Posted by: sistermom1 | November 2, 2009

Postcard from the 29-day giving challenge

I am six days into the 29-day giving challenge.  (www.29gifts.org) The act of giving mindfully and consistently has already had an impact on my everyday life. 

With MS, it has been a while since I spent significant (any?) time planning to give anything to anybody.  Especially when my children were smaller, there was always so much to do/be/give to each of them all the time.  My husband and I were focused on them and keeping the trains running on time.  When we had some time, we focused on our own relationship.  Between that and work, there was limited time to consider giving anything to anyone else.  Occasional volunteer work, sure,and tithing when budgets permitted, but consciously giving every day?  Not even remotely on the list.

Birthdays and Christmas don’t really count, as they were basic required celebrations in my life.  The joy of giving thesegifts was often hidden by the need to just make it through the holidays successfully with the requisite gifts given.

Buddhist practice has opened me up to the need to give and the impact that giving has and how it reverberates through the entire universe.  (The universe inside of you as well as the universe outside that we all can see/experience.)  Reading Cami Wallace’s experience with MS and the results that came from completing the 29-day giving challenge shook me up enough that I had to try it myself.  Come to think of it, this is exactly how I started chanting 25 years ago – basically wanting to test what I was hearing for myself, with no intention of continuing this long…

This challenge is different. The idea of starting each day planning to give a gift of some kind to someone every day is a really unusual way to live life.  This week I have given small things and bigger things – it does not matter whether or not you spend money, just the act of opening your spirit to doing something (anything!) for someone else consciously without getting publicly acknowledged is a huge spirit-lifter.  I am totally enjoying this challenge, how it has complemented my Buddhist practice, and want it to continue.

One gift that I would like to share with anyone who reads this blog is the act of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.  Over the past 25 years, this dynamic practice has completely changed my life.  To share a quote, chanting these words is “the key to unlocking your highest potential”.  I have many experiences to share, which I will from time to time, but if you are at all interested in learning more about  this, please check it out at www.sgi-usa.org

Having a great time, wish you were here!

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