Yesterday I wrote about Mindful Minutes and perspective, and they are both very important topics here at The Daily Kickstand. So, today I’m going to continue off where we stopped. Kind of. When we speak of mindfulness, it would be almost impossible to do without speaking also of presence. It’s like Sinatra said of love and marriage, you can’t have one without the other. I mean, you could but it wouldn’t be very much fun nor would it last very long. In other words, you have to have both.
We’ve spoken about presence here before but let’s look at what it is and what it means. Presence is simply the act of being present. The art of being right here, right now with those you love and care for. It’s not being in the same room while you’re doing one thing and they are doing something else, it’s not walking beside someone while you’re miles away in your mind. It is the act of being right there with each other, engaged and in communion with someone. It is an unspoken word that says, “I care enough to put aside everything else and live in this moment with you.”
When we love someone, we need to give them something that is greater than flowers or a few words. We should give them a gift that is meaningful, we should give them the gift of ourselves. But, how do we do that? How is it that we can give someone something so intangible yet meaningful? By being there with them in a particular time and space. It doesn’t matter where we are. We can always be present with our loved ones. It doesn’t cost a dime and it is the single most important thing we can offer of ourselves.
You may be asking, how do I be present with those I care for? Well put the phone down, turn it off, and leave it alone. That’s a start. In today’s world, we are increasingly needed to be readily available for this and that. We are busy, very busy in fact. We run here and scurry there with such urgency that it is easy to forget about those important things like an extra hug in the morning, or turning off the T.V. at dinner time and discussing our lives with each other. We are important and our jobs keep us busy with demands of our attention most of the day. But if we’re already practicing our mindful minutes, then being present naturally follows.
Think about this. How many times a day do you talk with your loved ones on the phone? Now, how many of those instances are we present with them during that call? Exactly! I’m just as guilty as the next, of being busy while talking on the phone. As a writer, I wear many hats throughout my day. At any point in time I may be writing, brainstorming, curating photos, updating my blog, updating my social media pages, looking for freelance work and emailing back and forth. The fact that I work from home means I’m also doing the housework as well, and once in a while, I like to get a good nap in if I can.
However, when my girl calls me I try to un-busy myself and just be with her on the phone in that moment. I like talking with her throughout the day, and it makes her happy as well to hear from me (most days). The act of setting everything down and just talking on the phone to her lets her know that I care. The fact that nothing is more important in that 5-minute phone call than her tells her something that those three little words, I love you, only imply. When I stop what I’m doing to make time for her, it truly shows that I love her. That is immeasurable against the growing workload I have in the background.
Think about it for a second. How often do you set down what you’re doing when you get a phone call? Do you stop everything or just continue on? How many times have you spoken with someone who is apparently half there? You can usually tell when someone is distracted, and whether you realize it or not, it’s probably pretty annoying right? They constantly ask you to repeat something because they weren’t paying attention, or they don’t recall the conversation later-it’s not a good feeling, right? Well then, think for a minute how it makes them feel when you do the same thing.
Being present is the gift that we give to those we love. It is our greatest gift that we can give. It is the present of ourselves, our time, our devotion, our testament of our care and love for them. So, when your sweetheart calls, when the kids call, when our BFF calls we need to make time for them. When we are with them, then that is exactly what we should be doing. This life is hectic and fast-paced and we’re usually busy from the moment we get up until the moment we shut our eyes. There is only so much time in a day, but we should make time for the things that truly matter to us. Your number one priority is to those that you love. They will be with you if you be with them. So practice your mindful minutes, be present, and give the gift of yourself.