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Give the Gift of Presence

Hello, dear sangha!

This time of year often brings back memories of my younger years. Time spent with family creating memories and drinking warm hot chocolate with melting marshmallows. Placing ornaments on the tree and decorating my room with a random string of Christmas lights. I remember clearly that each of these things had the power to place me in the heart of the moment, with not a care in the world. I didn’t acknowledge it then, but looking back, there I was, surrounded by family, joy, and the abundant gift of presence. What a gift it was to be within that presence as a carefree child, amidst the warm presence of others, while we made Grandma’s recipes from a recipe card that used less than descriptive measurements: "a hunk of butter, a splash of milk, a pinch of nutmeg..." It was such a simple time in my life, filled with joy and love that spilled from each moment effortlessly.

I lovingly encourage you to find those memories so that you may more fully allow yourself to bring the gift of presence back into your life and holiday. The Heart Team and I have crafted a small list of things that you may find fitting to add to the abundance that is your life moment to moment. Feel free to share and add in your own special ways of touching and BEING presence.

+Give yourself permission to enjoy each moment more fully

+Offer the same grace that you easily extend to others, to yourself

+Listen and trust your inner wisdom

+Start a journaling practice

+"Do" a little less and rest

+Prepare a meal for yourself or loved ones

+Set an uplifting intention for your day

+Create a gratitude list at the end of each day

+Send gratitude to a person that you love, a person that you know, and perhaps even a person that challenges you

+Speak kind words and compliments to yourself often

+Dance to your favorite song, even if it is playing while you are in Target :)

+Find your voice! Sing in the car or share that magic with others

+Enjoy a cool winter walk and take in the beauty of nature

+Practice pranayama to settle, ground or warm-up


+Practice yoga asana, even a couple restorative forms will work their magic

+Workout solo or with a friend

+Check out a new activity or hobby

+Breathe into the truth that people want you to come as you are

+Play chimes, singing bowls or your favorite instrument

+Find joy in the small things

+Reduce distractions and unplug

+Enjoy a cup of tea solo or with a friend

+Listen with no intent to be heard

+Create internet and browsing boundaries or just simply log-off and take a digital detox

+Read a good book

+Write a letter to yourself or a loved one

+Relax in a bath

+Put yourself to bed early

+Celebrate how truly far you've come

+Remember that some of the best gifts we can give are time, empathy and love

+Take a cat nap

+Ground: walk barefoot, hug a tree, carry a rock in your pocket

+Volunteer in your community

+Donate to a local shelter or community center

+Create a positive mantra that you can use to guide you throughout the day: "Relax, Breathe, Flow", "How may I love myself better now?", "I am abundant", "I am a gift"...

With heart,

Michelle Marrero, RYT-200 & Military Resilience Trainer

Visit me at Heart:

Thursdays 4pm Gentle Vinyasa

Sundays 7:30am Classical Vinyasa (loving holding space with Ally Smalley)

Every 3rd Sunday at 5pm for Metta: Loving-Kindness Meditation Circle


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