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The COST of Not Being Present

By December 8, 2015 4 Comments



December can be a really joyful time of year, reconnecting with family and friends. Lots of celebrations and parties.

It can also be an emotional and stressful time of year.

For some, it’s a time of financial stress… Running around buying gifts, entertaining, traveling to visit with family and friends.

For some it’s a time of emotional stress. Feeling sad, missing someone you’ve lost this year, (through death or divorce). Or the stress of feeling obligated to go places you’d rather not and spend time with people you’d rather not be around (some of which are your family! Lol)

For some, it’s a time to slow down, take some time off. Relax and let go for a bit.

For some it’s a time of reflection…. Have I accomplished what I wanted to this year?

For some it’s a time to plan … What do I want to achieve next year? When are we going on vacation?

For some, it’s ALL of the above.  What is it for you?

Whatever it is. I invite you to do it consciously. To BE present with it all. That is the greatest gift you can give yourself, your family, your friends, your clients. 

It’s so easy to NOT be fully present.

To NOT want to feel the myriad of emotions. If you are a sensitive or an empath (someone who feels energies and other peoples emotions easily) it can be particularly overwhelming.


The Cost Of NOT Being Present

It often leads to unconscious avoidance in the form of: over-working, over-eating, over-spending, over-indulging in alcohol, acting out by having an affair, or just general busy-ness that leaves you run down or exhausted.

You’re also more likely to be out of integrity – i.e. – saying “yes” when you want to say “no”- leading to you over- committing and under-delivering (and all the stress and emotional turmoil that comes with that!)

The most devastating effect of not being present is missing out on fully connecting with your life, loved ones, clients, and the opportunities that each moment has to offer, in a meaningful, impactful way.

Ever feel like you don’t know where a day, week, month, or this whole year went? Chances are you weren’t fully present. Being fully present gives you the gift of CHOICE.  Stress takes you out of presence.

How To Be More Present

When things get really hectic or stressful. When you’ve got more plans than time to fulfill them; more presents than money to buy them; more people needing your attention than energy to give them… just stop and take a breath.

SERIOUSLY! I mean it. It is the best, fastest way to reconnect – with yourself and the present moment. 

Do it now.

Inhale… fully. More. More. More. (you can always take a sip or two more of air than you think you can)

Now hold it for a second or two…


Now do it again.

As you breathe in, RECEIVE. Imagine you already have what you desire – love, support, connection, money, love, peace, freedom, ease …etc.

As you exhale, LET GO. Imagine letting go the stress, the obligations, the ‘must’s’, ‘have-to’s’ and ‘should’s’. Let go the stress and tension responsibilities. Let go of what has been (the past) and what is to come (the future).

Take a moment to just BE. Fully present, here and now.

Now set an intention for how you want to BE this holiday season. You get to choose. You get to decide.

Be present image

I’m deciding to be PRESENT with it all: The extra pounds on my body. My anxiety about what the next year will bring. The gratitude for all that I accomplished this year. The sadness of not being with all my family this Christmas. The sweet memories of the time we spent together celebrating my husbands 50th birthday at Easter. The stress of crowds and christmas shopping with my youngest son. The guilt of presents not bought. The fun of being invited to dinners and parties. Burning the candle at both ends trying to fit it all in…

Being fully present is the only way to experience the greatest gift of all – LIFE. There are so many who no longer have that. Always remember, it IS a gift.

Make it a ‘December to Remember’ – with a smile. Happy Holidays!



Join the discussion 4 Comments

  • Julie says:

    A wonderful reminder to focus, be present, accept, enjoy.
    Thank you for this one, Helen. I am sure it will help me make my December truly one to remember.

  • Peter Davis says:

    So fitting for any time, but especially this time of year, the holidays! There can be an uninvited pressure to be all to everyone at this time of the year, but are we ‘present’ for ourselves?
    Thanks for the reminder to just breathe, be aware, be present. What wonderful things we can experience by being present.

    Thank you.

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