Peanut Blossoms

This was my favorite cookie when I was a kid. Actually, my favorite--favorite… [more]

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Decorated Christmas Cookies

I don't know what to call these -- roll cookies, or cut outs -- they're the kind… [more]

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During the holidays people renew traditions with a gusto unheard of at any other… [more]

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Thumbprint Cookies: Jam Showcase

These little cookies always remind me of treasure with their jewel centers, so pick… [more]

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Fresh Strawberry Sugar Scrub

When I was in Colorado I could blame it on the weather. This is my first summer in… [more]

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Marinara Sauce

I believe that no one can have too much marinara sauce on the shelf.  Whether you… [more]

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All Kinds of Possibilities

January -- a whole new year ahead of us, full of possibilities, opportunities, mistakes… [more]

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The 9th Day of Christmas: Gift of Presence (not Presents!)


How many times have you traveled from point A to point B in a car, bus, etc. but never noticed the scenery? Or maybe never remembered driving? It’s as if you wake up and you’re there.  Where were you?  Certainly not present.

Wake up and smell the roses! I’ve heard. Wake up and smell the coffee! too. In order to engage your senses, you have to focus on them.  In order to grow you need to be present.

Being present means being in the now.  The moment.  And not in an I’m flexible, I don’t plan anything sort of way.  Being present means noticing.

Notice everything.  And don’t pop yourself out of noticing by reacting.  Instead, notice if something elicits a response in you, bad or good, but don’t ride the response.  Notice, and then notice what comes up next.

You don’t want to get to the end of your life, and memory issues aside, be unable to remember it — do you?

The drama that comes up when we react to something is because of our ego.  While ego does protect us in many ways, it also limits us.

Ego keeps us locked in, while being present frees us.  Our greatest wisdom comes forth when we put the ego aside and are present.  When we are present, we have Presence.  When we have Presence, we see the truth.

Eckhart Tolle’s book The Power of Now is an excellent guide to being in the moment.  His book A New Earth explains much better than I can in a short post why and how to be present and override the ego.

A New Earth is the kind of book I have to read and reread.  In fact, for a while I couldn’t read it.  I started it a couple years ago and put it aside.  They say, when the student is ready the master will appear.  It’s like that with books.

If I am not ready to understand certain concepts, I will find a book boring no matter how full of truth it is. When I’m ready for it, it will make sense and no longer be boring.  His book is fascinating to me right now, most likely because I need to be more present!

Being present is like dancing instead of trudging along. Everything becomes lighter when you are not so constrained by your ego and become more of who you really are in spirit.  The ninth day of Christmas . . . nine ladies dancing . . . being present, in the moment . . .

You don’t have to read Tolle’s books to be present.  Pick something every day — the feel of the soap as you lather it in yours hands in your morning shower — the smell and taste of your first morning cup of coffee or tea — a bird in flight — a flower in bloom — and exercise your “in the moment” muscle.

When a mini drama arises — you get splashed with water by a passing truck — the grocery store is out of milk and your children need it — a skier cuts you off in your run — don’t react with anger, frustration or disappointment.  Notice if you have those feelings, and in noticing them, you have Presence.  You are beyond the ego that would react towards the truck, the store clerk or the skier.

Enjoy the Gift of Presence.  Don’t judge, react, or go unconscious.  Just notice.

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