So I finished my 29 days, and it was wonderful . It was fun. I'm so glad I did it. During this time, I was offered 3 more teaching gigs. One came in as a text message AS I was paypaling money to someone in need! I feel hopeful, and I will continue to keep a giving attitude. I'm grateful I discovered this book and program.
When I visited my friend and gave her the vodka for my day 2 gift, she apologized when I hugged her for being sweaty. She told me how stressed out she is. Then she commented that I smelled good and asked half jokingly if I had any perfume. Last year, I have her a bag full of perfume and cosmetics on her birthday, and she told me it was the only gift she received.
So yesterday, I packed a bag full of cosmetics, lotions and small perfume samples I had. When my daughter got off the school bus, I told her we were going to walk up the street and give our neighbor a present. She suggested we throw in some of the chocolates I had given her to give to our neighbor's children. What a nice thought! I praised her for her willingness to share her chocolate.
The gift I originally planned was a CD for my friend/student who has cancer. I'm a certified hypnotist, and she has come to many of my group hypnosis sessions. About two years ago, someone hired me to hypnotize them for radiant health and cancer healing, and I had the WAV file on my computer. It took a while to get it onto the proper computer and process it, but I burned the hypnosis session onto a CD and presented it to her last night. She was surprised and grateful.
Today, I received a phone call from someone who saw the listing for my yoga class online and wants to come take class tonight. This is wonderful and amazing!
Yesterday, I gave something near and dear to me--one shot of my last three shots of vodka. Last night, I went to church to teach yoga class. I started classes there at the beginning of the month, and I've been trying to get more people to come. Two people I never met came to my class! I think there is a connection. :)
Hahaha. I totally understand. I had about two glasses of wine left and a friend came over. For a split second, I thought, "If I offer her a glass, I can't have a second one." Of course, it quickly passed and I shared. But I get it. I love the gift of new students you found in return for sharing your vodka. :-) I wish I lived near you. I would take your class. We don't have classes near us. What a gift you are to others to help them improve their health.
This morning, I slept in and felt great when I rolled downstairs about 9:30am. Until I saw the leftover dinner dishes from last night. My guy & I take turns cooking for our family. Originally, one would cook and the other would clean up. He wanted to change it to whoever cooks also cleans up, and so we did. Not infrequently, I am left with his dinner dishes. He hates doing the dishes. I don't mind the chore quite so much, but I don't seek it out. So after he took our daughter out for the day, I looked over at the mess in the kitchen and started to feel resentment. "I am NOT doing those dishes," I thought. " A deal is a deal. I'm going to enjoy my day to myself and leave them right where they are."
As I got ready for my run, my mind turned to recent business events. I owned and operated a yoga and fitness studio for three years. What made us special was the bonding we cultivated with all our members. We talked through our classes, sharing personal things, our dreams, hopes and fears. I was emotionally invested in each member. I thought they were my friends. A few months ago, I realized I had been deluding myself. They may have cared for me, but they certainly didn't view our relationship the way I did. My perpetual feeling of loneliness swept over me yet again. Why do I give so much emotionally? It leaves me terribly vulnerable. I decided I would never leave myself so open again. I sold my business. Although I had thrown many parties for members including three baby showers, I didn't think it was appropriate to throw a goodbye party for myself. Besides, I didn't want to! They should throw one for me! But no one did.
I was mulling this over as I started jogging down the road. I was also listening to the last few chapters in the audiobook version of The 29 Gifts as I ran. As the blocks passed, I became more and more engrossed in the words I was hearing. I was uplifted by the stories of giving. My sullenness disappeared and was replaced with hope and optimism. I would start my 29 days of giving today. And I would start by washing those dishes for my guy. That would be my first gift.
And so I did. I listened to the last couple of pages of the book as I cleaned the kitchen, and I was beset with ideas of gifts to five this week. I was excited. It didn't matter if no one threw a party for me. I wanted to see what I could do for people in my life. I look forward to the next 28 days o giving. The possibilities are endless!
Oh, Joan. Thank you for sharing this. You experienced the purpose of the 29-day giving challenge on your fist day! I trust we have another lifer among us.
I got hooked in 2009 and was so grateful, I became an Ambassador and System Administrator for the site, as well as good friends with Cami.
I am human, so I have to start mindful rounds of giving to get me back on track when I fall off. The challenge reminds me that gifts are all around us, if we take the time to acknowledge, give and receive them mindfully with love and compassion and without expectations.
I, too, have invested emotionally in family, friends, past employees and co-workers and it was disappointing when they didn't respond like I expected them to. I have let those unrealistic expectations go, as you did in your post. Now when someone does something for me, it's truly a gift, not an expectation, and it is so much more special and appreciated.