The best gift I ever received

When I was a senior in high school, I competed in the Kentucky Junior Miss (that’s a story in and of itself but I digress…). My host family gave me the most wonderful parting gift, a book by Spencer Johnson titled The Precious Present.

It was a very easy read and told a very simple story but the message was profound for an impressionable 18 year-old girl. Although I didn’t quite grasp the totality of the message at the time, it planted a seed that has now become the focus of my career.

The Precious Present is about a young boy searching for what a wise old man once told him was the most valuable gift a person could ever receive. The boy searches for the precious present high and low, constantly striving and even obsessing about finding it. It eludes him for years until he finally uncovers the treasure.

The precious present is just that. Being in the present. Not ruminating on the past or worrying about the future. Not mindlessly checking off to-do lists, running around exhausted and unaware of your surroundings. It’s about fully living in each moment and savoring the present for what it is.

As I shared with a workshop last week, when we stay present, we’re generally happy and calm. Right this moment, you’re probably fine. Most of the time, there isn’t anything bad or stressful happening in the present moment. It is only our stress and anxiety related to the past and future that gets us tied up in knots. Instead of giving ourselves the precious present, we just frantically try to get everything done in a day so that we can wake up and do it all over again.

I hope you take a moment this week to give yourself (and others) the best gift of all… the present.

With love,

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