I know, I know — it's been a while. And, wow, a lot has happened in the meantime. On a personal level, I'm a new mom and it's been one of the most amazing, beautiful, and — yes — tiring experiences of my life. My husband and I couldn't have asked for a more precious gift than our daughter, Zoe, and our time with her has been an extraordinary adventure, so far. We can't wait for everything that's still to come.
On a larger scale, there was Hurricane Sandy, which affected my family directly, just as I'm sure it did so many of you. Being inside of a building that began flooding and lost power is scary enough, but it's even more so when you have an infant (or two — my sister, Jodie, and her husband were with us, along with their baby daughter, Edie; both babies, I'm happy to report, were blissfully unaware of any compromising situation). We made it through safely, and the real issue became the lack of power following the storm. Those of you who experienced this know that it can really bring life into focus: you begin to understand how important certain things are that you take for granted, while other things show their true colors as pure luxuries. The upshot of such a bad situation was this: witnessing the kindness of humanity.
Everyday in the aftermath of the storm, I was touched by shear, selfless acts of generosity, and — even better — I know that such things occurred on a wide scale throughout the city and the other areas that were affected. Of course, it's no surprise that tragic situations bring out the best in humankind. But here's the best news: it can also happen any (and every) ordinary day. Proof? Our 29-Day Giving Challenge.
Last November and December, we did our first Giving Challenge and it was a resounding success. So much so that we couldn't wait to do it again this year, which is why it gives me great pleasure to announce our 2012 29-Day Giving Challenge! For those of you who are new to the Challenge, here's the story: the inspiration came from this NY Times article about Cami Walker, creator of the original 29-Day Giving Challenge. During a particularly difficult time in her life, Ms. Walker took the advice of her spiritual teacher to give something away each day for 29 days. During that time, she journaled daily about her experience, and by the end of the 29 days she noticed a radical shift in her emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual energy – a profound change that had an indescribable affect on her entire life. She’s been sharing her story ever since, inspiring people around the world to take up the torch and embrace their spirit of generosity. We decided to give it a go last year, and I can attest to the power of the experience. So, we're doing it again and we want you to come along for the ride.
First, we’re going to exercise our giving muscles by giving away the following:
- One (1) 6-Session Private Coaching package (valued at $900), consisting of six 45-minute career coaching sessions with me via telephone
- One (1) Artists In Action Complete Downloadable Coaching Program (valued at $197); details of the program can be viewed here
- Three (3) Private Coaching sessions (valued at $125 a piece), consisting of one 45-minute career coaching session with me via telephone per winner
That's right, five lucky participants who complete the challenge will win one of the above. How do you become one of the lucky five? Here are the details:
- The Capes Coaching 2012 29-Day Giving Challengebegins on Friday, November 23rd, and ends on Friday, December 21st.
- Register here to participate. (You MUST register to be eligible for the giveaway)
- Each participant gives one thing away each day for the entire 29 days. These “gifts” can take any form and can be as large or small as you like. The idea is to get creative. Physical gifts and money are obvious (and they certainly count here), but think about the less obvious ways to give: a phone call to a friend in need of support, helping someone carry their groceries, an email of encouragement, dog-walking, making dinner, texting a compliment, just listening to someone who needs it, crafting something, offering your seat on the subway/bus – there is no limit to what you can gift. If you can think it, you can do it.
- Log all of your gifts. Whether you write complete journal entries or just jot down what the gift was and who it was to, keep a log of them because this will be your proof of completing the challenge.
- If you miss a day or you begin the challenge late: don’t sweat it. We’d like you to make up for the missed days by giving multiple gifts on the remaining days of the challenge. This is where we differ from Ms. Walker’s original “rules,” and we do so because of the giveaway. But, staying in the spirit of things, we don’t want you to overthink this or to stress out about it – this whole challenge is about the spirit of giving, not the prize at the end of the road. Again, even the tiniest gestures count. Think back on your day to see if you actually gave something that you might not have been aware of in the moment.
- To remain eligible for the giveaway, you must return to this page at least once during the challenge to share with us (in the comments below) one of your gifts. We’d love for you to come back as often as you like – the more examples we get, the better. Just make sure you do it at least one time.
- Once the challenge ends on December 21st, email a list of all 29 of your gifts to firstname.lastname@example.org, along with a short paragraph detailing how you feel you would benefit from winning one of the career coaching prizes we're giving away. We know that this is a VERY busy time for many of you, so we’re giving you an extra week to email us; however, we MUST receive your email no later than January 1st, 2012.
- Sometime during the first week of January, five eligible participants will be chosen as the recipients of the giveaway prizes (based on their emailed paragraph).
Let’s do a Cliff’s Notes version, just for the sake of simplicity:
- Challenge runs from 11/23/2012 – 12/21/2012.
- Register here.
- Give one thing away each day for 29 days.
- Log your gifts.
- If you miss a day, or come to the challenge late, make up those missed gifts during the remainder of the challenge.
- Stop by this page at least once and comment on one of your gifts.
- Email a list of your 29 gifts and a paragraph about how you feel you would benefit from a coaching package to email@example.com no later than 01/01/2013.
- Feel proud that you completed the challenge, and maybe you'll hear from us during the first week of January...
As I did last year, I’m going to be blogging about my experience along the way — I just may be doing so with a baby in my lap :) Again, I’d love to hear from anyone who wants to share their experience as well, so please don’t be shy – use the comments section below! And, if you know of anyone who you think would be interested in taking part in the challenge, pass along the info – the more people get involved in this, the bigger the difference!
Of course, I don't want to head off without wishing everyone here a Happy Thanksgiving! After the last month, I remember more than ever what I'm thankful for, and having the opportunity to do this challenge, once again, with all of you is absolutely on that list. So, enjoy the holiday, remember what you’re thankful for, and get ready to start giving!
For additional guidelines, visit the official 29-Day Giving Challenge website.