Monday, January 23, 2012

"29 Gifts: How A Month of Giving Can Change Your Life!" An Outstanding, Inspiring Book That I am SO Grateful To Have Read!!!

Since we are focussing on gratitude this week, I thought I'd re-post a blog entry I did in December on an amazing book that inspires deep gratitude!  "29 Gifts: How A Month of Giving Can Change Your Life" is an incredible book that I highly recommend!  After you read this blog post be sure to check out the author Cami Walker's website to join the "Giving Challenge!"  I joined the "Giving Challenge" two years ago at just this time of year and wrote my first blog as I did it!  You can see those entries here:  Dr. Cat's 29 Day Giving Challenge Blog.

And now, originally posted on December 17, 2011:

Well I've been wanting to blog about "29 Gifts" for several weeks--this book is just such an incredible example of the power of the mind-body connection.  It is a true story of hope & healing written by Cami Walker, a young woman living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS).  In the midst of a horrible MS flare which forces her to become nearly home-bound,  Cami embarks on a challenge to give 29 gifts away in 29 days. Along the way her body begins to heal itself--giving her a new, more active life.  Her gifts are sometimes as small as a phone call or rubbing her kitty's belly but they change her life in a major way.  

Her path to giving was initiated by a South African medicine woman, Mbali Creazzo.  If you remember from the Monday Meditation on "Overgiving" Mbali's wise words are an inspiration to us all.  Beyond what I shared in the Meditation, Mbali also says "Giving of any kind is taking a positive action that begins the process of change.  It will shift your energy for life."  That shifting of energy is the magic of healing in the face of all medical science.  It is the mystery that happens when the mind & spirit begin to heal the broken body. 

Maybe its easier for me to believe Cami's story & her remarkable recovery because as a doctor I see it everyday.  For example, I had a patient in the Spinal Cord Injury unit who told me when I admitted her that every night since the injury she closes her eyes & visualizes moving her feet.  On Wednesday this last week, she moved her right foot.  On Thursday, she was able to lift her leg.  This is a miraculous recovery from an injury that should not be healing this quickly.  We expected her to regain function but not like this.  Not this fast and definitely not this widespread!  The therapists actually came to find me on the unit to take me to the gym to witness this incredible feat.  This is the power of the mind & spirit over the body.  And it exists in ALL of us if we are willing to reach into our hearts to find it.  Giving to others without the resentment of "overgiving" allows us to tap into this mind-body connection in a profound and extraordinary way.  It is a pipeline straight to healing.

I cannot recommend this book enough--and if you are still searching for a gift to give someone, let me tell you, this is the one!  

Cami has taken her book even further to create an online community of giving that spans the whole world (15,800 people!).  You can join the "29 Day Giving Challenge" and blog about the experience yourself at  I hope you do!  You don't even have to buy the book to join--its all free!  If you DO join the challenge--put the address of your blog in the comments section of this post so I can follow it!!

And, if you want to see some of my first attempts at blogging:  I did the challenge myself in Spring, 2010 and you can see my blog at: Dr. Cat's 29 Day Giving Challenge Blog.  All 29 days are there--here is my Day 1, you can link to my other posts by clicking on "View Blog"!:-) I think my two favorite posts from the challenge were Day 9: Two Wolves & Letting Go and Day 10: The Tow Truck Man:-).  I injured my back pretty badly halfway through the challenge but didn't quit and surprise, surprise as I continued to give, my recovery was more rapid than expected! Its fun for me to look back at the blog and read about each gift I gave and how it changed me.  I intended to renew the challenge at the end of the 29 days but wasn't able to carve the time out to blog about it so it sadly drifted off--I think I'll start again in 2012!!  

This book was a gift from my wonderful husband and I'm so grateful he introduced it into to my life!  I hope you feel the same way when you read it! :-)

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  1. Hi Dr. Cat, Thank you for the book recommendation! I just put it on hold at the library. If I like it, I'll download it onto my iPad. I read a great book a few months ago: 365 Thank Yous by John Kralik. This book made a huge impact on my life and I find I am much more grateful for the little things. I send hand written thank you notes very frequently now. I give thanks for my life throughout the day...even the not-so-good parts! Janet

    1. Thank you so much Janet!! I am way behind in my thank you notes and need to do that!! I think I heard about that book on NPR a few years ago I think? I'll definitely get it at the library for vacation reading this week!!

      Let me know how you like 29 gifts!?:-))


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