When my husband and I started dating (many years ago) we decided to choose a gift theme every year for the holidays. This has been a fun tradition and has for most of those years made the gift “shopping” an adventure. This year we were stumped – we had both celebrated our 50 birthdays and we had also celebrated our 25 wedding anniversary – all of these being significant milestones for each of us. I am not sure why my husband was stumped however I want to share with you why I believe I was stumped.
I have been practicing mindfulness for almost a decade now and it has changed my way of being. It has changed my perspective on what I deem important in my life. So when I was thinking about choosing a theme I was not inspired by the idea of buying something. I was inspired by the need to give something that only I could give – the gift of presence. Yes – I can go to the store and purchase present(s) however what would it feel like to spend time being present. Before I started nurturing my mindfulness practice, I was aware of my fleeting attention span – my monkey mind and I was unaware that I had a choice. I could choose to practice presence or not. I can choose to be present in the moment and nurture a relationship vs giving the perfect gift. What if being present is the perfect gift.
I am looking forward to spending time over the holidays with my family this year. I want to be focused on “showing up” and not being distracted by what needs to get “done”. I want the holiday to be about focusing on each other and our bond as a family. My practice supports me to do this; it has taught me to slow down and take a pause; it has taught me to let go of things that don’t support me; it has taught me to be compassionate to myself (not everything needs to be perfect to be good) and others. This is the power of my practice.
So the next time you are thinking about what to buy someone (“the perfect gift”) perhaps think again and give them the gift of your presence – it will be the best gift you ever give!
Happy Holidays Everyone,