The best gift of all: your genuine interest
Here we are at December again! With all the rituals and festivities, it's the month that promises moments of transcendence from the ordinary.
We all know how much stress can be attached to trying to meet those expectations! But right under your nose is the means to find those special moments - stress free.
Where? In conversations sparked by your genuine interest and curiosity about the life experiences and perspectives of the people you stand and sit next to at holiday gatherings over the next few weeks. Don't waste the opportunity to be surprised, to connect in new ways, to give the gift of true attention. Some reminders and ideas:
Don't assume you know everything already! There is always something new to learn about someone.
Be thoughtful and careful in your questions. Lead with "how, when, where or when?" instead of the interrogative "why?"
Take advantage of photos. "Do you have a favorite photo on your ipod?" gets a teenager or twenty-something going. Photo albums always bring out memories and stories.
Plan ahead to create the space. For instance, maybe you wish you could get the different generations of your family to understand each other's experiences a little better. Think ahead about creative ways to get people engaged, and don't be afraid of providing a bit of structure at first to get things flowing. The LifeLegacy Cards are great for this.
Hear with your ears, "listen" with your eyes. Your greatest gift - and your greatest reward - is the quality of your attention.
You have the opportunity to create something rare. Seize it and enjoy it all!
With gratitude and best wishes for the holidays,