Friday, May 17, 2005

Have you ever found yourself snapping out of a trance-like state, only to find that five to ten minutes have passed... and you have no idea where the time went? We're all guilty of this very action. In fact, have you ever had days where, at the end of the day, you can't seem to accurately recount all that went on with you during that day? No, I'm not referring to Alzheimer's Disease. I'm speaking about presence.

I was recently asked in an interview concerning the book, I Have Just The Gift For You, that I recently published, "Why did you write the book?" The bottom line? Presence. You see, my friend, there is a great difference between physically being in a location and time and being present. I have experienced days where I was physically involved in my life, but I wasn't present; I wasn't mentally aware of how important the moment(s) was and my heart and mind just didn't seem to be in it.

When the opportunity came to draft this first published book, I considered it to be an exercise in self-therapy; a reminder to me constantly of the vital need to be present in my children's life. It remains forever true: shower a person with presents and they will have a full closet, but shower a person with presence and they will have a full heart. All the gifts and trinkets and "I'll make it up to you"s and "We'll do it tomorrow, I promise"s will never come close to making up for the impact on one's life when you share your time, your heart and your attention with them. This is why I wrote the book - to remind me and others of the powerful gift of presence that we possess.

Time, my friend, is an invaluable commodity that cannot be stored or made up. You get a specific allocation each day and when the day is through, so is your allocation. It is a commodity that is worth more than all the riches in the world. Don't believe me? Ask anyone who has just lost a loved one. Ask anyone who was just diagnosed with a terminal illness. Ask anyone who is in their twilight years. To have only a little more time to be present in one's life and enjoy the simple and wondrous aspects of that life. Trust me, there will come a time when you too will wish for just a little more time.

So what do we do?

Don't strike out each morning to set the world on fire; strike out each morning to set your own heart and passions on fire - light your little corner of the world. Enjoy yourself as much as you possibly can within the circumstances of the day. Don't let your worries of today rob you of valuable memories. Surround yourself by loved ones and friends. Support and encourage one another. Don't forget to let them know how you feel about them. And remind each other that this physical life is only a small fraction of our existence. Pursue hobbies that motivate and inspire you. Read books and articles and reflections that encourage you. Listen to music that brings you peace. Laugh loudly at the absurdity of Life and human nature, but reflect deeply on the wisdom of Life and the Creator of it all.

And through it all, be present through all these moments and journeys.


I Have Just The Gift For You, authored by Lee Hoedl and illustrated by Amy Gohman, is now published and available through Lifevest Publishing and For a sneak preview of this book, click on the bookcover image to the left. Click on the link to the left if you are interested in purchasing the book from

hoedl's haven
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