A friend recommended a little book to me. She said it was life-changing. When someone says that, I listen. I have just finished the book 29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life.
I am a giving person. I have always prided myself on that. I feel I am kind and caring. Even so, this book changed me. It made me look at my altruism in a different light. It made me question why I give and how I decide who to give to. In short, it made me look at the WHY of giving and, in return, it also made me see how giving changes my heart.
If you've followed my blog for long, you already know that I am a champion of living a grateful lifestyle. I am good about acknowledging what is happening in my life and I try very hard to live a life of gratitude and thanksgiving. I have considered myself generous. I give where I feel it's needed; however, giving 29 days straight has changed me.
There is a grace to giving with a heart that wants to give. To give from the right place, without guilt to give, but with a full heart that only wants to share, that is different. It changes everything. I started the book and was immediately turned off because the author is struggling with MS. Our daughter died at 15 of MS. I didn't want to read about someone else's struggle. We had lived it. Yet, I felt very strongly this book was put in my path and I was meant to read it.....so I did. I am so glad I pushed through my resistance. Cami Walker takes you on her struggle to start intentionally giving in order to get out of herself. She needed this focus in order to challenge herself to live life more fully again.
I am thankful I didn't have to start this journey for those reasons; however, I have had the same result. When you look at each day, evaluating what you have given, it changes you. You don't have to always give monetarily. There are so many ways in which to give. Perhaps it is to check on an ill friend or one who is going through something unpleasant. Maybe it is to ask to speak to the supervisor of someone who has helped you on the phone so that you can give that employee a much-needed boost. It could even be something as small as grabbing the loose grocery carts and putting them in the corral just because it only took you a second. Whatever it is, it begins to grow on you, this daily giving. You begin to look for ways to be able to give back to your fellow man and our incredible Universe.
As I had been reading a small chapter a day in this book, I journaled what I had given on a daily basis. I had been writing about how it felt. Folks, I cannot imagine a better prescription for well-being. Try it, you can do anything for 29 days! You may just decide this needs to be a life-long habit!
Let me know if you decide to do this. We can share our journey!
Until next time.....