“Your presence is requested” ... “Quality Time” is the key.
I appreciate all the years of research and influences that back the series of books under The 5 Love Languages umbrella. (You can find out your primary and secondary love languages by taking the appropriate assessment, along with coworkers and family members, on their website.) Dr. Gary Chapman, and his audience-specific experts have helped individuals, couples, families, and organizations enrich their lives and relationships through their resources. Quality Time is defined as undivided attention - giving the other person your full attention. Devices set aside. Making eye contact. No distractions. Being present, mindful, or thoughtfully engaged. Being present and giving Quality Time to those in our lives really is the greatest gift we can give this season.
During my research for this month’s newsletter, I ran across an article from Christmas 2019 titled, “Mindfully Merry”. And, just one year ago we had no comprehension or hint of what 2020 would hold. I don’t know how many of us are feeling merry or finding it easy to be mindful during this particular holiday season. 2020 is such a round number and had all the makings of a wonderful year! However, it has been “beyond novel,” due to the novel coronavirus. Not only is COVID-19 novel (adj. Strikingly new, unusual, or different) but, so are the ways we have adapted, adjusted, and arranged our lives living through this pandemic. The holidays bring their own mixed bag of emotions, even during a “normal” year: excitement, cheer, stress, exhaustion, and even guilt. The 2020 season is bringing exorbitantly more difficult experiences and feelings. It’s just a tough year. Period.
Being present isn’t always easy. I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent a lot more time in my own head these past nine months than normal. Being present for others is more challenging, even though I find myself craving it. There is no such thing as perfection and the coronavirus … this poem is a great reminder to practice showing up with presence instead of perfection.
Your kids don't need a perfect parent or caregiver.
Your spouse doesn't need a perfect partner.
The world doesn't need a perfect, manicured version of you.
We need you just as you are.
Present, not perfect. Whole, not curated.
Erica Layne, Life on Purpose
- Take care of your own needs.
- Fully listen.
- Accept people for exactly how they are in the moment.
- Talk first, tech later.
- Don’t be the ghost of Christmas Past.
- Notice the little things.
- Let people know their presence matters
- Sing a song, play a game, watch a home video, or do something that becomes a tradition.
- Get people talking about their passions.
- If you have trouble being present, just be present with yourself.
“All we can really do in these human moments is be aware, accept ourselves as we are, and give ourselves permission to be perfectly imperfect. The best way to get present again is to accept that we sometimes won’t be, let go when we struggle, and then try again.” As we enter the 2020 holiday season, I wish the gift of “presence” to each of you! May we enter 2021 expectantly ready for great things.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to each of you from the Rainbow Days Training Team!
Kathy Daley, Rainbow Days Training Manager