Regardless of our religious beliefs, we often arrive into the holiday season in the spirit of reflection and celebration. Many of us are also entering into several days focused on presents, but, of course, your friendly mindfulness teacher would like to encourage you to focus on presence as well!
The word “present” is related to the word “preside” (which literally means “to sit in front of.”) When we sit with the moment in front of us, without trying to control it, allowing it to be exactly as it is, we actually gain greater control. We preside over our responses and interpretations, instead of letting them rule us.
As you step into the celebration and the stress of your holiday festivities, see what it’s like to be present — to be with the joy and with the crazy. See what it’s like to be okay with the bad traffic and long lines, and what it’s like to savor that moment of excitement when your children/family wake up on Christmas morning. See what it’s like to be present, to be in the center of all the energy, exhilaration and exhaustion with awareness and balance. See what it’s like to notice what you need, and to claim it. See what it’s like to notice what others need, and to offer it.
You can bring yourself to the present by simply taking a deep breath… Because if you are breathing and you are aware that you are breathing, you are present!
My hope for all of you during this holiday season is to take time to pause, breathe and receive the gift of presence. It is by far the best present you can give yourself and the people around you!