The Gift of Presence
As we fade, wander or leap into the holiday season – it’s a great opportunity for reflection and honing our impulses to create space for inspired actions.
If we break down emotions and intentions to their simplest form, they are energy. Everything is. We’ve been through many different circumstances this year - and, although likely an unfavorable opinion, I feel 2020 is precisely what we needed as humans on this planet.
As I watch decorations go up earlier and earlier – I feel the deep sense of longing, of wanting familiar comforts – of wanting more, all around me. To acknowledge it, is to take a deeper look inward at the motivations behind it. The opportunity that emerges could transform our entire collective perspective.
The most amazing opportunity we have is to clear our emotional paths to become vessels for gratitude and service to others. In doing this, we create an intensified, mutually beneficial reality.
In The Return to your Muchness, I talk a lot about how our upbringing and conditioning shapes the traditions, the circumstances and the realities we create and manifest.
Overtime, I’ve learned that giving thanks and having gratitude is so much more than sharing a delicious meal, exchanging a few 'I am thankful for' mantras, and searching the malls (or mindlessly scrolling) for the best deals on Black Friday.
In fact, in our search for meaning in these activities – we must stop and ask ourselves one question. Who are we doing it for?
Many of these yummy, cozy traditions make us feel good – and, we are hard-wired to want more of what makes us feel good.
In that, I invite you take a moment and look at your impulses including how they show up during the holidays. When I became a Mom, and began experiencing the holidays I was raised to observe, from the perspective of 'giver' – Christmas became an overwhelming glut fest and I realized, I had the opportunity to redefine these experiences.
More gifts, they must be just right – oh so fun to find all of the most special presents and watch my children and loved one’s rip into them with delight. I’ve done it, another successful Christmas in the bag! What was I left with? After the high, followed the low.
The credit card bills, a room full of distractions and electronics, feelings of love that were relatively short lived – and a continuing cycle of ‘more stuff’ equaling more happiness.
Don’t get me wrong, in giving gifts – we certainly receive. But children? They have to figure that out over time. And as adults, that child is still very much a part of us. Addiction to material possessions breeds greed. These feelings can potentially create a sense of not having enough, needing the latest and greatest – while on the inside – potential feelings of wavering self-worth create the great divide.
My question to you is, how will you nurture your self-worth and acknowledge the deepest feelings and connections with your loved ones this holiday season?
With so much changing including our ability to be together due to health concerns and a global pandemic – we must come together energetically and remember that our connection spans far beyond the latest iPhone or matching holiday pajamas. How deeply do you know the person adorned in those beautiful buffalo plaid jammies?
What are their deepest fears? Their greatest hopes and dreams? When was the last time you listened to them without constantly focusing on how you would respond to what they were saying?
Our love for each other runs deep – even if we are not physically next to each other, tearing through the most beautiful wrapping paper - we have the potential to create an even deeper, more meaningful connection with our loved ones.
I invite you to put at the top of your list this season, The Gift of Presence.
This gift must be unwrapped slowly, savoring every opportunity to show gratitude for each other, for the food on our tables, for the warmth in our homes – and remember that what we consider ‘normal’ and 'expected' in our lives is an utter and complete dream to someone else.
While preparing the delicious meal everyone will give thanks for, be intentional in crafting it with love. Tune in to your thoughts - if it's a burden, if it's just one more thing to 'check off the list' and get over with - you are feeding that energy to those who consume it. Infuse it with love, not perfection.
Giving the Gift of Presence is the opposite of self-less, it’s self-full. It’s being so centered and loving in who you are that you are no longer obsessively thinking about not being thin enough, not having enough money, not being able to be physically next to family – clearing out these mindsets makes way for new. It clears the path for genuine, meaningful connection.
It’s a new day – and with it comes an opportunity to create new traditions. To craft art from your heart for someone, to pour your soul and truth into a letter (yes, use a stamp - let them see your handwriting) – expressing your deepest apologies for a relationship that took a turn. For calling someone and telling them what they really mean to you. Stop repeating the old stories, and focus your energy on creating a new one.
It’s about creating beauty and love in gestures for those who may not have all the things you take for granted – which first requires us to take a deep breath, close our eyes and clear the slate. Nothing exists but you, but all of us as one.
When you open your eyes – take a look at everything around you as if it’s the first time seeing and experiencing it. Aligning yourself with humble gratitude and moving toward inspired action.
Remove frantic from the equation. Ask yourself, 'who am I doing this for?’ And remember, the little things are the big things this holiday season, and every day in between.
Wishing you and your loved ones a warm, gratitude filled Thanksgiving. As you rush to clear that holiday and move on to bigger and better – please remember my words, there is no such thing. You are enough, and so is every single person and belonging around you.
What you do next, including the intention you set and the emotion you attach to it – will either create a new reality, or keep you in a constant state of searching for more.
Choose wisely, and with that, I invite you to choose presence.
p.s. I love new jammies and I am all for abundance in creature comforts, I simply invite you to find the hidden treasures within the hearts of those whose name you write on the tag.