'Tis, after all, the season for giving and from all appearances, we are in a perfect giving frenzy. So, it may seem odd to suggest that a good gift to give yourself right now might be something called "the 29-day gift challenge." On one hand, we are utterly obsessed with gift giving so where's the challenge? On the other hand, we are totally overwhelmed with gift giving so why do we need more of a challenge just now?
Here is the answer to both questions. Just now, particularly just now, when we are consumed with giving gifts, we are probably doing both the giving and receiving unconsciously. We have our lists and we are power shopping to get as much as we can at the lowest price possible.
This challenge is to give one gift each day and to do it consciously, just because. Like the police officer in New York City who gave the homeless guy boots and shoes. He saw a need and stepped up.
Oh, put away your credit cards. This giving is not about money, although it could be. This is very, very simple. You just consciously give something each day for 29 consecutive days. And, write something about what you gave and who you gave to.
None of this needs to be complicated. You just make a commitment to be mindful and look for giving opportunities throughout the day. It can be as simple as a smile or as expansive as you choose. Then you just make a note of it on your calendar or in a notebook or on you smart phone. "Gave smile and thanks to the sales clerk who checked me out today."
It's that simple. And, you can up the ante just a little, if you are so inclined. You can actually sign up for the 29-day Giving Challenge. It's quick and easy and you can read stories of other people who have taken the challenge. You can even download a free calendar page to track your progress. You can enhance your experience by writing just a little more about your giving experience.
You can even get a copy of the book, 29 Gifts - How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life, by Cami Walker. Walker has multiple sclerosis and embarked on this challenge herself as part of her healing. She was not healed in the traditional sense, but her life was transformed. The 29-day Giving Challenge evolved from her experience.
I signed up because I want to open myself to some fundamental changes in my life. I hope you will, too. The worst that can happen is that you will make the world a little better place for 29 days. That is not a bad downside.
If you decide to take the challenge, I hope you will stop back here and let us know. You could consider your comments on this blog as one of your gifts. I would deeply appreciate hearing from you!