Be Present or The Present

“When asked what gift he wanted for his birthday, the yogi replied, “I wish no gifts, only presence.” Unknown

We all know how commercialized all of our holidays have become around the world. What is it that is truly important to each of us? Which makes us happier–presents or presence?

I have 2 boys who both have December birthdays. Now that they’re in their teens, they have more input about their gifts. Learning to make choices, serve the community (they volunteer at the local food bank with their dad), and work towards what they want has been key. I have to put a shout out to my family for instilling these values in me so that I could pass them on. Thanks Mom, Dad and Step-Dad. 

I’m not saying that we don’t get sucked into buying more than we need. We do.

Being present to what is in front of us IS more important than giving or receiving a gift, BUT gifts are not bad. I love to give little (and big) gifts and I love to receive them. The key is that I need to feel it’s a choice and not a requirement. I also need to feel that the gifts I give are useful or needed. A beautiful trinket, a day at the spa, a new set of skis, a great book, all have their place. I think of the yama, aparigraha. We don’t want to grasp for more than we need. 

Let’s remember to BE present in our gift giving and even more importantly, let’s BE present with each other. Ultimately, we’ll be happier for a longer time and feel better about ourselves for our presence.

If you live in Salt Lake, each year I offer a Yoga Renewal in my home studio. A day-long reprieve from the holidays where you can let go of any baggage of the year and shift your energy towards being open to possibilities in the new year. I hope to see some of you.

Being Present makes us and those around happier and feel more connected. Here’s an interesting infographic on being present.

Please share your experiences of being present below. May you all have a healthy, joyous and peaceful holiday.

“Yoga exists in the world because everything is linked.” TKV Desikachar
#bepresent #holidaytradition #yogarenewal