There’s more joy to be had when you give more than presents.
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This episode aired on December 24th, 2016, which was both Christmas Eve and the first night of Chanukah. We took the opportunity to explore how these holidays, and any day with or without a reason for presents, should be a reason to give your presence. This is the gift that others will appreciate above any other.
For just a moment, live in that moment
Giving presence requires us to be present, and that means we have to focus our own attention on the here and now. Giving presence requires us to live in the moment. It requires us to give others our full attention. Here are just a couple of quick tips to giving others your attention. Neither of these are difficult (ok, well the first one is becoming increasingly difficult for all of us):
- Put. Away. The. Phone. Face down on the table is not the same as in your pocket or purse or even off to the side of the dining room table. You don’t stand a chance of giving your full attention when your phone is physically in your line of site.
- If you are hosting a gathering, consider a rule that phones are to be put away from the time dinner starts until it ends. You may get some moans and groans, but it will nonetheless focus your guests on the moment, and perhaps they may even remember that feeling when the night is over and start instituting a similar rule themselves.
- Ask questions. If there’s anything people love nothing more than talking about themselves, it’s knowing that others care to ask them about themselves! Just by asking, you are showing someone that you are present in the moment. Oh, and don’t forget: listen to their answers.
Leave your baggage at the door
We struggle to give others our full attention when we are engrossed in our own worries. Worries about something that happened in the past or worries about something that’s coming up in the future. It’s not always as easy as just saying “I will not worry about ___ for the next two hours,” but sometimes it actually IS just that simple!
Let’s say you had a bad day at work and you need to process some of your stress in your downtime. However, you have a dinner gathering scheduled that night, which means you’re not going to be able to do any of that processing right away. Before the gathering, try placing a mental moratorium on your worries for few hours. Who knows, later that night you may even find that your worries weren’t as bad as you thought. Perhaps all you needed was to focus on something else for a while.
What does living in the moment have to do with the holidays?
The holidays are a time when we tend to gather with others more often than perhaps we do the rest of the year. It also means seeing people (family, friends) that perhaps we don’t see at any other time of year. These gatherings can be fun, but they can also be stressful (there’s nothing like a side of pent-up childhood angst to go with the roast turkey!). This is a great time of year to practice “being present” because not only does it show our family and friends that we care enough about seeing them to give them our full attention, we may even find that it helps us to be more relaxed and maybe even looking forward to this time of year.
Let’s hear some of your strategies for giving others your presence! Leave us a voicemail at 646-653-9278 or send us a message here.
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