At this time of year, isn’t it hard to give our full attention to the present moment? Many of us jump ahead to our lengthy to-do lists. Worry, anxiety, and stress can consume us. There’s so, so much to be done!
If however, we can stay in the present, attentive to the moment in which we find ourselves, we will become a gift to those around us and a gift to ourselves.
This doesn’t come easily to me. Nope. Without confusing the holiday, I’m like a bunny that will hop, hop, hop, particularly when I’m stressed. I try to squeeze in as much as I can. There are plenty of us hopping right now, friends.
Let’s turn to an appropriate image for the season: the Christmas manger. This scene is an invitation. Animals gathered around the baby in wonder, awe, and adoration. They gave exquisite attention to what was right in front of them. Even the bunny!
Here’s what I’ve found to be helpful in my efforts to stay in the present moment:
- Pace: Go slower. Less hopping!
- Pause: Take time to rest and allow your soul to catch up…even for a few seconds in the midst of the busyness.
- Breathe: Get in touch with your breath. It is always there to center you in the now. Focus on three breaths right now.
These steps open a gracious space in our mind and heart to be present to others and ourselves.
December is a tender time for many, with happy and sad memories and loved ones who aren’t with us. Sorrow mixes with joy. We never know what lies beneath the surface of people’s lives. Just being present to others is a way we can give. Generous listening, saying “thank you,” looking someone in the eye, a warm smile, or a gentle touch can be just the gift that someone needs. Don’t underestimate the power of connection.
The gift of presence is sorely needed. Let’s slow our hopping. Be present. Be a present.
With love, M