I recently read about a 29-Day gift giving challenge and decided immediately to participate. The premise is very simple and doable and a great way to focus ones attention outward on helping instead of getting trapped in any "whoa is me" winter blues. A gift can be anything from loose change, to clothing, to a smile. What makes it fulfill your daily pledge is your intention. I have only just begun and already I have learned a great deal about my tendencies in giving and receiving. To join me in this incredible endeavor, please sign up at www.29gifts.org. You can start at anytime.
Below is an account of Day One of my 29-Day pledge:
Taking the Long Way Home
Day one of my 29-Day Gift Giving Challenge and I almost didn't make it. I left my house eager and excited to give a packed lunch to a needy New Yorker, but had a hard time finding just the right recipient. Early this morning the homeless I saw were sleeping on subway benches. I asked myself if leaving the package near someone would fulfill my personal pledge and concluded that it would not. So, I trudged through my day with my purse exploding container. Later a man on the train was asking for money in the form of a sort of song. I couldn't stop him chanting long enough to find out if he wanted the food, so on I went. At 2PM I finished teaching my last yoga session and my gift was still in my bag. I had two subway options for heading home. One would let me off directly across from my apartment with little chance of running into anyone in need and the other would let me off way across town. I went with the later, vowing to walk the distance and keep my eyes open for the kind soul who would help me fulfill my obligation. Just a few wet blocks and I found him. It was a great relief and perfect conclusion to my day. He was very polite and happy for the food, but he still wanted some change. I was about to walk away, but changed my mind. I don't know why he also wanted money or what he'll do with it. And I'm not sure it matters. He saw someone willing to stop and give and he asked and I gave. I'd been saving up all my giving for this man and even taken the long way home.