Be the present!

Take the NO PHONE pledge: 

I will put down my phone this Holiday for 3 or ___ hrs a day to be fully present with those I love. 

Go ahead take it….Express it out loud, making a commitment to those you are with in person or virtually this season. Consider putting it out of sight or on silence. Then turn toward your friend or family member (s) who are present or afar (on the phone or video). Look them in the eyes; listen with intention; let go of your expectations; be curious and give each and every person your unwavering awareness. 

I know it is difficult and there are real limitations, however I challenge you to take this pledge and see what happens.

Observe what this approach does to your experience moment-by-moment — you may find that it expands and deepens your connections, as well as your sense of the memory after the moment passes. You’ll likely discover that presence is one of the most precious gifts we can give and is needed more than ever. Our presence adds far more value to both our lives and the lives of others than any material object can.

Most of us would like to think that we are present in our daily lives, but the truth is that so many of us live a far distance from ourselves and from our experiences. We often operate on a sort of autopilot of feeling and behavior not just in the midst of our daily lives, but even more in the face of those who matter most to us, our loved ones.

With the simple and repeated practice of awareness, we can give presence to everything the season brings — from warmth and joy, to difficulty and tension — without needing to change or fix anything. We may find that being better connected to the moment in this way, a better connection to our self and to our family and friends begins to grow and flourish.

Mindfulness is not just a gift for us individually, but collectively too. In these challenging and turbulent times of division, discord, and the pandemic, mindfulness has the power to reinforce the shared humanity that holds us all together. The individual is reflected in the collective, and when we bring awareness to the way that we relate to ourselves individually — that is, when we develop deeper understanding  and acceptance, through mindful attention and a more compassionate connection with our self — this becomes mirrored in our interactions with those around us in the collective. It’s contagious. However, just like a virus, some are more immune to spread than others, so practice patience, don’t give up,  and be sure you lead through example not by issuing “orders or demands”. Keep your eye on your behavior and intention to give the gift of MINDFUL attention and let us know what gifts it brings to you and others around you this season. 

Want to learn more about mindfulness? Get more intensive training? Check out the virtual offerings and consider giving yourself the gift of mindfulness in 2021 at the virtual Sacred Treehouse. Just click HERE

May you and all beings be safe, healthy, happy, and loved this season and may you get to taste the sweetness of mindfulness and whatever else it brings.,

With love and gratitude,

Patty and The Sacred Treehouse Faculty

Patty Thomas Shutt, founder of Sacred Treehouse, is a licensed psychologist and co-owner of Therapeutic Oasis of the Palm Beaches Dr. Shutt is passionate about helping others discover the benefits of mindfulness and meditation.  She offers Beginner Meditation & Advanced Meditation classes at Sacred Treehouse, in addition to Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Mindful Self-Compassion and various book studies throughout the year.