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Giving Yourself the Present of Presence

Call me a perfectionist.

I confess: if I eat ice cream at home, I eat it directly out of the pint. And it’s the darndest thing, but as I eat it, the outside edges of the ice cream tend to get soft and melty first. And, of course, that should be taken care of. So I diligently work my spoon around the cardboard and extract those melty sections.

Once I make my way around, I notice that some of the outside edges are getting soft again. Without even thinking about it, I am compelled once again to circumnavigate the inside of the pint and clean up any melting ice cream.

At this point, I’m on auto-pilot. My brain is elsewhere, but my spoon keeps doing circles, determined to leave no melty sweetness behind. Until, of course, I look down and realize that I’ve chiseled the ice cream down to a skinny freestanding column in the middle of the carton. (Which I promptly cover and shove into the freezer.)

How often do we go on auto-pilot in our lives? When do we miss opportunities to slow down and savor the gifts that come our way each and every day? With a brand new year rapidly approaching, I invite you to “ride the brakes” and really become present to everyday opportunities to relish delights and bathe in gratitude.

Close the laptop or turn off the iPhone to have a genuine conversation with a friend. Between stores at the mall, sit down for a few minutes to observe with curiosity the limitless variety of people with whom we coexist. Volunteer to spend time with seniors or some other cause that you’re interested in. Stay in your car in the driveway until that entire amazing song that you’ve always loved is over.

I’m not saying put down the spoon. I’m saying thoughtfully enjoy each bite.

This holiday season, the best present you can give yourself is to become present to the many gifts in your life.

Many wishes to you for a wonderful, loving and joyful holiday time with family and friends!

Got a comment? I love ’em! Email them here and I’ll read and reply.

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–> Speaking of gratitude, please do yourself a HUGE favor and watch THIS SHORT VIDEO. And then bookmark it on your computer so you can re-watch it anytime you catch yourself going on auto-pilot, or taking beautiful things for granted, or whenever you simply need a reminder of how miraculous your life really is.