Gifting is a little addictive. Spurred on by my soupsploits yesterday, I picked up a box of my favourite gluten-free, dairy-free truffles from Booja Booja to mail to a friend whose been having a bit of rough time lately. Incidentally, I was first introduced to Booja Booja by receiving a box as a thank you gift from the organiser of Blackwell’s children’s book group after I did a free meet-the-author session for them…gifts upon gifts.
Having managed to keep up this conscious giving practice for two days straight (a habit has to start somewhere), I was reminded of an article I’d read in Flow magazine (issue 6) about the practice of giving. In it, Nina Siegel wrote about the increased connection to her community that she received from taking up the challenge of giving away 29 things in 29 days. She, like many others, was inspired to do the challenge by Cami Walker’s book 29 Gifts, How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life, which includes Cami’s story as well as that of others who were inspired to follow in her footsteps.
One of my favourite insights from Michael White’s writings on Narrative Therapy is that when people offer up their stories as gifts to people who have offered to listen as a gift, new ways of being and acting in the world are opened up. White called these meetings “outsider-witness ceremonies”, which is not the catchiest phrase ever. In my experience, we can use written stories from books, blogs and magazines in a similar way if we read them closely and personally. So I’m going to create my own virtual support group, starting with Charles Eisenstein, Nina Siegel and Cami Walker, and see what is opened up when I set out on the 29 gifts challenge.