Wednesday, May 2, 2012

May Giveaway: What 29 Gifts Gave Me

"Healing doesn't happen in a vaccum, but through our interactions with other people.  By giving, you are focusing on what you have to offer others, inviting more abundance into your life.  Giving of any kind is taking a positive action that begins the process of change.  It will shift your energy for life."

Cami Walker received this exact advice from her friend and spiritual mentor Mbali Creazzo, after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at the age of 33.  With this came a "prescription" to give 29 gifts in 29 days that would soon change her life.  

When I first heard about this concept, giving to create a sense of healing, it sounded a bit crazy, as I'm sure it did to Cami, author of the bestseller, 29 Gifts, How a Month of Giving Can Change your Life. When I can barely take care of myself due to illness, how can I possibly think of giving to everyone else?  However, just a few pages in, there was an immediate sense of connection with the author.  You see, like many of us living with chronic illness, especially in the beginning, we get lost in the darkness of it, scared, hopeless, with much of the attention focused on the illness itself.  At the time of being diagnosed with MS, Cami was surviving on numerous medications, had lost vision in one eye, was barely able to walk and spent her nights awake scared and in pain.  

With this unusual prescription, Cami decided to give giving a try, after all, what did she really have to lose?  Each chapter takes us through her journey, one day and one gift at a time.  The gifts don't have to be complicated and they can be both physical or a simply a kind gesture. Time spent listening to a friend and giving advice, making a special meal or doing the dishes are some of the suggestions offered in the book.  

A favorite of mine occurs on day 11. It's a frustrating day of sorting through finances, medical bills and payment plans (a double whammy when you are already managing an illness).  On her walk, Cami ends up in a floral department, pondering and reassessing the situation in her head, reflecting on all of the good things that have happened to her since the giving experiment started.  For example: better sleep, walking every day, and working again.  She is assured the giving must continue.  After purchasing fresh roses and tulips to cheer herself up, she finds herself handing them out to strangers on her walk home, bringing warming smiles to many faces.  This reminds her of what Mbali told her, "When you practice mindful connections with others your life feels meaningful and so it is."   

Cami did not stop her giving with day 29.  She was so inspired by the first few gifts that she began creating an online community at, a place where others can take on the challenge and share their experiences.  It has now turned into a global movement, with amazing stories from around the world.  She has literally created a gift that keeps on giving.

To learn more
Author's appearance on the Today Show 
About the book go to
Joining the giving challenge go to

May 15th: Congratulations to Trish O. on winning the autographed copy of 29 Gifts


  1. This book sounds wonderful!! Hope to read it soon!

  2. Wonderful blog and excellent book suggestion.

  3. Thanks Teri, glad you enjoyed it and hope you get a chance to read someday!

  4. Thislittlelark - I think you would really enjoy this read. The author is a fan of acupuncture and one of the gifts is based on accepting help from her amazing practitioner, who is kind enough to pick her up at home for her appointments! It seriously brought tears of joy to my eyes.

  5. Thank you, Stephanie! I know I will enjoy the book. It resonates with me on so many levels.