Today, Valentine’s Day, is a day all about love, but disproportionately focused on romantic love , and even more so on the most highly visible, materialistic gestures of it -- chocolates, roses, and other such gifts. On this day and other such “Hallmark” holidays, I like to remind people that ultimately, the best present that you can give anyone – including, and especially yourself! – is the gift of your own fully engaged, fully embodied presence, not material presents that you buy and wrap up. And beloved Vietnamese Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh agrees! How many of you have been called out for being on your devices or not paying full attention to your loved ones? Since our time and attention are some of our most prized and rare resources, it is truly the most precious gift we can offer someone, especially a loved one. But we can’t offer to others what we don’t have or offer to ourselves. We need to become fully present with ourselves before we can truly offer it to others. Kind of like on the plane – putting on your oxygen mask first, so that you can then be of help to others. This is where embodied mindfulness practices can be so helpful. Utilizing simple techniques like mindfulness of breath and body and gentle movement practices can help us train our minds and our bodies to be aware of where our attention is at any given moment, and be willing to bring it back to inhabit the present moment, if it has strayed. So we can ground ourselves to feel more anchored and focused on the here and now.
And hopefully, in the process allow us to offer our bodies and our loved ones more attention, more compassion, and more gratitude. Because remember, without our breath and our bodies, we wouldn’t be here, able to experience all the joys, adventures and relationships that life has to offer. #EmbodiedMindfulness #MindfulnessMeditation #SelfLove #SelfCare #Compassion #Gratitude #BeHereNow #FullyPresent #ThichNhatHanh #TheBestPresentIsYourPresence
[Image credit: Upjourney]