My birthday is around the corner, and I’ve been asked what I want to receive in the way of gifts. From my sweetie: rub my back; tickle my feet; tell me you love me. It doesn’t cost a dime. From my friends: let me know you’re thinking of me. For those who I am with: ask me a question about myself; show me you’re interested; seem curious.
My sister and I have decided to avoid adult gift-giving at Christmas this year; it feels like obligatory consumerism. And we already have so much of what we need.
My favorite gift to give and receive is time together. When I know I have a trip booked to see my family, I feel closer to them. With a trip on the calendar, not only will we share an experience at some future date, but the anticipation of it brings a sense of closeness. I think about seeing them; I get excited for it, and I feel close to my loved ones within that anticipation.
This is true of anything we are planning for; the excitement and shift occur as soon as we “sign up”. This is true about family visits as well as personal vacations, and it is particularly true when we say ‘Yes!’ to a personal retreat.
When we give ourselves the gift of intentional, organic time (being in nature, away from daily responsibilities, deeply reflecting and connecting), something shifts. Our nervous system settles, our perception of ourselves expands, and our tribal community grows. This happens before, during, and long after the retreat itself.
We are fortunate to be growing our RCR alumni community, connecting monthly for integration calls to anchor what we found for ourselves on retreat. This feels like sacred space, and there is little that feels more valuable.
This holiday season, perhaps consider giving the gift of time.
We hope to share some of it with you at some point!