Being Present is the Best Present You Can Give Yourself: Why it’s Important to Let Every Last Moment of 2015 Sink In
It’s the end of the year, another is in sight, but for now just enjoy these last days of 2015. Connecting with people old and new, connecting with the world around you has magical restorative effects.
There’s so much to do winding up at work, social events, family gatherings and shopping for gifts, the list seems endless. As you are racing around trying to get everything done, stop just for a second and realise that you can’t (do everything). As much as you will give it a darn good try, it will rob you of what’s happening right now all around you.
Your happiness in life occurs at the points where your energy seems to just flow, it’s a very light energy as the proverbial weight is lifted off your shoulders. While feeling ambivalent is better than feeling stressed, angry, sad or depressed, gratitude is the top elixir of all emotions. Feeling grateful is something that comes easily when we relax a little and notice more.
Look around. Who are you sitting next to? What’s the weather like? What do you look like when you stare at your face in the mirror? This moment will never come again. You can choose to live in your next thought of that email that needs sent, the letter that needs posted, the groceries you need to buy, the fuel that needs to go in the car on the way to pick up the kids. Or you can choose to be fully present in the line at the post office rather than thinking about the next thing you need to do.
Recently I’ve become so aware of how we shut ourselves off from people. When we are out and about we avoid eye contact and gesture in a way that says “I’m too busy”. A couple of weeks ago I dropped in to a sandwich bar to pick up a smoothie. Rather than dive into my device as I’m prone to, avoiding eye contact with everyone else, I got to chatting with a lady sitting drinking her smoothie.
I have to admit I had this lady pegged as a housewife of around retirement age. As it turns out she was a music producer. Though I’ll never likely meet this lady again, I can tell you it felt good to connect with someone and the surprise and delight at meeting someone so creative gave me a lift as I headed off to the next meeting.
Just yesterday I was visiting a nearby fairy tale themed garden with my kids, they had happened upon the fictitious wolf’s hideout (the wolf in Little Red Riding Hood) and were happily playing with pots, pans and mouldy water.
As much as the dusty hideout and mouldy water did not entice me, I did surrender to the moment and let the girls play, caught up in their imagination for a long time. Meanwhile I sat on the grass and looked up at the trees, they were big trees, been there a long long time. It felt solid and soothing to just be there.
If ever there was food for the soul though, catching up with old friends would be it. As the holiday season approaches our minds often turn to checking in with those we haven’t in a long time.
Then as we talk we wonder why we haven’t, our hearts enriched, our load unburdened.
Old friends, close friends are amazing, and enduring. There are those who are only part of our lives for a season and then we move on, nowadays we honour the past connection through social media. Then there are those who are still part of the fabric of our lives, we just don’t get to see them that often.
In terms of being who you are and being present in the moment, nothing can be easier than when you spend time with good friends. Since having children I have found that life gets especially busy in just the day to day stuff. Before you know it another year has passed and here you are wondering why you left it so long to check in with those who ‘get you’ the most.
Catching up with those who make you feel this way is part of the restorative end of year cycle. There is nothing to feel guilty about; your friends are in just the same boat. There will be moments you have together, maybe even this year you are sharing a vacation, but there’s no need to feel any angst about it, just sink in and enjoy.
Like the tide washing in and washing out, your soul needs soothing, it’s ragged at the end of a long year. Life has a rhythm about it, as much as you will start to reconnect with yourself and get more clarity on the things that are truly important to you in the coming weeks, just to be present now as you start to wind down and let that all unfold.
It’s time to wake up to the world around us again, to shake your boots off and sit down, rest a while in good company and enjoy the wonder around you. All of these things and more will do you a power of good. Rest up, for when that clarity comes about what’s really important in your life, you will be called to act and remember fondly the time you sat still for just a moment and took in the world around you.
This article was originally published on LinkedIn.
photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/11242455@N00/4530848609">Dandelion</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license)</a>
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