During this season, it’s easy to get caught up in the distraction of the hustle and bustle of getting things accomplished. This shows up in endless lists of what needs to get done, a schedule of where we need to be next, the planning of how we will dress, and any number of things that are important in the moment, supporting our social and business lives and culture.
I speak of this, as I have spent many years being more caught up in the hustle than in fully appreciating the now of the present. I have found that even the hustle and bustle has its beauty, and when I slow down my pace with a pause and a breath, I release the capacity to more fully appreciate the beauty in this moment of now.
Too often, in this world of hustle and bustle and electronic distractions, being fully present with our loved ones is often sacrificed. This can happen consciously and subconsciously. Being “sidetracked” in mental lists and calendar management, we often forget to live in and savor each moment of these days and times. We also compromise what Stephen Covey called our “big rocks” (pausing to have a kind word or look in each other’s eyes), in pursuit of accomplishing our schedule.
The magic of this season lies less in the perfect gift and the perfect entertaining arrangements and more in the spirit of living in each moment and savoring and sharing them. I might be sounding too esoteric, yet I invite you to give this a try today:
1) Set your phone to a gentle reminder every 3 hours.
2) When the reminder sounds, pause (as soon as you can) and envision the beautiful end-result of how you want your holidays to be this year.
3) Now, smile and hold that energy of the smile for several seconds.
4) Resume your activity.
That process will take a minute of your time, every 3 hours. Those individual minutes will compound in a very big way to produce a sense of calmness and appreciation, as you move through your tasks. You will smile just HEARING your reminder sound, knowing the elevated feeling that you will emerge with, as you repeat this process again.
Presence is the greatest of presents. We cannot be present for others if we do not practice presence ourselves.
We are in a season of purchasing gifts and the celebration of religious events. It’s been happening for weeks now, as we celebrate our cultural traditions and the close of another year of shared living on Earth. Give the gift of presence to yourself and others today: practice the pause.