Friday, December 17, 2010

Holiday Presence

As a Performance Coach, I identify four elements that make us better speakers, performers, and communicators: comfort/ease, connection, presence, and technique. However, they overlap: increasing one affects the others.

Let’s talk about presence and connection. As you know, the holidays can be both a joyous and a difficult time. Spending time with family can alternate between being wonderful and a minefield. Or we may feel alone. it’s easy to get down and have old stuff come up.

In this holiday season, perhaps the best present you can give is your full presence. But it can be hard. When with someone we have a difficult time with – an in-law, a co-worker or, well, anyone else we find challenging – we often check out. Perhaps we wish they were different.

How would it be to fully embrace this singular, unique moment? Choosing to be present brings the possibility for something new to arise. Sure, it may be scary and not as safe, but sometimes that’s what is needed for true transformation to happen.

And the same goes for how you experience yourself. When we get depressed or fearful, in some sense we abandon ourselves. We don’t remember that we have abundant resources, and that new people and things may enter our lives at any moment. We forget about our true nature as incredible human beings.

Holiday Presence Exercise: When you find yourself in a moment of difficulty with someone, place your feet flat on the floor and straighten your spine. Keep looking them in the eye while taking long, deep breaths. picture your breathing coming in and out of your heart. As you breathe, imagine inhaling their energy, and exhaling your own. Accept what’s offered, and give back.

Allow yourself this holiday season to give and receive – from your whole self.

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