christmastreephotoI remember when my kids were young there was so much excitement surrounding the Christmas holidays! The energy of anticipation for the presents they had grown accustomed to receiving became palpable as Christmas Day drew closer. My mother, a devoted Christian, was disgusted by the consumerism and expressed despair at the lack of focus on the true meaning of Christmas! She felt the children lacked appreciation for what they were receiving because it was so much! They would open a present, squeal with delight, then throw it down and move on to the next bright shiny object with no real appreciation for who it was from or what they may have sacrificed to buy it.

Always ahead of her time, she took a stand one Christmas and decided she was not “buying into the whole charade”. A wise woman with a deep rooted spirituality, she wanted to teach her grandchildren a life lesson. There would be no presents from Grandma that year, her presence would be their present!

Oh the look of shock and disappointment on my children’s faces when they were told that their present that year was the “gift of her presence”! (Luckily there were still many other presents under the tree from other friends and family so the disappointment was short-lived.)

They may not have understood it then, but as they’ve matured they certainly understood the lesson my mother was trying to share.

As an entrepreneur, a mother, a wife, a teacher, a healer, I have come to understand the power of being fully present: To bring your whole self to any given moment or interaction. There are so many things vying for our attention at any given time it is hard to maintain a singular focus for more than a few minutes at a time. When we are make the effort to be 100% present there is this “thing” that is happens that is challenging to name. It seems intangible, but it’s not. You can see it in the stature of the body, you can feel it exuded as an powerful, magnetic connection.

It is the thing our children are asking for when they keep calling mommy! mommy! mommy! even though your in the same room with them and you keep answering yes? Yes? YES?!!

It is the thing that creates the connection that makes a potential client say yes to working with you, or that pulls your audience in when you’re giving a talk.

It is the thing that makes you notice the hint of sadness in your friend or coworker, encouraging you take the time to stop and chat and make a difference in their day.

It is the thing that makes you more efficient, productive and careful.

It is the thing, that when given to yourself and others, fosters feelings of love, acceptance and safety.

So as you move through your holidays this year, along with all the other gifts, I invite you to give the greatest gift of all, your presence. Happy Holidays!

Are you ready to Unleash your most Authentic Self?