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Is Your Mind on the Presence, or the Presents?




Are You Ready?

Yesterday, I was asked on six occasions if I was ready for the holidays.  It’s a question that can send your mind into a tailspin if you let it; the kind that gives you the opportunity to fine-tune your practice of stopping and breathing.  The thing is, I can’t claim to be ready and still be able to roll with the punches when the festivities begin.  It’s also impossible to know what to be ready for!  If the gifts are purchased and wrapped, the lights hung, the tree decorated, cookies baked, meal planned, and relatives sorted, would I be prepared to stop, relax, and take in the magic of the week to come?  


The wise and inspiring Thich Nhat Hanh tells us that if you love someone, the greatest gift you can give them is your presence.  I wholeheartedly believe this to be true, but I have also, admittedly, been spending the bulk majority of my ‘free time’ either out shopping or holed up in my bedroom furiously wrapping presents alone.  So, today, I vow to be present--in body and mind--with my family.  The trouble is, my mind is cluttered with lists of things that need to be done, gifts that still need to be purchased, and events that need to be coordinated.  I’m not ready!


Is Your Mind on the Presence, or the Presents?

Even though I have been very powerfully conditioned to think of this holiday time as a long list of things to do, places to be, and gifts to buy, I realize that I have the option to toss those notions out and be happy in this moment.  I also have access to a toolbox that is overflowing with every tool I need to open my eyes, relax my mind, and just be.  Want to hear something amazing?  So do you!  


Take a moment to stop, to relax, and to contemplate what you need in order to prepare yourself for being present.  Now, ask yourself, “Self, how can I make that happen?”  If you need a few ideas, I happen to have some.  Register for a program now, put it in your calendar, and take a break from the hustle and bustle to get yourself ready for the holidays!


Tonight, grab a friend and head to All That Matters for a Gong Bath to celebrate the Winter Solstice.  The RIBC will also be parked out front for those who would like to support our annual blood drive.  Tomorrow, join David Dwyer for Vinyasa, this week’s half price class!  On Sunday, slow down with Zen Meditation or Early Morning Sadhana.  Special holiday hours and programs are available on the holiday schedule.  Call our front desk and book yourself an appointment for a massage, reflexology, or facial.

The family of students, teachers, health services providers, and staff at All That Matters wishes you a happy and peaceful holiday season.  If you need help taking the stress out of last-minute shopping, stop on in.  We offer beautifully-wrapped gift cards in any denomination and a store brimming with gift ideas for everyone on your list.  (Tip:  check facebook for our daily flash sale deals, every day until Christmas!)  You can also purchase gift cards online and skip leaving the house altogether.  Please join us in vowing to be present this holiday season!


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