When we become entrenched with running errands and grabbing quick meals, we miss life, especially during this time of year with holiday pressures to “shop till we drop”.  When we live life on the run, we lose our awareness; we miss out on some of life’s greatest and sweetest moments.

How many times have you found yourself listening to your partner and simultaneously thinking about what you wanted to say next?  Or while eating a meal, you were also texting your sibling and writing a status on Facebook?

If you start paying more attention to yourself, you may notice that often, you are only half “there”, physically present yet mentally absent. In your mind, you’ve already moved onto something else that isn’t actually happening.  The result?  You miss what’s happening right before you.

You can feel more fulfilled when you align your physical and mental being to the full presence of each moment. Let’s practice.  Read each question, pause to answer the question, then come back to the next question.  Notice if you would prefer to rush through them. Ask yourself, what am I rushing to?

1)  What are you aware of at this very moment?

2)  Does that awareness include anything about your body, breath, mind?

3)  What do you notice about your body?  Your breath?  Your mind?

Awareness requires you to slow down so that you can bring your full attention to each question, to each moment.  Instead of rushing onto the next question, task, chore or conversation, slow down, breathe consciously and arrive fully present, fully aware and conscious.

It takes practice to pull yourself back into the most important moment of your life – the NOW.  When you do this, you will feel more connected to those around you.

Llama Surya Das, author of Awakening the Buddha Within, wrote, “Paying attention and the ability to really be present pays off in so many ways, giving us enhanced satisfaction, broader vision, greater mastery and effectiveness in everything we do.  By simply being right here, on the spot, you can make your life become workable and wonderful.”

I encourage you to come into your full presence as the gift you give yourself this season.  Your loved ones will naturally benefit from your presence. Your presence is worth more than all the presents you can offer.

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