The best present ever… right Now!
Holiday season has begun. Woohoo, we love it! There’s the smell of roasting chestnuts and the Christmas carols, the sparkling lights and the sumptuous meals, the endless parties and the euphoria. There are also short daylight hours and the cold, the painful feet and the rushing to find a last minute gift in a thick crowd. On second thought… do we really like the holiday season?
Holiday season is fun and delicious, but it’s also the most complex time of the year. It means a lot of shopping for food, decorations and presents. When we show up for celebrations at the office, at the gym, with friends and family, we want everything to be perfect, including us. What a pressure! In fact, a lot of my clients ask for a CranioSacral Therapy session to help get them through the season and even more in January to recoup from it.
I am not immune to this stress, and this year, again, the holiday season will be coupled with a trip to France to see my family. Emotional intensity will be at its peak. I thought I would start the shopping early, keep the fun and anticipation going and lose the stress.
I started my list of presents to buy and wondered, what were the best presents I ever received? What were their qualities? It did not take long before I realized that these presents had nothing to do with beautifully wrapped gifts. These precious memories were not so much held objects as wonderful moments. But what was special about them?
Do I need to say it? The perfect moments that came up to my mind did not involve a smartphone! After all, how acknowledged and valued do you feel when your date is texting or posting on social media at the dinner table? Even if it’s to brag about being with you, wouldn’t you not rather have his/her undivided attention?
When you love someone,
the best thing you can offer is your presence.
How can you love if you are not there?
Thich Nhat Hanh
Without further adieu, here are the qualities of the best presents I’ve ever received:
1. Here and Now. On these special moments, a date or a best friend makes me clearly feel that, above all else, they choose to share the here and now with me. To them, this is the greatest place to be, even if nobody else knows about it.
2. Listening. When I talk to them, they… drum roll please… actually listen! Yes, nothing more. They are not already preparing their response nor using my sentence as an opportune segue to have me listen to them. Truly, deeply, they listen and appreciate all the facets of what I am sharing.
3. By My Side. When they answer me, they offer valuable insights or new perspectives on me or my experience. Sometimes they hold up the mirror in front of me. I might or might not like what I see of myself, but they never judge me or hand me over the one and unique Truth about Life. They never pretend to know better than me.
4. No Agendas. Whatever I take out of the moment, whatever I do, I sense they accept me fully and completely. Without judgment or any agenda, they love me and they are proud and happy to be part of my life
5. You and Me. This gift might not have many electrical components, but it is interactive nonetheless. Above all, I recognize and receive their gift. Love is never as beautiful as when it does land on the heart.
Maybe journey is not so much a journey ahead,
or a journey into space, but a journey into presence.
These presents were born from the connection that the truth in me is touched by the truth in you. This is an experience of Presence, of Oneness, of the Divine. For me, these moments have taken on all shapes and colors: certain ones enfolded in silence, others looked like an endless laugh that made my belly hurt and still others formed a deep hug that suspended time and remained with me for the entire year.
I give thanks for all the Presence, for every single human being who chose to be there with me and for me.
In a way, a good present is like a CranioSacral Therapy session. The therapist listens in the here and now, offers a possibility without agendas and follows whichever direction the session takes. All this matters only if the person on the table chooses to be held and enjoys the safe space for his/her personal healing journey.
This Holiday season I will do my best to offer to you all my physical presents, wrapped in the quality of being fully Present.
Your smile is the twinkle of happiness.
Your heart is the source of kindness.
Your presence is the source of joyfulness.
Your thoughts are symbols of greatness.
CranioSacral Therapy, Somato Emotional Release and Visceral Manipulation in New York.