It's so easy these days to wallow - to get stuck in that endless loop of 24/7 gloom and doom. Losing a job, worrying about making ends meet, wondering if you'll be able to retire when you planned to...according to the news, this is all everyone's doing. I started to feel myself get caught in this negativity loop, too, and decided I needed to go back to my Word For 2009 (with a salute to Christine Kane).

You may recall that I decided my word for 2009 was "release." Using this word as a personal motto, I've been busy getting rid of stuff in my house, thoughts and beliefs that no longer serve me, and attempting to release some excess weight (not doing so well on that one, I'm afraid!).

To help release the negativity, I decided that "release" also needed to mean "give." I was wondering how I could best do that when my friend Carrie told me about a wonderful site called 29 Gifts. The 29-Day Giving Challenge originated as an African ritual, with the premise that giving of any kind, taking an action, begins the process of change, and moves us to remember that we are part of a much greater universe. It sounded perfect!

So I've given...

... someone the benefit of the doubt - someone I normally would have dismissed with annoyance, and am glad I did.

... my time - I listened, while cleaning, sorting and tossing at a friend's mom's house. I took on a new pro bono client, and gave advice to a potential coach. I cleaned the lint out of mom's dryer.

... cat food, and signed up to volunteer at the local animal shelter - we'll see how that goes (I start next week).

... way - to anyone who wanted to get in front of me in traffic.

... money - to a 13 year old Navajo girl so she can participate in a Kinaalda, a rite-of-passage ceremony. And to a just-released-from-prison guy who needed cab fare. And big tips to waiters and waitresses. And made my monthly donation to support my sister in Afghanistan (through Women for Women International).

And I've gotten...

... such a high from being deliberate about expanding my awareness outside of myself, and

... relief from the negative feedback loop that was playing in my head, and

...signs that when I give, I gather. I got 5 new clients in 6 days. I gave away gently-used and much-loved boots that no longer fit me, and someone gave me boots that didn't fit them. A friend treated me to a concert. I've got loads more examples that would take up too much space here.

I can't wait to see what's in store for Day 14 and beyond, and fully expect that I'll go way past 29 days of giving. It feels to good to stop! Thanks, Carrie.

Author's Bio: 

A Certified Life and Career Coach, Chris is dedicated to connecting people with possibilities – expanding opportunities for creating a life they love through one-on-one coaching, teleclasses and workshops.

Having left a successful career as a human resources executive to pursue her heart’s desire, Chris has made the journey her clients take. She is their inspiration, supporter and guide as they step out of their comfort zones, answer the question “What’s Next?”, and are awakened to new possibilities for bringing satisfaction, purpose and joy to their personal and professional lives.

To learn more about how Chris can help you, go to, or call 203-845-9147 to set up a complimentary consultation. Your life is waiting…