Monday, December 20, 2010

The Ultimate Gift ⎯ Is YOU!

Instead of presents this holiday season, let your focus be on your presence. I have found giving time to someone or a group of someone’s to be the best gift of all. It’s not merely the fact you are in attendance, but participating in what is going on around you. Before you get together with anyone⎯listen up…

3 simple tips to getting the most out of giving time to others:

If you are usually just taking up spacestart listening!
Okay, so you showed up for whatever you are attending. Instead of just sitting over in the corner counting the minutes until you leave, start listening to what people are saying⎯ whether you are interested or not. While attending functions where I knew very few people, I found if I listened to what was being said I would relax more and found an easy path into conversation. Listening is an art and takes time to learn to do it properly. So start by simply following the conversation and listening with an open mind and open heart. You just may learn something about the person you are listening to; moreover, you just may learn something about yourself.

If you are usually the talker⎯start listening!
Many people have a tendency to say too much. If you are getting together with others, make it a point to say less and listen more. People have the tendency to give more information than needed. This causes many to lose interest in what is being said. Be more concise and to the point⎯you may find folks more interested in what you have to say. If your gums aren’t flapping so much, you will have more time to listen to the conversation. And remember, not all silence needs to be filled with conversation⎯just simply listen to the silence between the words. It can really be quite calming depending on who you are with. Before my Dad died, we talked a lot; but moreover, I learned silence and the peace created between two people in that silence is a precious gift. Anyone you can sit and just be with without saying anything is someone you have a great comfort in.

If you are usually the listener ⎯ good for you, but start talking!
The next time you around other people, share in the conversation by making a comment once in awhile. When friends or family pick themselves up off the floor from shock, you may find you actually enjoy sharing in the conversation. Talk to someone you wouldn’t normally say anything to or share something about yourself with someone you know. You may find you have more in common with others than you thought. I have actually been quite surprised to learn more about the people in my life by sharing a part of me.

3 things listening is teaching me about myself and others:

Tolerance gives me an open-minded perspective and acceptance of others.

Patience fills me with a sense of serenity and calm, which carries into all aspects of my life.

Focus provides the space to make better decisions.

Don’t just pass time with people you are around, give time⎯not just this holiday season, but carry the giving into the next year. If you are unable to see someone you haven’t talked to in awhile⎯pick up the phone! Mark your calendar and once a month call someone you haven’t talked to. It will open the door and allow you to reconnect. And never forget⎯the ultimate gift any time of the year is YOU⎯just bring your presence!

My wish for you this holiday season:

Light – vision to see what is best for you
Tranquility – stillness to recognize what is in your best interest
Peace of Mind – in the face of discord or distress

Be Well!
© Copyright Michelle Clark 2010