Today, there was a break in my schedule that coincided with a beautiful, mild sunlit afternoon. My partner and I decided to take advantage of the opportunity with a bike ride for him, a walk for me on the Tobacco Trail not far from our home. I was five minutes down the trail when I realized there was a business conversation replaying in my mind causing me to completely miss the joy of being outdoors. Several more times, I had to wrest control away from the busy monkey mind.

After that, I smelled the sweetness of the pine needles on the trail, and noticed the turtle sunning himself on a floating log. I saw the joy of the new puppy as it greeted everyone, and felt the warmth of the sun on my face. Other walkers wished me Merry Christmas and we engaged in a few moments of conversation. I am so glad I didn’t miss all that with the preoccupation of my schedule and demands.

As we become increasingly distracted by the responsibilities of family, work, wellness, and all the gadgets beeping and buzzing at us, it becomes apparent that having moments of full presence and awareness are a rare gift. We deserve those moments. Our loved ones cherish those moments with us. We can tell when someone we are in conversation with is not fully there. They get a vacant look, and we know they have split their attention between us and whatever else is playing out in their mind. The monkey has grabbed half their attention.

Take in the gift of being here, awake, aware alive to this moment

As we step into the full swing of this winter holiday season, let us be fully present in our moments as they unfold. The past is gone. The future will unfold when and how it does, so all we really have control over is our right now moment. Breathe. Listen. Experience the joy and the gift of simply being here for all life is bringing you in this moment. Have a wonderful holiday, everyone. Thank you for giving me the gift of your attention, your interest and positive feedback this year.

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