A patient (a teacher, really) reminded me that presence is the best gift I can give to myself, yet the beautiful gift is that everyone benefits. I can dramatically slow down my day when I become aware that I am speeding through it. I then take a deep breath to slow my thoughts and body down. Bringing myself back to the moment through breath, and shifting my thoughts to now—instead of the next moment or of previous ones—I create presence. My body relaxes. Or, when I observe my tension, it’s my wake-up call to pay attention and let go of what thought is generating the tension.

There is no better time to practice presence than in winter. Yes, we are likely more distracted with the various holidays and many celebrations. Yet we need the cold and the dark to recharge. There is wisdom in this. Your body knows this. And although our winters are changing in their look and feel, your frame of reference on how to be in the season is to observe nature through your window or experience it in your daily walkabouts. Growth is happening and never ceases, but it’s coming from deep within and much more slowly. Enjoy this exquisite time of year. You will need to prepare now to bloom brilliantly in spring.