Give the Gift of Presence Instead of Presents
During the holiday season it’s so easy to get distracted and caught up with the excitement of the festivities. We often experience low energy or feel a little run down throughout the fastpaced season. It’s no surprise we experience a roller coaster of emotions from excitement, overwhelmed, desiring time to slow down to connect with family and friends. It’s a season of celebration combined with increased activities that require more time, attention and emotional energy. This is the perfect time to practice “energy management”.
Energy Management is the ability to be in tune with your energy levels. To ensure proper management of energy is in place with routine practices to prevent being drained or overwhelmed. Too many items on the to-do list or other high intensity responsibilities will quickly deplete your energy reserves. Therefore,its important to create daily routines which provide experiences of relaxation, being grounded, renewed and refreshed.
Energy Management techniques includes: physical, emotional, spiritual, mental, environmental and social energy. Each of these forms of energy provides a unique opportunity to experience wellness otherwise you end the season tired, run down, overwhelmed and missing the vibrancy you need to excel. A great place to start is through turning inward, observe how you use your energy in each area of life. Identify the subtle peaks and dips of energy that you experience throughout the day. Once you become in tune with monitoring your energy levels, it’s easy to acknowledge the overall impact that a hectic holiday season may have on your overall well-being. If this topic is new for you and you're not sure how it applies, read on and allow the information to unfold.
As an Energy Leadership Coach and Consultant that specializes in Energy Management, I hope to outline a few areas of support for enjoying a healthy happy holiday experience.
Presence – practicing presence is a key aspect to energy management. The ability to “check in” and identify the qualities of your energy throughout the day will help you determine if your energy is: drained, low in vibrancy, pressured, frustrated, overwhelmed, stressed, energetic and many other qualities used to describe the overall condition of energy. Monitoring our energy level conditions through presence is similar to checking a temperature sensor that keeps track of the overall conditions and quality of comfort in a space. Presence is our internal sensor to pinpoint the condition of our energy resources.
Determine if the energy conditions are too low, are you struggling to keep up, do you experience peak conditions that allow you to complete the tasks on your “to-do” list with ease? Do you have a surplus of energy at the end of the day and have difficulty slowing down? Do you have the necessary energy levels to sustain your activities or do you need to make some adjustments? Increased awareness of the importance of being “present” and checking in with our internal energy sensors, promotes a more productive, passionate and peaceful holiday with friends and family.
Good energy management practices such as being present provides value individually and collectively, enhancing our experience with others. Can you recall a recent experience when you were talking to someone but also experienced your mind racing a million miles per second? You might recall spending time with this person but most likely not what he/she said or the way in which they said it. The holidays are the perfect opportunity to hit “ramp speed” in multi-tasking and we often overlook the most important part of life, spending quality time with family and friends. The practice of presence reminds us to slow down, to stay centered and grounded, to take a few extra breaths to clear our head, and allow our heart beat to return to its natural pace. Presence opens the door for deeper connections, helping you experience the conversation fully, to observe the body language and the way the other person is expressing their thoughts, feelings, needs and desires.
Ultimately, presence promotes a sense of bonding and deeper connections. Experiences that are more meaningful and magical, a few of the best qualities the holidays are designed to create.
The practice of presence both individually and collectively with others is powerful. It can also be rewarding when practiced in our communities, extending awareness to those that surrounds us. A key component to enjoying the holidays is practicing gratitude for all that we are grateful for and extending our love to others in the community and surrounding areas. Just like the reminder that is given each time we take an airline flight.
The flight attendant reminds the passengers to place their own oxygen mask on prior to assisting others. When we use good energy management techniques to keep energy high, in full capacity and good quality conditions we not only increase our well-being, but also have the proper resources required to be present with others. With an increased capacity of energy we are more in touch with the needs of others, our communities and the areas that surround us. With higher levels of energy, we show up fully to life and make the impact we truly desire regardless if it’s the holiday season or each day of the year.
Energy Management Techniques– A few ideas and suggestions on how to increase and sustain your energy resources
Physical Energy – Considering the physical aspect of all things includes, your own physical body, the physical space you reside such as your home, office or other dwellings and, or the physical space of the world at large. Awareness is always key before developing new practices. Increase your clarity and intention on the areas of your life you’d like to excel. Energy Management for the physical might include checking in periodically throughout the day to monitor your physical sensations: Determine how your body is feeling overall, does it appear stiff, heavy, restricted?Does it appear relaxed, flowing or light? Just observe the overall quality of your physical condition and make any adjustment that is needed.
Some of these adjustments may include: limiting the time you spend in front of a computer, tv or other electronic device. Increase your physical activity so that your body is more relaxed instead of tense. Re-hydrate often to increase concentration. Consider going for routine massage to experience a loving touch and lower your stress levels.
In the physical space – observe your experience of the space each time you enter it.
This includes: personal space, such as when you enter your home each day. As you walk to your bedroom observe your level of relaxation and the ability to slow down and prepare for rest. Do you feel inspired, creative, productive in your office or place of work? Does the space have qualities of being vibrant, energetic, creative, inspiring? Or does your space appear heavy,depressing, stagnant and lacking energy?
The world around us – tuning into the physical space of the world that surrounds us, creates the opportunity to take in and experience the animals, plants and unique qualities that surrounds us. How many times have you experienced stress or lack of energy and decided to take a walk in nature or play a game of golf in a lovely landscaped environment. Focusing attention on the world around us increases our energy levels and provides a renewed feeling of inspiration and general well-being.
Emotional Energy – Emotions are energy in motion, the feelings, sensations and momentum expressed that fuels the way you feel and express yourself. Emotional energy is like a beacon that transmits its light for all the ships to see. This light can reflect many different qualities and strengths of energy. Some of those qualities may include passion, peace, excitement, inspiration, joy, freedom, fulfillment, sadness, depression, anger, fear, worry and others. The quality and intensity of emotions greatly impacts our experience of each moment and our overall well-being.
When we express our emotions, regardless if they are uplifting emotions or destructive emotions this “energy” is communicated throughout our body and into the world. It is the fuel that determines whether we have a pleasant experience or less than desirable experience. Whether we attract others or repel them.
The power of pause: considering the holidays and the potential to get rushed, stressed, over tasked and so much more, the holidays are the perfect time to use this simple practice of observing your emotions. Monitor your feelings and emotions throughout the day. Each time you experience a situation, identify what area of your body that the emotion resides in. Does the emotion reside in your head, heart, or gut? Just observe, what are the characteristics of the sensations? Is it heavy, light, stiff, relaxed? Put your attention in your heart area, does this sensation you experience appear contracted or expansive? As you continue to increase your awareness and practice this one simple action, it will help you to experience increased levels of energy and personal power. Empowered to use your energy to communicate more efficiently, effectively and enjoyable with yourself and the world around you.
Imagine creating your own “pause button”. Visualize and create your own unique version of a “pause button” what might your button look like? Would it be round, red background, white letters? How large would it be? Allow your imagination to create a visual of this button to use each day. Now that you’ve created your visual pause button, use it each time you experience a less than desirable emotion. The holidays are a great time to get upset if someone cuts you off in traffic, or takes too long at the cash register in front of you. Maybe you enjoy getting together with family and friends but there’s always one particular person in your family that simply gets, under your skin. The power of pause will support you with increasing awareness and determining if your emotions are supportive to you and others, or draining you?
The best way to use this practice is: each time you experience tension in your body or a triggered reaction that results in a less than desirable experience. Hit the pause button, remind yourself that you are in full control, you have a choice in how you respond to each situation. You can respond by “reacting” which uses tons of energy. Or choose a reaction that conserves energy and creates a more pleasant outcome. We all have triggers that quickly puts us in defense mode or protective mode.There’s a reason for this experience, its called Flight or Fight syndrome. When you're in true danger the flight or fight syndrome might save your life. But routinely it uses the vital energy we need and leaves us empty for completing the tasks and experiences we desire most.
Hitting the pause button each time you start to over react will allow the space to make new decisions. A decision that protects the emotional energy and helps to determine if you will use your vital emotional energy resource on the current experience, or save it for something more important. Each person has the power to choose how they will experience each moment. They determine how they will respond to each situation. Therefore, it’s important to use emotional energy wisely so that you have enough high-quality sustaining energy to live the life of your desires.
Spiritual Energy – For many people the holiday season includes some type of spiritual practice. Depending on your background, beliefs and practices this time of year represents the celebration of Christmas, Hanukkah and others. In fact, Christmas is often referred to as the “reason for the season” which truly resonates with me personally. However, considering spiritual energy during the holidays includes: not only spiritual beliefs but also an opportunity to experience and express our beliefs in general based on our values. Values that include what we celebrate, how we celebrate, the charity we contribute to and how we spend our time.
Does your spiritual practice include prayer, reflection, gratitude, charity or sharing time with others such as the elderly? A simple act of visiting an elderly person’s home to say hello and give the gift of your time and presence goes a long way to increasing spiritual energy.
The practice of spiritual energy doesn’t require a rigorous routine, it’s simply an act of love, kindness and generosity. Smiling at others as we encounter them. Allowing someone to step in front of you at the customer service line when they have two items and you have twenty-two items.
Spiritual energy is the energy behind purpose, why we do what we do. The energy that fuels and propels what we believe and what’s most important to us? Each moment, take time to create a spiritual practice and increase your spiritual energy so that it flows effortlessly and easily. This one simple practice is a game changer to life.
Some ideas on how to incorporate this practice into your daily experience includes: prayer, meditation, keeping a journal, reflecting on all that you’re grateful for. Taking time out to call an elderly parent to tell them you love them or simply listen. Pour your spouse that cup of coffee they love each morning or take a walk in nature before heading to work or the shopping mall. The practice of spiritual energy doesn’t require significant time, its more about creating a daily routine. A routine that plants the seeds of generosity, gratitude, and uplifting emotional and spiritual energy.
The gift of presence is a core expression of spiritual energy by being fully “present” with each person you encounter”. To listen, acknowledge and inspire” to volunteer and share yourself with others. A practice of presence may include many different experiences of giving of yourself to others. This simple act of goodness will increase your energy reserve leaving you fulfilled and inspired, as well as impact others in a profound way. A way in which no “material gift” could ever deliver.
Mental Energy includes our thoughts, and the messages, stories we communicate to ourselves and others. How do you use your mental faculties to support you throughout the holiday and each day of the year? Are you in control of what you choose to think about or do you experience your mind rambling a million miles per second? Do you find yourself being overwhelmed, distracted and a hostage to your daily to-do list?
The mind is a powerful resource and a key opportunity to living with presence. It’s probably no surprise that our beliefs create our stories, our stories create our thoughts, and the words and messages we use to communicate. The way we communicate through the messages and words we choose to use creates our emotions and how we experience each moment of life.
The emotion we choose to encounter and experience determines our actions and behaviors which in the end creates our outcomes, results and experiences. Wow, that’s a lot to put your mind around, you’re probably already feeling drained. More seriously, how we utilize our mental energy will determine how we experience life. A life that is filled with empowering experiences or dis-empowering experiences. Truly the choice is ours.
The gift of presence to self and others is the perfect opportunity to enhance your energy. What words, sentences, tones do you use to describe and communicate your thoughts, feelings and beliefs to self and others? Do you practice techniques to increase your mental focus? To increase the ability to choose and direct your mental capacity to the most important tasks at hand or do you have a “monkey mind” that runs rampantly from one place to the next? The holiday time can be more distracting than any other time of the year, marketing ads are being blasted out on computer screens, TV commercials, billboards, in conversations and so much more. These constant streams of distraction are designed to influence you to buy, or act in a particular way. It can be very difficult to balance your thoughts on what’s most important when there’s increased stimulation and distraction.
The Practice of Presence – includes focus, our ability to direct mental energy in the form of thoughts to the task of importance. During this holiday season, we both agree that focus can be challenging so let’s start with self-patience. Set the intention to discipline our focus on what we want to accomplish but also practice patience with ourselves considering the magnitude of distractions. As a few suggestions, try to establish core “focus time” schedules. A dedicated time that will be used without distraction to complete your most pressing needs. I would recommend short intervals such as 30-60 minute intervals to start. During this time, free yourself from checking emails, answering phone calls or allowing yourself to focus on any other task other than the one you’ve agreed to focus on. Yes, you can do this!
Imagine a grow light and the energy of the light is fully directed at one single plant.
Although it may be surrounded by many other plants during this specific dedicated time . The light is focused 100% on its target, using all its resources to support one plant.Now consider this plant is your task. The task you have agreed to complete in this short interval time.
The light represents your mental energy, the energy you will use to promote the most progress. Get the picture? Using dedicated mental energy even in short intervals can produce measured results and the ability to work with ease.
Free of distraction, frustration and all the other emotions that surface when you can’t find a way to complete the tasks you desire to complete. The Practice of Presence: Include choices, not only in how we direct our focus but also the quality of the words and messages we use to describe our thoughts. Do you use your mental energy to judge others getting caught up in the drama of a situation? Or do you select words and messages that offer support, encouragement and inspiration? The gift of presence is a shift in awareness, an opportunity to create new practices that may include, choosing only empowering words to describe your experiences, letting go of judgment of others or whether each experience is good or bad. Instead, create a practice of identifying the qualities that are inspiring, uplifting, and energetic in nature. Each time you experience a quality that doesn’t resonate with you, just notice and observe, there’s no need to judge or label it as good or bad. Review this unpleasant experience as “information” only. These are only a few ideas on how to practice presence and use mental energy to create an uplifting holiday experience. Once you begin to practice and apply this awareness, you will start to identify your own ideas on what works best for you.
Social energy includes how you communicate to yourself and others. What energy do use to show up and interact with others? Does your energy attract or repel others? How do others “experience” you as an individual?
I consider social energy as the “icing on the cake” it’s the opportunity to engage, share and express our uniqueness while also listening to learn new ideas from others. Social energy is the quality of these interactions. As an example, do you look forward to connecting with others? Do you listen as much as you share? Do you observe the other person’s body language and the way they communicate their message to you? What tone of voice are they using, do you feel enticed to learn more or can’t wait until they finish talking? What message are they trying to convey beyond the words being said? Are you relaxed, comfortable in your own skin, and engaged when talking with others.? Or do you focus instead on your desire to convey your message instead of listening, engaging with their thoughts and ideas? How often do you find yourself simply listening without an agenda?
How do you experience moments of stillness, in silence when no one is speaking? This can be a powerful experience when both parties are quiet, simply listening and experiencing each other’s energy. Listening for what “wants to happen” next. Where will the conversation go?
The gift of presence is vital to social energy. It’s an opportunity to allow others to share their story, desires and ideas fully with an experience of being heard, seen and valued. Each of us, have the ability to give the gifts of presence, through listening and acknowledging others. You will support them in being fulfilled, understood and loved. Considering the impact of being totally present and the fulfillment it can provide to others, hopefully you will be motivated to shift your energy (mental, physical, spiritual, emotional, and social energy). To give the gift of presence instead of presents during the holiday season and each day of the year.
Environmental Energy – Environmental energy is the energy of your space, the way it makes you “feel” when you enter and spend time there. A holiday season is a time for celebration, decorations, parties and many other forms of connection.
Our space also has its own form of energy. The energy that determines how we experience it when residing within it. How we utilize our space can determine whether we experience sadness and depression or creativity and inspiration through the choice of design features and elements such as: color choices,functionality, purpose, and placement. Do items in the place need to be repaired, replaced or updated? We maintain the ability to choose how we experience our space and how it will inspire, motivate and support us each time we enter and spend time there. This experience is primarily determined by the way we use the energy through design, decor and placement.Space can include all physical structures such as our home, the rooms within the home, the exterior, the places we work, corporations, the nature that surrounds us, the areas we use to reflect and more. All physical places that we experience daily has energy and either increases our energy or in some cases depletes our energy reserves.
Giving the gift of presence: includes selecting one space to experience at a time. Observe your first impression when you enter the room, the front door or other area of focus. Pause, and check in with all your senses, how does it smell, what elements do you like, dislike, observe the colors, the textures, the way its laid out. How does this make you feel? What are the sounds that you experience in this space? Are they welcoming, pleasant or distracting?
The gift of presence in the environmental energy includes – creating a space to reflect, be creative and relaxed combined with spaces with more active energy. Energy that is productive, uplifting, and focused so that your performance is measured. When you create a purposeful space that's filled with high quality energy, your energy levels increase. Your overall well-being and quality of life will be impacted in a profound way.
Space Matters and its often overlooked as a key area for experiencing fulfilling energy. As you begin to decorate for the holiday season and invite family and friends into your space, practice the gift of presence by being more in-tune and engaged with the way you decorate your space. What beliefs, values, vision does your space represent? Imagine how your guests will experience your space, will they experience warmth, welcome and a relaxed vibe? Or does your décor create an experience of being sterile or stiffness?
The gift of presence for the space includes: how you and others experience your space. How you use your space to communicate your intentions and the overall impact it has on yourself and others requires intention, planning and purpose.
No matter how you choose to utilize your energy throughout the holiday season, I hope this article has created new thoughts, ideas and inspiration. When we explore energy and energy management techniques throughout the various phases of our life, we open the door to personal fulfillment and increased well-being. This renewed energy produces a power that supports a vibrant and sustainable lifestyle. A life that is filled with inspiration, creativity and increased freedom to choose each moment how we will either use our energy or reserve it for projects and tasks of greater importance.
In closing, I hope you’ve found this information to be enlightening and supportive to creating a life that is filled with vibrant and sustaining energy. Energy with presence to produce high quality experiences, increased enjoyment and long-term memories.
Hopefully you will agree that giving the gift of presence instead of focusing so much energy on presents can create a life altering experience. Experiences filled with more connection with yourself and others, experiences that include giving, receiving, loving, listening and being okay with just sitting in the stillness to explore the unknown.
If you’ve found this article helpful, embrace the gift of presence by sharing it with a friend. Help me increase the awareness on how to increase, optimize and maximize our energy so that it supports us in living more fulfilling and inspiring lives.
If you want to learn more and wish to increase and apply your energy in a more purposeful and profound way. Contact me to schedule a free strategy session and learn how to get the most of your energy and life experiences.
Wishing you all the joy and excitement of a fulfilling holiday season and the peace and inspiration that comes from starting a new year.
With Love and Light,
Donna Lynn Tarquinio, CPC, ELI-MP, ACC, CTPLC, CLDS
Energy Leadership Master Practitioner, Certified Leadership Development Coach, Consultant, & Workshop Facilitator
Beyond Status Quo
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