Presence Over “Presents”

This year we made a decision to be more present in our life – taking a step back and slowing things down. For a lot of years we’ve lived a “busy” on the go life. We still have our “busy” days, however we’ve all learned how having downtime, together, is so valuable!

We have learned that having a lot of “stuff” physically and things “to do” is incredibly overwhelming and challenging for our physical and emotional health! In life we are sometimes challenged by our health, various life circumstances, people in our life, weather etc and its easy to sink into a “why me” mentality.

We are challenged each and everyday of our lives. The choice is how we choose to respond to these challenges. This year I began a transformation, this was so much more for me than physical.

Over the year and in the years previous, our family has taken on a more Presence over “Presents” in our life.

When I think back in my own life, my own childhood there are some select toys in my life which stand out as a significant memory, however the most prominent memories are the memories I have with my loved ones.

Our children have grown up with the ‘presence over presents’ appreciation. Yes its awesome to give and receive gifts, however it’s who is there and present in their life that they remember. Ever since we had our children, the reason for the season became them and the other little’s in our life. Seeing their faces light up opening their gifts and the memories made by the people in their lives. For me, capturing these memories with my camera is so heartfilling and rewarding! I love looking back and remembering and so do the kids! Their favourite books are our photo books! You can never take too many photos! πŸ’“

We took a bigger step back this Christmas season. Made a larger family purchase to enjoy our winter time together and we are still so excited for how magical Christmas morning is going to be! Connection is more important than material things. Being together and it not being about the dollar value spent on gifts. Enjoying experiences rather than filling our home with “things”.

Being truly connected has been a strong driving force for us this past year. When anyone’s life is challenged in anyway there is a lesson you need to learn.

A couple weeks ago I went to a new ADHD Support Group in town and I allowed myself to open up and be vulnerable and I left feeling empowered and understood. One of the things said by the educators really hit home with me, “We live in an ADHD world”. Everyone has gotten so used to the busyness of life. Being “crazy busy” has become the norm for a lot of people. This statement hit home for me, because this used to be us. We used to be those people who had plans every single day of the weekend, many things going on during the week and yet craving downtime without actually knowing why.

What our children need most is us. Their parents, their family, pets, friends and community. They do not need the most up to date technology, all the brand name clothing, latest and greatest toys etc. They need US and our TIME together. Its truly priceless!

I think of how overwhelmed I used to feel. Always on the go, here and there, my response to others about how I was doing was “busy…”. Although we still have those days, we are living a much more balanced and serene life now than even at the beginning of this year and the years previous. Our ethics, values and own personal limits have strengthened and we still have incredible capacity for even more growth.

This year we have seen both of our children excel in life. In school, personally and in their favourite sports. I know this is not a coincidence. Over an emotionally up and down year we kept each other grounded, we taught each other grace and patience and we learned how to live with much less “stuff”. The life lesson in the past year has been transformational physically and emotionally!

This Christmas holiday season I challenge you to take a step back. Take more time for you, for your family and rather than it being about the “presents” bring back the value of presence.

Feeling incredibly grateful for our 2017 ~ Cheers to 2018!

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