Thursday, August 7, 2008

29 Gifts - One Gift A Day To Change The World

Cami Walters suffers from multiple sclerosis. During a particularly rough period of her chronic illness she asked her spiritual teacher, Mbali Creazzo, for help. Mbali suggested an African spiritual ritual of giving away 29 gifts in 29 days. This was to help Cami step away from herself and her suffering to create a new story, one that centered around the needs of others.

Cami tried it and was so moved by the experience she decided to share it with the world by starting the 29-Day Giving Challenge. She created a website and formed an online community where people could register and share their stories. Her goal is to have 2,000 givers signed up for the challenge by September 29, 2008.

At last count she had 781 people signed up and active on her website. That's 781 people reaching out to someone every day. Cami wants us to recognize that we all give gifts, even if we are not aware of it. It could be that we let someone go ahead of us in the check out line. Maybe we returned books and paid the library fines for a sick friend. Or maybe the gift was a simple smile to another motorist instead of the all too familiar finger.

That doesn't mean that you can't give big, too. Donate your old car to a needy family. Pay an elderly person's power bill who can't afford to run her air conditioner. Sell the ring from a marriage that's ended and donate the money to a homeless shelter. The ideas are only limited by your imagination and willingness to let go.

Cami also recommends being spontaneous with your gifts. She was tempted to line her hallway with numbered goodies and plans for each day until she realized this was completely counterproductive to a spiritual exercise of this kind. She suggests to just let each day unfold, give what you are moved to give, journal about it at night, and be gentle with yourself if things don't go as you would have liked.

Cami posted a video explaining to viewers why she started the challenge and how to join. It's very simple. There are stories on the website and giving ideas from members. There are meetings where you can get together with others doing the challenge. It's a real community experimenting with the idea of a world where people are as anxious to give as they are to receive.

Give it a try. I'm going to.

3 comments:

faithhoffen said...

Hi Lisa,

Your posts are so encouraging, thank you.

How are you 'hanging in there'? My baby nephew just passed away today. I guess we have more than one thing in common.

Faith Hoffen

Lisa McGlaun said...

Faith,

I'm so sorry to hear about your nephew. My prayers are with you and your family.

Writing this blog has helped me keep a positive outlook during some rough times. I'm glad you find comfort here.

Hugs,
Lisa

hopetocope said...

You have given me a gift today Lisa, by your kind words and prayers.

Thank you,

Faith