Friday, November 4, 2011

something bigger

I'm currently reading two books: An Unquenchable Thirst by Mary Johnson and The 29 Gifts by Cami Walker. These two books and the fact that I have spent the past three months living out of a single suitcase has me rethinking most material things. Is it possible that less really is more? Can some possessions actually take more than they give?

The book An Unquenchable Thirst is a memoir by Mary Johnson recording the 20 years she spent as a nun  with Mother Theresa and the Missionaries of Charity. The subtitle: Following Mother Theresa in Search of Love, Service, and an Authentic Life is, for Mary, a dream realized. In the end, her dream transcends any particular religious belief or religious rules.

A thoughtful excerpt from Unquenchable:

"A plaque in the basement proclaimed Mother's words: Do little things with great love. I understood this to mean that my activity didn't matter as much as my attitude."

In the book The 29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life, Cami Walker recounts her diagnosis of MS at the age of 31. From depression, addiction, and isolation she opens herself to the idea of giving and in turn changes her life.

One of my favorite quotes from 29 Gifts is:

"No matter how much we have materially, we are often in a place of scarcity: we never think we have enough or that we're good enough. Instead of getting lost in a sense of lack, once we realize we are part of something bigger, it becomes clear we have many gifts to offer the world."

Could you give a gift each day for 29 days?

A gift can be anything: a thank you note, a tip, spare change, holding the door for someone, a prayer, a kind word, bake something for someone, send a friend your scarf that she admired, the list can be endless...

"Gratitude keeps your heart open. When you give with an open heart, you receive the profound gift of humility."

I'm going to give it a try. Write down your gift each day. If you miss a day, start over.

And remember - keep it simple, grand gestures aren't necessary... 
"When you are over-giving, you are not living in abundance, but in scarcity. When you give from a place of service, honesty, and fullness, you are left feeling revitalized. When you give from a place of responsibility and obligation, you negate the gift and nothing changes. You may in fact be left feeling resentful and drained."

Good Luck and Happy Giving!


  1. Your friendship and inspiration are gifts you give me daily!

  2. Miss you! See you at the end of the month!!

  3. Zia, you are just BAD :)

    I will give it a try, I'll start tomorrow, Hmmm 29 days, it might be a tough one since you have to start all over again if you miss a day. This may be life long :)

  4. I started today with a batch of homemade cookies. 28 days to go!