This final post of 2013 pays tribute to the many ways you’ve been present this year.
Take a moment to recall the many specific instances when you gave someone your complete attention or so completely focused on a project or task that you lost track of time. Maybe you found yourself in awe of a scenic or historic place. Maybe some sort of duty called you somewhere or to someone and you ended up being fully present.
When and how have you been fully present?
One of my many moments happened in September while standing at the foot of the Statue of Liberty. I was awestruck by her towering majesty. When I thought of her history, of what it took to get her to the island in the New York City harbor, then of all the people like me who had stood there pondering freedom, a tear slowly fell from my eye and I couldn’t speak.
I was fully and completely present in that moment. I was a winner in the game of mindfulness. Feelings of appreciation and gratitude were my gifts.
It’s fairly easy to remember the big moments, isn’t it? But what about the smaller ones?
Everyday moments of mindfulness
Let’s see if I can help jog your memory with two small examples from my recent past.
One happened while walking the South Padre Island Beach on Christmas Day. I’m always attracted to anyone with a dog so it was not surprising when I hailed an older couple and their much younger (20 months) dog named Molly, a retriever mix.
We chatted about our dogs, where we lived, even the political climate in California, all while Molly waited patiently, occasionally snuffling her nose in the sand. Finally, I decided to move along and wished them a Merry Christmas.
The woman looked into my eyes and said, “Thank you for making our Christmas a little more merry.”
Yes, I was stunned.
The second example occurred a couple of evenings ago. My sweetie and I were attending the monthly recovery celebration at our 12-step group.
We gave a congratulations card to a young woman who was celebrating one year in recovery that very night. Neither of us knows her very well, so to us the card was, well, just a card. Clearly it meant so much more to her because I got a Facebook message from her the next morning that read, in part, “I realized that I have no idea how many people love me and support me in my sobriety.”
How cool is that?
Once again, we were present to someone and our small gift was returned with a bigger message.
As this year concludes, I challenge you to set an intention in 2014 to play the game of mindfulness a little more often. You know the rewards are huge–just take a look at some of your past experiences. B present, stay present, and your winnings will grow and multiply!
Peace to you in the coming year and thank YOU for the gift of your readership in 2013.
P.S. Speaking of recovery, many of you know I’m passionate about the addiction recovery movement that’s committed to ending stigma and shame associated with recovery. We are building an online advocacy center and storytelling space–called ManyFaces1Voice–to expand the growing network of recovery advocates. I shared the story of how I got involved with the organization here.
P.P.S. We gratefully welcome tax-deductible year-end donations to help us create more recovery videos and continue our advocacy work. Please click here to donate. Help us bring recovery EVERYWHERE!