HAVE YOU FOUND YOUR GIVING GROOVE? Welcome to all of our new 29 Gifts Members and welcome back to our veterans who are starting giving again at Day One. Are you getting into a groove and feeling a sense of freedom from your giving so far in July? Are you struggling to come up with ideas? I would love to know what you are giving today. Comment on this post and let us know.
I am on DAY SIX in my current giving cycle, almost TEN YEARS after taking Mbali Creazzo’s “Prescription” to give away 29 gifts in 29 Days. I had no idea what would unfold when I gave my first gift, a simple phone call to my friend Lauri, who also lives with Multiple Sclerosis. Today’s gift is to introduce you to fellow MS-er Ami Smart a long-time 29 Gifts reader and fan. Ami is a great blogger from England. Some time ago, Ami sent me a long list of questions because we were toying with collaborating on an article. That never came to fruition, but below are her questions and answers from me. Learn more about Ami Smart and her work as an intuitive and Bach Flower Essence consultant. https://www.honeysucklehealing.co.uk/blog
Q. What inspired you to write 29 gifts? A. I wanted to share my story of healing and transformation. In 2006, I was newly married and working as an advertising creative director when I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and my life changed forever. By March of 2008, I was suicidal, addicted to self pity, broke, spiritually spent and feeding my disease with every thought. I called one of my mentors, Medicine Woman Mbali Creazzo, to cry and have a pity party, but instead she gave me a “prescription” to give away 29 gifts in 29 days as a remedy for my scarcity thinking.
Q. Do you still gift daily? A. Yes. I continue to give because it keeps me in a constant state of gratitude and enriches my life.
Q: What are some of the gifts you have given? A: I give simple gifts of kindness like smiles, hugs and prayers. I volunteer and do service projects with my church, the MS Society and other organizations. I give away flowers and painted giving rocks. I have given food and spare change to homeless people and recently helped two different homeless men get off the street by providing short term shelter on my living room couch. The 29Gifts.org community has raised money to build a well to give clean drinking water to an African village by supporting charitywater.org. We helped Elysia Skye, a young breast cancer survivor, raise money for vascular surgery to cure Lymphdemia.
Q. What have you gained as a result of giving? A. My outlook on life is more positive I have better self esteem. It has also increased the intimacy in my relationships and I experience more abundance. That doesn’t mean life is always easy. For example my first marriage ended suddenly after the 29 Gifts book was released. I went down hill physically and mentally and had to plot my path out of deep, dark suicidal depression by giving.
Q. How has gift giving helped your MS? How are you? A. My body healed and got stronger because I committed to walk every day. I was able to walk a mile on day 29 of my first giving cycle. My mental health improved too. I got happier the more I gave, but I had to find a balance of giving and receiving. At times I have to be reminded not to “over-give.”
Q. How can someone adopt the 29 gifts principles, what do they need to do? A. Sign up at www.29gifts.org and start giving a mindful gift each day. Journal about your gifts in our discussion forums or in your blog or social media using the tag #29Gifts. More advice from 29 Gifts on how a practice of daily, mindful giving can improve the quality of your life…
NON-ATTACHMENT: Give your gifts with an open heart, without any expectations about what you might want to receive in return. In fact, try this: What if you were to give away something that you feel you could never part with? It could be a material thing, or perhaps a deeply held belief, behavior, or way of thinking that you feel isn’t serving you anymore. Try this at least once over your 29 Days and take notice of changes you see in your life in upcoming months.
GRATITUDE: If you stay in a space of giving and gratitude, you attract more of what you want in life. Note at least three things you feel grateful for each day. This may be anything from a family member, your health, shelter, or nature.
AWARENESS: Decide that you will go through each day being open to opportunities to give. Take action, and be mindful of what comes up for you emotionally. Does it feel hard or easy to give? Can you notice why you are having certain feelings? Is your desire to offer this gift connected to an experience that you remember from your past? Was there some resistance to taking action or resentment after the give?
SERVICE: Try your best to approach offering each gift from an authentic desire to be of service to others. Take note of the times you go out of your way to help another person. What touched you about the person that compelled you to want to give? Are the traits that attracted you to the person somehow mirroring your own experience of life?
CURIOSITY: Approach this ritual with a willingness to be curious and surprised. Don’t go in assuming that you will learn something specific, solve a problem, or have an earth-moving experience. Instead, notice what surprises you about your give each day. Did you get an unexpected reaction from the recipient of your gift? Did extending yourself to another person bring up emotions you didn’t anticipate? Did you receive something surprising in return?
RECEIVING: When you give, it opens space for you to receive. Plus, saying “yes” to the gifts that are offered allows you to feel the joy of giving. Each day, notice if your heart feels open or constricted when you receive an offering from another person. Can you easily accept their gift with gratitude? Do you feel deserving of the gift? Do you give yourself permission to receive with an open heart?
Q. What has happened to you since you wrote the book? A: The release of the 29 Gifts book gave me the opportunity to do national media like the Today Show, NPR and O Magazine. I was able to travel around the US as a motivational speaker for the MS Society and other organizations.
Q. Will there be a follow up to the 29 Gifts book? A. Yes. 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. It is part memoir, part self-help workbook. Some of the stories will have visuals to support them, such as photos, drawings or other art. Authors Cami Walker and Angel Stork artfully weave colorful giving stories from the 29 Gifts global community members to illustrate the transformative power of giving in all areas of our lives. Get submission guidelines and read three new stories from me. http://follr.com/Communities/29Gifts/ViewPost/74108
I RECEIVED A GREAT GIFT YESTERDAY I got to have dinner with Henry Zane (my son) and Kevin, his father. Henry is staying with his dad here in Denver for a whole week so we made arrangements to get together a couple times. Henry is going to Summer day camp he is really enjoying. On Sunday we are all going to to Bellleview Park, and outdoor amusement park with a creek, miniature train ride, putt-putt golf, playground, petting zoo, picnic areas and hiking trails. The park is very close to my apartment.
GREAT GIVEAWAYS WANTED Are you an artist, writer or entrepreneur who would you like to share your product or service with our community? Direct Message me for details about sponsoring a giveaway. We need something exciting for our July 29th Great Giveaway.
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED I invite you to join our new 29 Gifts Community Team. Help welcome new members, comment on people's posts and start conversations on www.29gifts.org. If you are interested in joining me, leave a comment on this post or Direct Message me. You can also organize group gives in your local area. When I was traveling and speaking about 29 Gifts, I organized Flower Power Gives in each city I visited. Read about my first Flower Power Give. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/get-your-give/200908/flower-power-give
TROOPER TRAINING AND TOOTH FAIRY UPDATE I found a local dog trainer to help me train my new puppy, Trooper. She does an initial private behavior consultation for $125 and charges $95 an hour for private training. A reminder, I am raising money to train Trooper so he is a registered service dog. I also need help covering costs for more dental work. Please chip in what you can and share this link in the spirit of community! Thanks to my friends, family and fans for helping me raise $765 of my $2,300 goal. https://www.gofundme.com/help-cami-break-free-from-ptsd-ms
SUPPORT 29 GIFTS Please invite friends to join you at www.29gifts.org. "Like" and Share http://www.facebook.com/29gifts. Use the tag #29Gifts on your social media posts. Follow Cami on Twitter or Snapchat @camiwalker29 and at https://www.instagram.com/camillaswalker. Click on Documents to download free 29 Gifts Note Cards and other fun giving tools. Make a financial gift to help us revive the giving spirit in our world. Click on the “Upgrade Your Membership” link in the upper right-hand corner of the Home Page for details.
Good Giving! Cami Walker Chief Evangelist, 29gifts.org