, not knowing what that gift would be. I felt that I would just know it in my spirit. I truly was beginning to despair by the time I got home from work, thinking that I would have no more opportunities to give a gift. This meant I would have to start all over tomorrow, Day 1 part deux.
Got home from work and decided to fix something to eat. The menu: Stuffed Pasta Shells (I’ll post the simple recipe soon) I made enough for just two servings: dinner and lunch tomorrow. I had my dinner. Then my sister called to say she was on her way home from work and she was going to pass to drop something off. It just came to me to give her the gift of a meal.
Now I’d like to say here, that on any other day, I’d have offered dinner to my sister. But today was different. I was being mindful of the act of giving her a delicious meal because I knew she had worked late and would be hungry.
As for lunch tomorrow, I’m not going to worry about it. I’m going to trust that there is enough for me and I will have something to eat.
• 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.
• 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?
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’.
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!