You know that SNL commercial with the mom and the robe and the flat stocking?
Yup, me, too.
Apparently, I’m hard to buy for.
My family is terrified to buy me gifts. I think I’m so easy to buy for, but apparently, this isn’t the impression I give.
This is a great plug for the lesson, “more often than not, we see ourselves differently than our family sees us.”
Anyhoo… my husband and children knocked Christmas out of the park this year. I have never felt so seen and acknowledged and cared for than I did on Christmas Day. It isn’t about the gifts, but about the thought, specifically, the discernment of thought, that went into each one.
They were all just right. Goldilocks gifts.
I was particularly moved by two gifts from my husband: a gold, laughing Buddha from The Suburban Monk, and a painting, done by a friend doing her own inner work alongside me. She, too, is digging deep and her vocation – her calling – is changing with her.
When I opened them, I was moved to tears. It caught me off guard. I felt a moment of embarrassment, maybe even some shame, but then let it just happen.
Something was changing inside of me (and in fact, one of my kids declared, “Mom. You have changed soooo much.” I’ll take that as a compliment).
I still can’t name the feeling, but it felt both foreign and comfortable. I felt like each of these gifts represented parts of me but couldn’t quite know how.
Here is what I am learning: The Buddha makes me smile every time I see it. I actually look at him (his name is Syd), and giggle. I feel overcome with joy every single time. Sometimes – often – I laugh until I cry. I feel it in my whole body.
When I look at the paintings from Wrenn Bartlett, the artist, an emotion wells up in me. I feel moved. It feels warm, and beautiful, and expansive. I feel open. I feel it in my heart.
Foreign and comfortable.
When these moments come, it is as if I am remembering the experience of pure joy in my body and the experience of raw emotion welling up from my heart, all at once. It feels like it comes from a place long ago; a forgotten memory.
While I don’t remember what, in my past, evoked this, these two gifts are helping me to get back in touch with a way of being that is, again, both foreign and comfortable. Unfamiliar, yet feels like home.
I know those experiences still live in me and on that Christmas morning, my body was remembering what my mind could not.
Over the years, I’ve trained myself to experience the world through my mind. My personality tells me that there is too much to do and we ain’t got time for all that body and heart. The terror of my existence is that I’ll be slowed down. Stuck.
But that isn’t true.
All this time, busy-ness has been feeding me the great lie by telling me it is the same as importance. And value.
But it’s not.
Busy-ness is neither.
And busy-ness is the thing, I think, that slows me down because busy-ness doesn’t dip into all three centers of my intelligence. It keeps me in my head, thinking, figuring out, and analyzing.
Experiencing, being, purpose, and desire are left in the dust.
I’m so much more than busy.
When I believe the lie of busy-ness, I forget who I am. Who I really am. And on Christmas morning, and now daily, I get to remember.