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Discussions » Great Giving Stories for Inspiration

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS - DEADLINE MARCH 29, 2019 We still need stories for 29 Life Lessons: Reflections On Living and Giving, the much anticipated sequel to Cami Walker’s New York Times Bestselling self-help memoir, 29 Gifts: How A Month of Giving Can Change Your Life. Get submission guidelines and read three new sample stories To submit your story for the book, simply POST it in the Great Giving Stories For Inspiration Discussion Forum. Email to and


Sadaf Ansari
Sadaf Ansari (34)
I'm an SEO Analyst and besides this, I run eStore my business on Amazon and eBay. I was having difficulty with my product optimization for about 2 years. Then I came to about the virtual assistant services but I wasn't sure if I should opt for this or not as I didn't have many expenses to hire a VA. Then it has so happened that one of my friends told me about a company in the USA who provides professional amazon listing services at the minimal cost. I found this attractive as my pocket was allowing me to go for it.
So the most twisting part in this is that Urtasker ( ) gave me the hopes to get my products listed and optimized at the higher ranks.
It is mostly heard that you have to do too much work on eBay and in return, you get a little. Is that true? I asked the same question from one of the officials of eBay University working on a higher position, who also give lectures on how to use eBay as your business platform. He started telling me and Urtasker that on eBay your income is not fixed, it’s up to you how much you want to earn from eBay. Don’t put all the money to your pocket; earn more by investing it again and adding more products to your listings.
The story begins in the way that Urtasker took the responsibility of for providing their best PPC management services and I was ready to experience the uplift in my number of views and interested buyers in a couple of months.
I'm simply amazed at the end of that year (2017) when I calculated my per month revenue which was $1000 On eBay in a month. WOWwww. I'm sure you people must saying this with me. I request Sir Omer - the Co-Founder of Urtasker - to please share your tactics with us so we don't need to worry further. He nicely wrote a well-explained article and published on his website. I'm a regular follower of their articles as their tactics teach me how to drive the traffic to my eStore.
I request to y'all to please read their articles full of tips and tricks for online selling and eCommerce business.
This is my favorite >>
I'm now gaining 6 figure income from my Amazon store by just following their guidelines.
Thanks to Urtasker.
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Gretchen Cannon
Gretchen Cannon (0)
My name is Gretchen Cannon, and I am a 38 year old woman living with a rare disease that is thankfully becoming more recognized in the medical community, called Autoimmune Encephalitis. Basically, my body's immune system attacks my brain cells, leading to inflammation of my brain and devastating neurologic and psychiatric symptoms that I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

Before 2006, I was a successful Marketing Manager, avid fitness competitor and runner, and just all around busy babe, loving my life! I had Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, which is common in people who contract Autoimmune Encephalitis (or “AE”), and I had a common surgery at the very end of 2006, which the trauma from that is believed to be perhaps what triggered my AE. Since then, I have been at the lowest of lows because of this illness and was not always able to see my chronic illness as a gift, but I can tell you that there are SO many lessons to be learned from living with AE, or any condition for that matter. The gifts that this disease have given me include: perseverance, appreciating the small things in life, learning to be present in the moment, love and accept myself unconditionally, trust my instincts, listen to my body, and also focus only on relationships that are positive and supportive. 

I want to explain the scary symptoms to you first, so you can understand my journey a little better. My short term memory was greatly affected, and is like this every time I have relapsed. It is like I have small seizures all day long, felt in my brain and body. I shake from the inside out, and have problems with my balance, speech and vision. My family would describe me as looking at them with a blank stare, no life in my eyes, and on the other side of those eyes, inside my brain and body, I felt SO lost, foggy beyond words and extremely terrified. Nothing looked familiar, I couldn’t be alone at all, because I didn’t know where I was, sometimes who I was, or what was going on. I couldn’t speak or relate to what people were saying around me, I couldn’t watch tv or read or remember anything anyone asked me. I lost all independence and had to hold out hope that things would get better, although sometimes they felt like they never would. I knew something was wrong, but it was hard to explain and impossible to stay calm or have hope, because it felt like the same nightmare every single day. My body was in constant fight or flight mode attacking itself for no good reason and I was obsessive and anxious and depressed and scared and so lost! My particular symptoms, when flaring, get progressively worse if not treated. The longer the symptoms prevail, people can end up in a coma or worse, which also happened to me, but I was lucky to wake up from mine when it happened. I will probably have this disease for the rest of my life, and I will continue to be aware of the possibility of the symptoms coming back at any time, which will be devastating, but I have hopes that I will remember that I have been there before, and that I have made it through.

Like I said, I have relapsed and been in remission several times since 2006, seen dozens of doctors, tried hundreds of treatments, and I am still fighting it to this day, 12 years later. I mentioned several things I have learned from living with AE above, but I want to focus on the top 3 things it has taught me along the way - perseverance, being present, and loving myself.

Gift of perseverance - I have had to face doctors that didn’t believe me, I have travelled to different states and cities and hospitals and tried different coping techniques, therapies, chemotherapies, drugs, depressants, anti-convulsants, oxygen chambers, IV vitamins, steroids - you name it, I tried it. Yes, I tried all of the natural things as well and nothing helped. I wanted to give up so bad, but I had seen improvements before, I would read about other people who came out of this, I had support from my loving family, and so I persevered. I got up every morning, even if I was shaking and had to call my Mom into the room to help me get up and face the day. I endured spinal taps, hundreds of blood tests, MRIs, CT Scans, Angiograms, Neuropsychological exams, drug trials, doctors sending me away, and being told that they didn’t know what to do any more. I know that if God didn’t give me this gift to fight on despite all that wasn’t going my way, and if I didn’t have such a patient mother and loving father, I would have given up a long time ago. I would have wanted to end my life. But I didn’t. I knew that life could be good and if I could just get the right doctor to believe me or try the right treatment on me, that things could improve. I have friends who call this my warrior mentality. I cried and I suffered, but getting through these hard trials and learning about perseverance, I know I can handle anything that comes my way, and I hope I can help others do the same if they are feeling hopeless. I had to fight for myself and advocate as best I could despite my disabilities and I will never give up.

Gift of being present - I know that this has been a buzz phrase in the psychological or self help communities over the past few years, but it has been a hard lesson learned for me. When you are deep in the trenches of the worst time of your life, all you want to do is go back to the times before these - when things didn’t hurt so much, when you were healthy, when life was easier and more pleasurable. You daydream about what you could have done differently to prevent this from happening. I spent so many hours in the past, and I had so many therapists and loved ones begging me to be in the moment with them, even if that moment was so hard for me to even make sense of, because that moment was all they had with me. Last Thanksgiving I was very depressed and anxious knowing that my brothers and family were going to be bustling around the kitchen, taking walks, eating meals together, catching up and laughing, and I knew I wouldn’t fit in - I would be scared to be alone, I wouldn’t be able to be a part of their conversations, I couldn’t help with the cooking, take funny pictures with them, or any of the things I normally love to do. I had to remember to “be here now” and realize that if things got worse, I wasted this day on wishing for something else. So I tried my hardest. I may not have done it before this time, and I may not have done it perfect this time, but I tried so hard to know that even though I was scared, in that moment I was safe, I was lucky to have family around me, to be loved, to be fed, to have a home, to breath and to be alive. I counted each blessing one by one, even if I had to repeat them over and over to convince myself to calm down. I sat outside and tried to watch a sunset with them and walk down the street with them. I tried my hardest to get ready to go to a nice dinner and be present instead of wishing for more. Even to this day, as I heal and am doing so much better, I still have to “bring it back to the present” when my mind drifts to the losses or the way things could be or were. I have to realize what I have in this moment is the most important, because it is the only moment I have. If that is hard, I tell myself to breathe in this moment, and if I can make it to the next moment I will just keep doing it over and over until one day things will get better.

Gift of loving myself - I think this has been the hardest gift to accept or take control of and responsibility for. Every time I relapse, I can’t eat much, I’m not smart anymore, I can’t make people laugh like I used to, have a normal conversation, or work or contribute to society and maintain my household and family. relationships. All of these losses felt devastating, but most the most devastating thing is that I wasn’t even loving myself. I hated how my life had turned out, and I wasn’t even nice to myself - as if I could control this horrible disease. Every week in therapy, I would be told that I need to speak to myself like I would my best friend, like my Mom would speak to me, or like I was a child that needed to be nurtured. But it was a struggle. Some days, during the hardest times, when I wanted to give up, I begged God for hope, and sometimes the tiniest miracle would happen - I would have a clear moment, or I would get a lead on a doctor or treatment that would give me some hope. I think this is when I started to love myself and realize that even with perseverance and being present in the moment, if I didn’t take responsibility for the love within myself, that I would never make it this time around and I would definitely never make it if it happened again. I had also been in a 13 year relationship with a man who missed the old me, who did not want to take care of a sick woman, and I loved him unconditionally anyways. I wanted to marry him and he is all I saw in my future. I would try to see him or do things for him no matter how sick I was, and this year, I took a giant leap of faith and stayed with my parents, where his stress was not my stress, and he wasn’t pressured to help me get well. I had to love myself enough to remove myself from a situation that was no longer healthy for me to be in and it was so hard because I felt like I was losing our dreams, memories and our life together, but I am so proud that I did it. My Mom took me to a new church where I met people who valued me, at my current state of confusion and despair, and new and old friends supported me when I didn’t want to see anyone for fear of what they would think. This love made me feel worthy and this finally gave me the courage to end the relationship I had fought so hard for, and instead I chose to fight for and love myself fully. Loving myself also includes listening to my body, trusting my instinct, and accepting my new life as it is. I have come a long way and that makes me proud of myself and love myself even more.

I have a new team of doctors, a less stressful life to manage, am on steroids and plasmapheresis, and am working to slowly wean off of these. I work on my blog at and take each day as it comes. My illness came with some serious baggage, but also with life lessons and gifts that nobody can take away from me and I will cherish and never forget. Thank you for the opportunity to share a little of my story. I hope it becomes a gift to you and helps someone who may need a spark of hope.
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Cami Walker
Cami Walker (354)
Thank you for this thoughtful submission. You are a gift Gretchen!
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Cami Walker
Cami Walker (354)

Write a 2,000-word personal essay submission for my second book. 29 Life Lessons: Reflections On Living and Giving is the much anticipated sequel to Cami Walker’s New York Times Bestselling self-help memoir, 29 Gifts: How A Month of Giving Can Change Your Life. 29 Life Lessons includes personal stories from Walker and members of the 29 Gifts global community, self-help prompts, and creative giving tips. Get submission guidelines and read three stories from Cami.
29 Gifts, Powered By Follr | Awesome Communities in Minutes | Create Yours Free Today!
[Via] CALL FOR PERSONAL ESSAY SUBMISSIONS DEADLINE: September 29, 2018 29 Life Lessons: Reflections On Living and Giving is the much anticipated sequel to Cami Walker’s New York Times best-selling self-help memoir, 29 Gifts: How A Month of Giving Can Change Your Life. 29 Life Lessons includes personal stories from Walker and members of the 29 Gifts global community, self-help prompts, and creative giving tips. 29 Life Lessons tells the story of the growth and evolution of a global goodwill movem
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Jessica Long
Jessica Long (0)
Hi Cami! I'm on round #2 of the 29 Gifts Challenge. I saw your request for personal essays, so here is my story. I can't wait to read your second book! Thank you!

Beauty From Ashes
Community Healing After the Redding Carr Fire
#29giftsforRedding on Facebook
August 24, 2018

“Don’t come to work today” Laurie called and said over the phone at 7:30 in the morning on Thursday July 26, 2018.
“Why?” I questioned.
“Because of the fire,” she replied.
“The fire that is on the other side of Whiskeytown Lake?” I didn’t think it could be possible because it was 15 miles away, but I asked anyways.
“Yes.” She said. “They evacuated our office this morning. It’s closed. I grabbed your picture of Eliza (my daughter), off your desk before I left.”
Laurie and I work together as engineers at the Keswick Dam, which is about 11 miles East of where the Carr fire started, due to sparks from a trailers flat tire igniting nearby dry brush on Highway 299. My home was located another 3 miles east of Keswick Dam. I called my boss, just to confirm. “Yes, please don’t come into work today. Just take care of your family,” he said. I checked the news and confirmed the fire that had tripled in size overnight and was racing in my direction.
I started packing. Although the official evacuation hadn’t been given in my neighborhood yet, I didn’t want risk losing everything by waiting. I didn’t want to running out into the dark night without any electricity or time to think or pack. I didn’t need an official evacuation to know that it was serious. I started by videoing everything in the house in case I might need it for insurance purposes. I texted 12 neighbors and asked them to consider doing the same. My daughter, Eliza, 6 years old, asked for ice cream for breakfast. I said sure as I frantically threw loads of photo albums into my car. I texted my husband, who was working in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, sailing on the Oregon State University ship. I told him the fire was coming close and I wanted to know what he needed me to grab for him. I told my daughter to pick out her favorite clothes and toys and I rummaged through my sons room, who was miles away, safely with family. I caught my cat early, when she came in to eat and before she started her day outdoors. It’s her usual pattern to come to the house early and eat, then get back outside and catch lizards and mice. She didn’t like that I stuffed her in a carrier and she howled in disapproval while I continued packing. Eliza asked for more ice cream. “Sure!” Again. I put the kids’ two beta fish into two separate plastic food containers with lids and put them in the cup holder. I caught three chickens and stuffed them into the cage with two bunnies. Then I caught six more chickens and put them into another cage. I think that’s everything? My daughter and my little dog climbed into the car. I took a picture of our house, waved goodbye to the neighbors packing their own car and then we left. We pulled into the gas station, filled up, and were on our way out of there around 3 pm. People said the fire wouldn’t jump the Sacramento River. People said that the fire wouldn’t get into the city limits. Was I over reacting? I didn’t want to think about it anymore. I just got out of there.
With a car full of stinky chickens and a distressed howling cat, I drove an hour and a half drive to Chico, where my sister and her chickens live. I unloaded everything and integrated my chickens with her chickens. Her boyfriend counted. “Do you have 9 or 10 chickens?” he asked.
“There should be 10 chickens there.” I said.
“Well, you only have 9 here.” He said.
Oh no. I looked at them all closely and realized which one was missing. I texted my neighbor to see if she was still there of if she had evacuated yet. She was still there and went and rescued my shy chicken and kept her with her chickens.
When everything was settled, and all animals were out of the car, I took my sister and her boyfriend to dinner to thank them for letting us evacuate to their home. I could finally rest knowing my family, animals, and favorite possessions were out of harm’s way. If we lost our home, it would be okay.
Around 9 or 10 that night is when the west half of the city evacuated. The stories of packing in the dark with the power turned off, gridlock on the road, and the fire right at their heals of evacuating people were being posted all over social media and the internet. It was officially a disaster. I was so thankful we were far away from it, but I still worried for my house, my neighbors, my coworkers, and my community. Over 1000 homes burned that night after the fire jumped the river and containment lines and entered the city limits. It was unbelievable, but it was true.
I watched the news and stayed away as long as I could, but early the next week, I got the call that it was time to come back to work. As I drove back into Redding for the first time, I saw overpass after overpass covered in “Thank You First Responders” signs. Every corner stop sign of every intersection had posters full of gratitude, appreciation, and thanks all over them. The smoke was still so thick. It just felt too early to be getting back to normal with the Carr Fire still raging, although now contained away from the city limits. The fire had been put out about a quarter of a mile from our home and I was so thankful that our wonderful neighborhood was okay.
Over the next few days, I saw that most of my commute to work was now hills of burned homes and charred trunks of manzanita trees. The fire had burned completely around our office building next to Keswick Dam, but the building was still standing. All the electrical power poles had burned to the ground and required replacement and the building had smoke damage, so we were issued laptops and worked from home until the remediation work was complete.
It was time to get back to normal, but my emotions were out of control. Five of my coworkers, and two of my friends lost their homes. Another friend’s home had survived, but two houses away from her, the neighborhood was destroyed- nothing left but fire places and their chimneys, twisted metal, burned cars, and ashes. I felt bad for the people who had lost their homes and also for the homes that were saved as islands in a sea of ashy destruction all around them. The bridges on the river trail that I walked daily with friends had burned, rendering the trails inaccessible. The cashier at the grocery store had lost her home and couldn’t find her cat. Everywhere I went, people told their stories of evacuation and loss. Half the city evacuated, and everyone was affected by the fire. So many days of experiences of shock, tension, stress, fear, and sadness.
How do you heal when your community is devastated?
You give.
It was time to give. I had completed the 29 gifts challenge one time two years ago, and as my heart was filled with tension and chaos upon returning to Redding after the Carr fire, I knew that the answer was to complete this challenge again, right now. I wanted the focus of my gifts to be specifically in ways for the Redding Community to heal from the Carr fire. So I made a list of ideas and I kept my heart and my eyes peeled for opportunities to give. Instead of my thoughts being trapped in how horrible this is, they are now focused on what can I do? How can I give? Who can I help? Who can I thank? Who can I make happy today? They wander over to how horrible this is a lot less with the distraction of giving. I started posting my gifts and people offered to help. Others around me all started giving too. Because that is what you do as a community that is coming together after devastation.
During this journey of healing after the Carr fire, I donated cash to a family of six that had lost their home. I gave the $20 delivery fee back to a young lady after we delivered a bed that she bought from us because her grandfather had lost his home, and was moving in with her. I donated about $25 in school supplies to a man who was collecting supplies, specifically for kids who had lost their homes. I brought tiny vases with Zinnia flowers from my garden to my coworkers on our first day back into our office. One day I rounded up to the nearest dollar at the store to donate to the Carr fire.
I also gave to the animals that were affected by the fire. I bought a bag of Cob from the feed store and gave it to my friend who lived at the forest edge and had thirsty, hungry, and tired deer wandering into her backyard where the fence had burned down. Now she feeds them a little each day and fills a dish for them to drink out of. I bought meal worms and seeds and left them on a rock on a trail for the birds and squirrels, who along with the deer, are also left homeless and vulnerable. I collected wood ash from burned manzanitas and gave them to my chickens by integrating the ash into their dust bath for the health benefits they provide. Another group of friends helped me gather towels and blankets to donate to the animal shelter. I bought a bag of cat treats at PetsMart for the donation pile going to the animal shelter.
I have integrated essential oils into my healthy lifestyle and have loved giving them to people during this challenge. I gave a diffuser and essential oils to my friend who lost her home, while she was on vacation- so she wasn’t able to gather any of her favorite belongings. My essential oil community rallied up when I asked for help and they donated and shipped oils from the East Coast to help my friend replace her essential oil collection that she lost along with her home during the fire. I made 15 bottles of cooling peppermint spray and gave them to fire fighters and utility crews rebuilding our city, in August, in the hottest place north of the Mohave Desert. I gave roller bottles of essential oils- a bouquet in a bottle, to a lady road construction flagger and to a coworker that lost her home.
Painting has also distracted me from the burned devastation. I painted at a benefit painting class where all the money raised was donated to the animal shelter. And all the paintings were donated to people who are starting over with new homes and blank walls. Then I bought a glass of wine for the artist who gave her time to create the event and fundraiser. I painted my “Thank you” sign and a sign with colorful fire and flowers that said “Beauty from Ashes.” I hung these posters in the grayest areas of my commute to work.
I was so thankful and felt peace the first time, I saw someone write “Beauty from Ashes” on their car after the fire. It reminded me that as the community rebuilds so much will be new and it will be beautiful again someday soon. Today, it’s been almost a month since the fire reached the city limits, but already, even without rain, I see new green plants emerging from the charred scenery. It will be beautiful and green here again someday as the earth gives us new green plants. But in the meantime, I will keep giving when the opportunity presents itself to help myself and my community heal from the emotional trauma of the fire’s devastation.

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Cami Walker
Cami Walker (354)
This is an amazing story. I got your submission in email too.
6 years ago - Like
Claudia Jordan
Claudia Jordan (149)
Thank you for sharing! What an amazing story. I was evacuated from a wildfire last year and it was the most stressful time of my life. Our home was saved by the hotshot crews and I am forever grateful!
6 years ago - Like
Candice Huang
Candice Huang (0)
I have been reading the 29 gifts, and browsing the for some giving idea and the good stories, and I was looking for the right moment to start this 29 days journey. One day, I was helping out at my brother’s restaurant. I had just bought a brand new car two weeks ago. As we get off work at 10:30p.m., I notice that a men was riding bicycle on the drive way, and there was not bike lane for him to get on, as I was so glad that I have the car, I was also so worried, its so dark and what if the car is behind him did not see him and run him over, but I didn’t feel comfortable to invite him to my car, after all its night time and I was driving alone. So I decide to follow him, I could at least light up the path he is heading and the car behind can slow down. I drove up and ask how long is his ride, and if he is ok for me to follow him so he could see the road better, through the light I see his eye sparkle and he says thank you, no one have ever done this, some people try to stay away from this side of the road to make sure they don’t hit me. Its 10:30 at night, so there is not many cars passing by. He lives not far away, it took him 15 mins to arrive home, as I see he enter the house, he waved at me, and I drove away after he is gone. I felt so satisfied that night as I get home, 15 mins of giving doesn’t change the whole world, but I am so happy that I could light up somebody’s way home, and I think this is a perfect time to start my fist day of giving.
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Cami Walker
Cami Walker (354)
Welcome. great giving.
6 years ago - Like
Cami Walker
Cami Walker (354)
Welcome. great giving.
6 years ago - Like
Cami Walker
Cami Walker (354)
WISE WORDS FROM MBALI CREAZZO, Medicine Woman and Mother of our Movement
"Magic has a bad rap, and yet without it we are the walking dead. We are never surprised, take risks, or step into the unknown. Without the magic of our lives, we cease to be truly connected. Without Nature’s magic we run the risk of thinking we are all there is, creating isolation, loneliness and a disconnection so immense we may as well be homeless on the street. My sense for sometime is not that we need to live like indigenous people to survive, but that our survival depends on living alongside nature and the animals as we once did. That once we let go of being the controlers of our prosperity and abundance and truly trust the natural law of there is enough, we are enough and prosperity and wealth lie in the surrender of allowing the magic of our lives to take hold then, we can witness magical nature at work. It’s an ongoing work of art."
Nature’s Magic
“Run towards the roar,’ the old people used to tell the young ones. When faced with great danger and when people panic and seek a false sense of safety, run towards the roaring and go where you fea…
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Cami Walker
Cami Walker (354)
29 Life Lessons: Reflections On Living and Giving is the much anticipated sequel to Cami Walker’s New York Times bestselling self-help memoir, 29 Gifts: How A Month of Giving Can Change Your Life. 29 Life Lessons includes personal stories from Walker and members of the 29 Gifts global community, self-help prompts, and creative giving tips. Get details and submission guidelines
29 Gifts, Powered By Follr | Awesome Communities in Minutes | Create Yours Free Today!
[Via] CALL FOR PERSONAL ESSAY SUBMISSIONS DEADLINE: March 30, 2018 29 Life Lessons: Reflections On Living and Giving is the much anticipated sequel to Cami Walker’s New York Times best-selling self-help memoir, 29 Gifts: How A Month of Giving Can Change Your Life. 29 Life Lessons includes personal stories from Walker and members of the 29 Gifts global community, self-help prompts, and creative giving tips. 29 Life Lessons tells the story of the growth and evolution of a global goodwill movement.
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Cami Walker
Cami Walker (354)
a poem by cami walker

Live your dream. Each day.
Find it inside yourself.
Sitting quietly. Waiting.
To be unleashed
in a wild, hurling frenzy of
Fun. Excitement. Joy.
Truth finds you
in the silence,
in the illuminating darkness
inside your belly.
The soft centered woman
you are
is in love—
with herself,
with her body,
with her life.

CREATIVE CHALLENGE: Write a love letter to yourself.
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Cami Walker
Cami Walker (354)
In chapter 12 of #29Gifts I read a piece of prose at a friend's birthday party. My editor chose to only include part of the piece. Here is the full story.

River Rhythm
by Cami Walker

The green river before me makes me forget for a moment all we've done to it. When you see it from a distance, out of its current context, you miss out on its shame. The reddish-orange rusty hubcaps and sunken beer cans. It's sad, sad molecules now something closer to H2WhoKnowsWhat. The swooshing sound of flowing wind on water that helps to drown the sorrow it surely must feel when it remembers what it used to be. Underneath the surface, squishy bright green algae tries to cover the scars left by endless feet wading at its shore.

The yellow leaf that drifts by on top is a symbol of the river's hope that someday soon we'll all wake up and stop filling it full of muck. Even though I didn't know this river at its birth, I have a sense of its former self. Awash with happy flow. Crystal clear with life. Its memory held inside the rocks rubbed smooth with time and the tallest trees that have stood witness to its toils.

I sit here wondering what this river thinks about those who play at its side. Does it look up and see the little blonde boy with the red shorts and sunburned nose and feel proud of the joy it's giving him? Does it giggle when it tickles my feet? Does it wonder at the crazy family with its baloney sandwiches and fritos? Does it marvel at the lovers who've come to make out at its banks? Does it see all this happy activity and think the sacrifices it has been forced to make are maybe all worth it? Its pained state somehow ok?

I lean back on my elbows and close my eyes to ponder what this river knows about each of us. I bet it can testify to more of our lives than we'd believe possible. I bet it remembers the aqua blue headband you wore the day you met your husband on the bridge upstream. It could probably tell you the secret ingredients in your grandma's tart apple pie that she used to bring to the family picnics by the big oak tree on the north shore. I bet the river even knows that you used to steal packs of bazooka bubble gum from the corner store if the cashier wasn't looking when you went with your dad on a quick beer or cigarette run -- you in your yellow and black polka-dot swimsuit with the ruffle across the butt and river sand between your bare toes.

As I dose on the riverbank and let the flowing water ease my sadness, I think to myself what a perfect companion it really is to us all. It listens but doesn't judge. It understands but doesn't preach. It embraces us in familiar acceptance and reminds us that when we're all gone back to the earth and the light that made everything out of nothing, it will still be here. Flowing. Singing our song.
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Cami Walker
Cami Walker (354)
Good Giving Weekly: THE GIVING RETURN
January 10, 2017

I have been giving a gift a day since March of 2008. I've learned many lessons through my daily giving ritual, but the biggest is the art of mindful receiving. Giving is reciprocal and self-balancing. As you give more, you experience a psychic shift that heightens your awareness and capacity to receive. Often the giving part is easy, the receiving can be uncomfortable.

My first 29-Day Giving Challenge began during a sleepless night. I gave my first gift -- a simple supportive phone call to a friend living with Multiple Sclerosis. I woke up the next day, and the next day after that, feeling excited about what I might give away. I began to notice that the more I gave away, the more abundance I was experiencing for myself. I was overwhelmed by the magical and miraculous gifts I received: I felt happier, healthier, and more in awe with life. I was smiling and laughing more. I committed to keep moving and got stronger. I went back to work part-time after months of being too sick to work. I connected with a community of new friends after several months of feeling isolated, with help from the website. And that is only the beginning.

What will happen if you focus your energy on giving for 29 days? What space will it create in your life for new and unexpected things to occur? What shifts might you see in your thinking and behavior as a result? What impact will your gifts have on others? These are just a few of the questions you might be curious about.

By giving mindfully, we tap into the natural reciprocal power of giving and receiving. The returns from our giving are an organic part of the process and it is all coming from that great universal spirit, from which everything is free. We feel more connected to everyone and everything around us, and that is the real giving return.

HOW ABOUT YOU? What returns have you seen from your own giving?

29 Gifts Community Member Kimberly Kelly, owner of Jersey Wicks, is gifting a 16 oz mason jar all-natural apple scented soy candle to one lucky winner. Leave a comment in the Great Giveaway discussion forum by January 28th to enter. Winner will be announced January 29th.

We encourage you to invite friends to join you at Use our free downloadable Gift Tags by clicking on Documents. Please also "Like" and share our Facebook page at Use the tag #29gifts on your social media posts about giving and gratitude. Follow Cami on Instagram and twitter @camiwalker29

29 Life Lessons: Reflections On Living and Giving is the much anticipated sequel to Cami Walker’s New York Times best-selling self-help memoir, 29 Gifts: How A Month of Giving Can Change Your Life. 29 Life Lessons includes personal stories from Walker and members of the 29 Gifts global community, self-help prompts, and creative giving tips. Get details and submission guidelines

Good Giving!
29-Day Giving Challenge
29-Day Giving Challenge. 6,490 likes · 25 talking about this. Give one thing away each day for 29 days.
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