The Present of Presence
If you're anything like me, you've probably looked at a calendar this past week with wide eyes and a gasp caught in your throat. Somehow, the first half of this year seemed to have lasted a lifetime, but the past few months have truly flown by. I honestly could have sworn it was Halloween just three days ago! But alas, 2019 is almost over; Thanksgiving has come and gone, and the winter holidays are right around the corner. Literally – they're a whole WEEK away!
Every year, I make plans to get my gifting done early to spare myself the stress of procrastination and ensure that everyone receives something of quality. Most of the time, I follow through, but other times (like this year) I become so consumed with life's twists and turns that I allow my gift-list hitch a ride on the last-minute train..
As we all know, shopping for gifts at the last minute can be stressful and overwhelming, which can ultimately deprive us of that joyous feeling we are meant to experience during this time of year. The same can be said of skipping the checkout lines and opting to make a last minute gift (or ten.) This can be especially stressful if you find yourself in a financial situation that doesn't allow for much wiggle room in the gifting department... I don't know where the pressure of gift-giving originated, but if you ask your loved ones, I'm positive that most of them would prefer the gift of your time and your presence over that of a material item.
So, with that in mind, I've compiled a short list of ways that you and I can approach the spirit of gifting in a more mindful and fulfilling way, by simply showing up for the people we love.
Gift number one: Cooking
No matter what you're celebrating this time of year, I think it's safe to assume that there will be food involved at some point or another during the festivities. This responsibility often falls on one or two members of the family – blood related or otherwise – and can be quite a tasking job, depending on the number of human mouths that need to be fed.
So, one gift you can give this year is offering to help whomever it is that finds themselves on kitchen duty. Whether you're a savy cook or not – I sure ain't! – I know from experience that lending a hand in the kitchen is a sure-fire way to make someone's day and allieviate their stress. Can you think of a better gift than that?
Gift number two: Wrapping
Listen, I know some of you take your gift-wrapping very seriously and approach that task like an olympic sport, but some of us just don't have the passion for it okay? Wrapping gifts has never been my forte, and I'm willing to bet you know someone who feels the same way and could use an extra hand or two – even just to grab some tape or hold a perfectly folded corner down.
Taking the time to help someone prepare their gifts could save them time, which is something we all want.
Gift number three: Cleaning
Okay, so, maybe gift-wrapping isn't in your repertoire of skills and holding the tape for your friend/family member just didn't seem to fill your gift-giving cup... Not to worry, I know of an even bigger act of service that is almost guaranteed to put a smile on someone's face:
Ah, yes, the dreaded c-word. Preparing the party can be a blast, and we all know having the party is even more fun, but when the day comes to an end and you look around and see a river of wrapping paper, empty boxes, cups, plates, left over food, etc, that can be a real downer.
I know a few people in my life who would jump for joy at the sight and sound of a friend or family member cleaning up the holiday mess.
There are so many ways to give the gift of time and presence this season, and those are just a few. If you can think of any creative ways to give your time, please feel free to share a comment on the Mountain Yoga Studio Facebook page. In any case, I hope you have found this post helpful and/or encouraging, and that you will take a mindful approach to your holiday season.
If you have any questions, or would like to inquire about a yoga or spin class, feel free to send us a message on the Mountain Yoga Studio Facebook page. We are always happy to hear from you and look forward to helping your find your flow.
1) School is almost back in session, which means it is nearly time to make the transition from summer to fall. We have updated our schedule for the fall months, so keep your eyes peeled and your mind open to the endless possibilities of your practice.
2) One of our newest teachers, and brightest yogis, Jessica Cenotti, has brought her vision to life and made some special goodies for all of your self care needs. Packed with nourishing essential oils, and wrapped in quality packaging, all of her Witch Doctor products can be found in the studio, with sample-goodies available for testing.
Stay up to date on our Mountain Yoga Studio Facebook Page for more information, or drop by the studio for a chat! Your mental and physical health are our top priority. Come hop on your mat to rediscover your light.