As a Transformational Life Coach, many of my coaching clients are seeking ways to discover how they can be more present in their lives.
But my work doesn’t necessarily stop with my life coaching clients!
Case in point, the moment that happened recently with my sweet husband…
Presents versus Presence aka How to Be More Present
It was Mother’s Day morning.
Hubby and I were sitting side by side on the sunporch sofa, coffees in hand.
He turned toward me and said, “Is there anything you’d like for Mother’s Day?
He and our daughter had already brought a hanging basket of pink petunias home from the garden center the day before.
I leaned my head back against the couch cushion and assured him I didn’t want anything else.
But he persisted.
“I could weed the garden with you?” he suggested.
“Nah,” I said.
However he threw out a few other ideas, but then I had one of my own.
“I don’t want any things,” I told him. “No presents.”
“But the one thing I really do want is Your presence. You, just being present with me.”
I tried not to chuckle as he ran his hand through his hair and blew out a long, slow breath.
I realized this was my opportunity to teach him how to be more present!
“Didn’t you want me to trim the apple trees?” he asked. “Clean out your car?”
“You,” I said. “Being with me. Not doing for me. Just being with me.”
Next he started strumming his fingers on the arm of the sofa.
He smiled and looked back at me with wide, pleading eyes.
Because my husband is a DOER.
Over this past year throughout isolation, he’s worked his day job and…
built a series of mountain bike trails
ridden those trails every single morning for over 170 days in a row
taken down a tree and is currently working on the stump
seeded the lawn with clover in areas where grass refused to grow
built me garden beds with an irrigation system
pulled car parts out of his old 1970s convertible
cleaned and reorganized the garage
built a bike shop in the old shed
attached a hose to the leak in the furnace and ran it into the basement sump pump so there was no longer water leaking on the floor
turned my mountain bike into an E-bike (my new favorite!!! We have a lot of hills around here!!!)
And I could go on and on, but you get the picture!
So on Mother’s Day, he wanted to know what he could DO for me.
But he’d already done plenty.
I was asking him to stop and BE with me.
Pedaling, tinkering, building, raking, moving, doing…put it all aside for a day.
Now we’re getting somewhere!
“Well, what does that look like?” hubby asked. “How do you do nothing?”
So I went on to explain that I wasn’t suggesting we do nothing. That not doing, doesn’t mean doing nothing. In fact, it means quite the opposite.
It’s the act of doing something that from the outside looks like nothing, but actually feels like something, especially to me!
So he reluctantly agreed, even though I could tell, my ever-moving, busy husband, wasn’t quite sure what he was agreeing to.
But together we moved through our day, with a deliberate sense of presence.
We just hung out on the couch for quite a while and eventually made omelettes for breakfast. We took Georgie for a long slow walk. Sat on the rockers on the front porch. Spent time with both kids, one here at home, the other over the phone, and later, took a nap on the back patio.
By day’s end we were relaxed, at ease and looking forward to the coming week.
Hubby had asked what sort of present I was wishing for this year. And it turns out, presence, his being present to me was the best present I could have received.
Although I suspect come Father’s Day this year, they’ll be a lot of Doing in my future!
And you? What sort of present is most meaningful to you?
Are you are more of a Be-er or Do-er, or somewhere in between?
Can’t wait to hear!
Sending you love and blessings,
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