the title of this blogpost is a quote from my primary Enneagram teacher, past boss, and friend, Russ Hudson.
with presence, you get presents…i know i have made it much harder than that in my life!! one of the biggest stumbling blocks to presence for me is moving too fast, trying to do too much, which i talked about in my last blogpost.
the other big obstacle is one most of us have been taught from an early age:
“Take care of others before you take care of yourself.”
our family of origin, trying to mold us into good citizens who will be acceptable in the culture we live in, tells us not to focus on ourselves, that it’s SELFISH.
as women, we get the message that it’s our job to care for others, whether it be calling, texting, emailing, visiting, or even accepting an invitation or overstaying so as not to hurt someone’s feelings.
and men have their own version of this: they often feel pressure to provide for the family and make their women happy.
this time of year, we’re all encouraged to focus on finding and giving the RIGHT gifts—that we research, shop for, spend money on, or hand-make. even if we truly want to make our loved ones happy with the perfect gift, it is so easy to lose ourselves in what can feel like a frantic search.
as an adult, i find that one of my favorite memories of Christmas was doing a 1,000-2,500 piece puzzle together as a family.
yes, we were dedicated puzzlers! 🙂 my parents hung a round, particle-board tabletop on pulleys in our living room so we could sit around it and puzzle together and then pull it up to the ceiling to make space for other things.
what i remember most is the gift of calm, together time.
we didn’t talk a lot. we simply joined each other at the table and were present together—sometimes to put a piece in as we were passing through, sometimes for longer.
i’m not suggesting not to invest some time and money in gathering hands-on gifts for your loved ones.
- but see if you can return to yourself over and over again while you do. fill your own well with the gift of your mindful presence. if you need some tips for how to do this see babysteps for presence.
- as you spend time with others over the holidays, stay connected with the internal presence of you—the felt sense of your feet on the ground, the breath in your body, the way your heart is touched by their presence.
- also when with others, practice taking their presence in. see them freshly—breathe in their beauty, their unique way of thinking and being. you might want to try a version of this savoring practice to help you really tune in.
as you do any of these practices, you are giving yourself and the person you are with the gift of presence—of yours and theirs.
with presence, we get presents.
because i know how hard it can be to practice presence,
i’ve created an opportunity for us to practice together,
to make a fresh start in the New Year:
in these five days together, we’ll get into the nitty-gritty of your everyday life and try on mindful practices to create more presence in your life. we’ll weave in more meaning and sacred intention so that you are crafting a life you want to live.