Our most cherished memories are rarely found in a box, but rather reflect the moments when we offer our full presence to the people we love. Instead of trying to find the perfect present for your partner this holiday season, I invite you to rethink your gift-giving rituals.
The most generous thing we can offer anyone is our full attention. Intimate giving begins by simply re-focusing how you spend your time and where your attention goes in your most meaningful relationships. Even the most sparkling jewels don’t compare to the feelings of intimacy that are generated in the light of one’s focused attention—which explains why most people cannot distinguish between the experiences of being deeply loved with being deeply heard, felt, or touched.
One way to expand your presence is to slow down the bustling holiday schedule and consciously add in more time for intimate fun and simple pleasures with your partner. Exchange one holiday party for a walk in nature or an evening of take-out and a movie. Although it’s a bit counter-intuitive, recent studies have shown that it’s in showing up and celebrating together that generates more stickiness in loving relationships than just being a sounding board for the hard times. We need to have fun together to remember what actually drew us to the partnership initially. Too many relationships suffer from the shrinking amounts of time we spend together without digital distractions or the continuously increasing pressure to do more, especially during the holidays.
Another simple way to remember to give your full presence is to live sensuously. By bringing as many of our senses as possible into a moment, we provide more sensory data for our brain to process, which in turn, creates the mental depth to transform every moment into a treasured memory. When we simply harness and focus our attention on the smallest of sensations, the holidays become a sensual plethora of indulgences. Take the time to deeply inhale the scent of freshly cut trees, hold hands in the dark among the twinkling lights, and taste for the over sweetness of eggnog or hot cocoa as you sip it. All of these actions will help you to savor the warmth and magic of your physical intimacy.
Sensuality is also the language of our most intimate communication. Your focused attention will also invite you to become an artist with your kisses. With or without the mistletoe, our kisses have the ability to communicate our deepest feelings, desire, and intention better than anything we can buy or even say to those we love. This is because kissing consumes the present moment and saturates our senses with the fullness of each other.
So this holiday season, let your giving be truly from the depths of your heart. You don’t need to spend anything more than your undivided attention. And you will find that everyone will be enriched beyond measure.