What kind of presents are you hoping for this holiday season?
If you’re like many, the gift you really want from your friends and family is “presence” not “presents”.
As I reflect on my journey through 2023, I realized this year just how “unpresent” I’ve been in many aspects of my life. And, just as importantly, I’ve realized how often I’m with people who are not present with me.
But it’s not our fault!
Stop thinking back at the times that you may or may not have been present ever before in your life and beating yourself up about it.
You were starting to do that, weren’t you? Of course, you were. Because that’s what I did at first too. It’s what we’re trained to do.
“Whoops, I did something wrong! Oh no, I really screwed up. How could I be so stupid, oblivious, disrespectful, or ____________.” You can fill in the blank with your own word.
But it comes down to the same thing. We think that if we don’t beat ourselves up, if we don’t punish ourselves, then we’ll be doomed to repeat our mistakes.
Not only is that not true, but what do you think you’re really doing while you’re beating yourself up?
You got it! You’re not being present to wherever you are and whoever you’re with.
Our presence is not only the biggest gift we can give the people in our lives, it’s also the biggest gift we can give ourselves.
Being present means truly listening to others and enjoying them. It means being aware of our surroundings and appreciating them.
Being present allows us to be aware of our bodies and the myriad of messages they give us to aid our well-being. It means being calm and responsive rather than stressed and reactive.
The problem is that we spend a lot of our time either fretting over something that has happened in the past or worrying about something that may or may not happen in the future.
That doesn’t help anything. It really, truly doesn’t, no matter how much we think it does.
The reason I’m sharing this today is that I’ve made being present a big focus in my life during the last few months, and it’s had a seriously big impact.
I’ve known about mindfulness and being present for years. I thought I practiced it, and I did… to a degree. (Yes, I know most of this information probably isn’t new to you either.)
Wow! After three months of regular and specific mental fitness practices, courtesy of Positive Intelligence®, I’ve seen a big change in myself.
I’m truly more present in my life, and I am more aware when other people aren’t present. It’s been quite enlightening, as well as freeing!
It’s amazing how much more mental (and physical) energy you have when your mind isn’t always delving into the past or ruminating about the future.
My hope for you this holiday season (and beyond) is to not just give presents but also to be present. Let me know how it goes!
Wishing you the happiest of holidays and a healthy and abundant 2024!