Present Moments Make the Best Presents

By Terri Cole   |  7Comments|

Holiday mode is in full swing! Here comes the month when many people hit the ground running and don’t stop until they crash on New Years Day, needing a vacation from their vacation. The entire season can become a blur of obligation and stress from running yourself ragged both physically and emotionally. However, you have the power the make this year different.

Effectively managing the fast pace of today’s American lifestyle can be super stress provoking at any time of year, but the holidays elevate that stress to a stratospheric level, unless you put a plan in place. Think about the way you go through your daily activities. Do you allot plenty of time to get them all done? Do you do them with ease and pay attention to what you are doing? Or do you rush with clenched jaw and fists throughout the day, not noticing anything except for your to-do list, feeling totally stressed, and as though there is never enough time?

Part of what we are exploring here is mindfulness: clear moment-to-moment awareness of what is actually happening. When you are thinking about what’s next, you are robbed of THIS moment, and the magic of the season is lost.

Thanksgiving through New Year’s is always an interesting time period to explore your relationship with being present. People adore the idea of this season because it represents gratitude for blessings and spending time with loved ones, but the reality of trying to cram it all in – and with joy no less – can be a very different experience. There are food and toy drives to spread the “true meaning of the holidays”, but how often do you get caught up in the hype and operate on automatic obligatory pilot? From serving a big Thanksgiving meal to participating in crazy-making Black Friday shopping, the “meaning” can get lost in the mayhem. How can you bring yourself back to the here and now and rock some present moment consciousness so you can rejoice more, react less, and actually be in the moment?

Start by taking a deep breath, slowing down, and sinking into some stillness and silence.

Give yourself the gift of dedicating as little as 2 minutes in the morning this holiday season to meditation. Take this time to see all the activities of your day falling into place with ease and grace and feel gratitude for all that is right in your life right now. This practice creates an internal sacred space of centered awareness that can be the calm in the holiday storm and keep you connected to the true meaning of the season.

Make a commitment to truly enjoy being with your children as you decorate the house – pine needles be damned! Let their wonder and awe fill you with excitement.  Allow a car in front of you in traffic knowing it won’t make you arrive any later to your destination and will make that person happy. Smile at the weary sales clerk and understand he’s been working long hours and dealing with lots of people. Meditation allows you to be present and awake in your life and can create the space for you to do all of these things and more. It is possible to actually enjoy the next month!

Years from now most people won’t remember what “stuff” they got or gave, but they will remember a kind word, emotional generosity, and feelings of appreciation. One of my favorite lines comes from the cute, animated film Kung Fu Panda, “Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. But today is a gift, and that is why it’s called the present.” The best gift you can give this holiday season is your presence in the present.

For more on how to optimize your life, visit TerriCole.com

Want an easy, breezy, foolproof way to rock a meditation practice this season? My first guided meditation CD, Meditation Transformation, is on sale right now and will be delivered in time for Christmas! Digital download also available.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


7 responses to Present Moments Make the Best Presents
  1. What’s helping me stay grounded is the meditation challenge you’re offering. Reminds me to get real when I feel the frazzle coming on!!!

  2. Great Marie! So happy you are joining us! It is amazing what changes as we dedicate as little as 5 minutes a day to meditation! Interested to hear about your 7 day adventure so please drop a comment of my Facebook fan page on Saturday!
    love love love

  3. I love this message, it is more import an than we think…

  4. Agreed Marc! Thank you for spreading the message with your own Presence this holiday season!
    love love love

  5. I love that Kung Fu Panda quote!!! Was inspired to post it to my twitter after reading it here LOL https://twitter.com/#!/SashaLMitchell . And WOW- you really hit home here with your post. Thank you for sharing Terri. The message you are sending in to the world is pivotal and I am printing this out and keeping it with me as a reminder. Thank you! :)

  6. Sasha~
    Thank you for your energized response! I agree that the time is now and am so happy to have other like minded souls leading the way together!
    Yes 2012 here we come!
    love love love

  7. I couldn’t agree more. But I couldn’t take anyone’s advice in the past, I had to learn it the hard way. So for anyone like me, one who reinvents the wheel, creating havok in life, and then crashes, please listen to the advice here. It’s good stuff!
    I have found being in the moment is the only way to get things done effectively. It is not always easy but it works. This past week for example I worked full time hours, have a family to tend to, and had 3 Christmas parties, one was my own.
    Monday I began stressing. When I let it go, and went within, I relaxed. What I found with the unfolding of the week was I still had plenty of time left over to do other things.
    Granted I was tired, but you know what? I even had time to take a nap and have a great night sleep!
    What I found is if you don’t relax and just ‘be’ you end up running around doing a whole lot of useless things thus sucking all your time, leaving no time for the important things, Your inner fears of time has become a self fulfilling prophecy.
    Go within, trust yourself you will get done what needs to be done on time and it will happen!
    Try it guys! You will honestly be grateful you did!