Here is a holiday invitation for you:
The pleasure of your deep and mindful presence is requested.
Wherever you are, whomever you’re with, whatever you’re doing.
You don’t even have to bring anything, buy anything, do anything.
Just be. That is enough. You are enough.
But here’s the thing. Most of us are only half-present, most of the time. Our body may be here but where is the mind? Where is the heart?
Can we practice bringing mind-body-heart all together, here and now?
Consider what quality of being you would like to embody, with the people you care about.
Focused, grounded, calm, steady . . .
. . . is better than scattered, distracted, frenetic.
We can bring mindfulness to our interactions with each other.
Set the intention to be here now.
Get grounded by feeling your connection with the earth.
Put away/turn off distractions. Empty your mind of past or future.
Open body language: Make eye contact to connect with the other person, breathe smoothly, consciously. This communicates that you are receptive, open and aware.
Listen. Be attentive.
Offer love, support and empathy if needed.
Refrain from offering advice if it isn’t asked for, and think before bringing up your own story about a similar topic. Only bring it up if it might be helpful to the other person.
Remember that you don’t need to talk simply to fill silence.
Focus on the other person, not on your own difficult feelings such as anxiety, not knowing what to say, etc.
Ask what the other person needs or wants from you. How can you help them? Even something as simple as “can I get you some water?”
I want to say it again, because we receive so many messages to the contrary:
Your presence is a gift, your presence is precious, you yourself are a gift and you don’t need to do/be/have/own/offer/give/act like anything else but this.
You are enough.
I am thankful for you.