After having read 29 Gifts by Cami Walker, I was so inspired that I decided to try it out for myself. Before I delve into this challenge, I do need to give a brief synopsis of the book.
29 Gifts is a journal entry based novel recounting a month cycle of gift giving. When Cami was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, her life had shattered right before her very eyes. Not having the inspiration for living life, let alone motivation to do anything because she was suffering in pain, Cami was in her own despair for about four months until she had a phone call with her spiritual adviser. When she was on the phone with her mentor, Mbali, recommended that rather than focusing on what’s wrong with her life, she should start to place emphasis on giving to others for 29 days. Reluctantly, Cami agreed to embark on a gift giving cycle and what happened as a result was truly a blessing.
Throughout the book, you’re with her witnessing her spiritual growth and psychological metamorphosis into a vibrant and lively woman. I highly encourage everyone to at least read the book, if not attempt this mindful giving for yourselves. Below are the tools that you will need to take this on for yourself.
1- Give with intention to others
This is super important. You want to make sure that you’re in a positive state of mind when bestowing someone with a gift. After all, if you’re going to give begrudgingly, there’s really no point in this. An affirmation will help with this. You can say, “Today, I give with joy.” Or, “Today, I’m giving (so and so’s name placed here) because I want to see them smile.”
2- Keep this gift giving going for 29 days
In order to benefit fully from this, you should keep this on for 29 days straight. If for any reason you miss a day, start over from day 1 so that you can start with fresh energy all over again.
3- Journal your gifts each day and how it makes you feel
All it takes is a few minutes to record your daily gift giving. To make it easier on me, I kept a journal and pen in my purse to write every day during my commute home.
4- At least one of the gifts has to feel like a sacrifice
If you feel that you’re not able to give someone your time because there aren’t enough hours in one day for yourself, then try to give someone some of your time. If you feel that you don’t have extra money to spare, then give some of your money. The point of this is that we always have more than we think we have so it can be a real eye opener.
So, what did I learn from this? I wish I could say that I attained enlightenment from this, but that wasn’t the case. I did, however, become much more inspired to gift others with random tokens of appreciation. There were also synchronicities given to me by the Universe. For instance, one time I was on my way home from work after a hectic day and had realized that I had completely forgotten to give a gift to someone. I was on about day 14 or 15 and was getting a bit bummed because I didn’t want to have to start all over again. At that exact moment, as I was getting out of the subway, someone asked me to swipe my card so that they could get on. When they offered me the money, I automatically declined it saying that it was on me. It took a good minute for it to process the fact that I had just given a gift to someone, all thanks to the Universe for presenting the opportunity for me. Another time, I was buying my hypnotist a bamboo plant so went into my local florist which I frequent, and they gave me the plant for free! I was also given a free salad one day at Sweet Green about 20 minutes after giving a coworker a gift. Their app machines weren’t working so they told me that lunch was on them because I was a regular customer.
I’m not saying to do this because of what you can get out of it on a tangible level, but what you can gain on an emotional level. It was so rewarding for me that I’m going to partake in another cycle of giving presents. For the next 29 days, for every subscriber, I will automatically enter you into a chance to win a prayer bracelet. That’s one per day so there will be 29 free prayer bracelets to go around. I will even include the shipping so there will literally be no cost to you. Subscribe today for your chance to win one! Feel free to use the comment box for your journal entries or email me with any questions. Happy gift giving everyone!