Did you think I was referring to a treasure left under the tree, or the perfect present found for a beloved?
No, neither one, but here are some clues: The best gift costs no money nor requires that someone else remember what you desire. It does not need a special occasion like Christmas to find its way to you.
The best gift is one that you give yourself costing a little of your time and your focused attention. With a minimal contribution on your part, it can give back to you many times over.
The best gift is the gift of self-reflection—a gift that allows you to think about your life, your work, your values, your desires, and how they align with how you currently live your life.
The best gift comes in an array of packages and forms: a commitment to journal, a daily walk, structured retreat or focused conversation with a trusted friend or guide, a meditation class or regular practice, or just quiet time in a favorite chair.
The point of the gift is not about any particular outcome, but rather the surprise of what might unfold in the process of being with yourself.
With so much of your attention going in an outward direction, it might be a welcomed change to shift course for a moment. What surfaces could surprise, delight, or confound you. In any case, you’ll receive a gift that’s uniquely yours, and some would argue, is priceless.
If this type of gift leaves you clueless as to how to begin, consider the following questions to get started:
- What is this time of my life about? What is most important to me?
- What would I most love to do for work? What step might I take to begin this?
- Who supports me in my life transitions and challenges? Do I spend adequate time with them? Can I ask for what I need from them?
- For what am I grateful in my life? Do I acknowledge them on a regular basis?
- What assumptions about what is or is not possible hold me back? How would my life be different if the assumptions were not accurate?
You can ponder these questions or others that seem more pertinent in many ways.
But, like any gift, it requires attention to see what’s inside.