As our Be Present Project comes to an end, I am reminded what this month has brought. It began as an idea.
Here was my holiday inspiration. ⤵️
Could I complete the list?
Could I expand on the list?
Number one on the list was easy to do because I didn't need to spend any money. I just needed to be present.
I once read, "If you are always racing to the moments what happens to the moment you are in?"
Present meant focusing in on what was important at that moment, setting aside the technology, and no mom multitasking!
Just enjoy the moment for what it was. Great joy can be found in the day-to-day actions and it's those moments that create the story of our lives. Some days I do not think about that enough.
I'll admit, I had to be reminded a couple of times to be present....
"Mom, get off your phone I need you to be present."
If you're going to talk the talk walk the walk.
So check it off.
1. Be present ✔️
2. Wrap someone in a hug ✔️
This was an easy one. Everyone needs hugs:)
Number three, send peace.
Hmm.....what exactly did that look like?
Being at peace felt like knowing your family was taken care of, so how could we as a family take care of others?
First, it was a donation to a local charity. We fitted 120 pairs of winter boots to families in our great city.
Second, going through closets and donating boots and coats and gently used clothing items directly to people in need. We found a group here in Winnipeg that is so thankful for those items because many people are coming to our city from far-off lands ill-equipped to handle a Manitoba winter.
Mosaic Newcomer Family Resource Network.
3. Send peace✔️
Number four was donate food.
I needed a face. A real live person to receive. I found him. He name was Ron. You can find him most days at the corner of Meadowood and Dakota. He is always thankful.
The end of the month was Christmas hamper delivery time.
With a carload of kids we made our way across town.
With no where to park, we stopped right in the middle of the unplowed street.
We trudged through knee high snow to get to the side door to make our delivery.
We got yelled at for blocking the street.
It's amazing how people change their attitude towards you when you walk right up to their window and tell them you are just spreading Christmas cheer to those who need it :)
Number five, make love.
Um, okay ;)
Don't wait till the holiday season for this.
5. Make love ✔️
Number six, be the light.
Well, what does that mean?
I took it to mean me. Be the light. For myself and my family and for those I come in contact. Appreciate every day we are given.
As 2016 fast approaches, what changes will you make for yourself and those around you?
Ever had one of those ‘on again, off again’ relationships?
You get together. You break up.
You get together. You break up… again
Maybe history is bound to repeat itself.
Over and over again…
Maybe instead of resisting, I should accept that he belongs in my life.
I met Jake almost three years ago.
We became quick 'Frenemies', friends and enemies at the same time.
We had been forced together. It was one of those blind date things. The powers that be felt that a good match we would make.
We were not.
It started out bad from the get go! What made it worse, was that unfortunately I saw him all the time. He was at the same gym as I and I couldn’t help but run into him almost daily. MY place of solitude, and he was in it.
We eventually had to start working together on a regular basis and I was not happy about that!
Silent and strong...Somehow, he could always pull out the best parts of me and make me better, even though I disliked every second of our time together.
Eventually I would grow to have him in my life... We were getting along really well. THEN, just when I felt like I was comfortable in our relationship, he was gone…
When I did see him, he was distant. At the gym, I would see him periodically, but no interaction. I would smile and wave to be polite but that was it. He eventually faded from my memory.
“Hello.” he said.
That was a couple of weeks ago. I hadn't seen him in so long and OUT OF THE BLUE, there he is.
After almost a year, he re appears and says "Hello."
He had missed me and wants to spend some time together.
Well, I had to pull up the big girl panties and face him straight on!
I was MAD!
I told him what I truly thought of him! He just stood there motionless like my words didn't matter!
I tried to ignore him and put him off but he would just wait in the background till everyone was almost gone and then call me out. I tried to ignore him but he kept showing up. He started to be there on a regular basis. I hated how he had a way of getting under my skin.
I had my reservations about spending any time with him, but starting over in a relationship with someone you know well, does have its advantages. That uncomfortable ‘getting to know you’ time period isn’t there. You can sometimes jump in and pick up where you left off.
Not with Jake.
We started at the beginning again. I had to revisit all the uncomfortable awkward moments. No easy going! Ever competing against each other, always trying to one up the other with our accomplishments...
I did tell him I would beat him again just like in the past...
When that happens, I am sure he will move on just like before.
If you see him, tell him he has nothing on me. Jacob's Ladder - if you haven't met him, you should. He will grow on you.
I love him and hate him at the same time.
I wore my Sad Sweater yesterday.
Yes, you read that correctly.
I figured if I was to Be Present for the month of December, why should it only be during moments of joy. That wouldn't be truthful or authentic to what life sometimes gives us, no matter how many positive vibes we send out to the universe. So I decided to share whatever came my way. Good or bad.
This particular piece of clothing was named 'the Sad Sweater' because I only wore it on sad occasions. It never came out of the closet for any other reason. I could not bring myself to wear it out any other time.
I never went out looking to purchase a sweater for such an occasion, this particular sweater just happened to be the one I chose. It may not look like much but it's a beautiful sweater. I feel secure and protected in this sweater like nothing can get in. It's my armour for when I need to battle Sadness. When the battle is complete, I fold it away and hope it doesn't need to come out anytime soon.
How odd that a piece of clothing can bring about feelings of security and protection?
But my goal for this month and my wish for our family these days is to Be Present in the moments. During these days of Being PRESENT, I have been examining my thoughts and feelings in new ways. Making sure that I truly feel the moments happening in my life.
All of the moments, the good and the not so good.
So, that brings me back to the sweater...
My coat of armour...
As vulnerable as I feel on the outside, I am protected on the inside.
"What an interesting thought" I said to my Self. (I am rightfully able to refer to myself as Self after all...)
If we can only have one feeling in any one moment, I get to choose what those feeling are. I can recognize it for what it is and accept those feelings. I can examine those feelings. I can feel those feelings.
I can ignore those feelings and put them away in the back of my mind which I have become quite proficient at in the past. How many times do we put those thoughts and feelings away only to discover that they are always there lingering?
Today was different.
I put on the Sad Sweater, and in that particular moment I was okay with my feelings. Because this was a sad time and if I accepted my feelings and my thoughts, I would be able to move past that moment.
I wore the sweater and was complimented on how beautiful it was.
When I mentioned that this was my Sad Sweater, what a shame I thought that I had relinquished to wearing it only for sad occasions. But like any moment that I have, I examined the thought in a different way and changed that thought.
It was no longer the Sad Sweater but a special uniform to recognize the moments that this sweater and I had shared. The special people that it stood for. The fond memories it carried only for them.
How special I thought. Something only for them. At the end of the day, I lovingly folded it up and put it in its special place in the closet. It is now the Special Sweater because that is what BEing Present felt like.
Are you up for it?
I recently read a comment that stated in any one given moment you cannot do two things at once. Before all the multi-taskers turn away, keep reading.
You cannot sit and stand in the same moment. You cannot be sad and happy in the same moment. It's like looking through a video camera when your child scores a goal. You're there. You saw it. You recorded it and replayed it. But were you truly there in the moment to witness that one event with all your being?
So here's a Christmas gift that has no cost, no shopping, no wrapping, no searching store to store, no borders, no currency exchange, no UPS delivery people.
I invite you into our family for the month of December and all you have to do is BE PRESENT.
Thirty one days of being present.
Just Being Present in the moment.
A community of being present not giving presents.
All you have to do is become mindful of the moments. Day to day moments take on wonderful meaning because of the way we now view them.
Even the mundane can be glorious! A simple drive to the grocery store become an opportunity to enjoy the lights and sounds of your neighborhood. Turn off the music and enjoy the moment. An opportunity to just be.
Washing dishes...a job I love to hate...
My moment to enjoy hot water... My moment to be thankful that my family and I shared another meal together. A moment to converse with the person holding the dish towel...
For some, putting devices and phones away will awaken them to a whole new world around them...
Thirty one days of documenting the moments that we view differently than we did before. An opportunity to bring joy back into the season with the awareness of our own 'presence' within ourselves.
It can be a picture, a thought, a statement, a quote that represents the moment you were being "present".
If you are a Facebook user, this is the perfect 'present' to share and tag a friend. Tell them you were thinking of them and invite them to Be Present.
If you are an Instagram user, I invite you to follow me and my family 'presents' -@selfignition4u
You can use #bepresentfordecember to follow and post.
Please feel free to join in! Have some fun, bring your family or just creep along on our latest adventure.
See you soon!