There are so many mixed emotions we may have during this season–perhaps it’s sorrow because of loss of loved ones who won’t be joining us, excitement as we search for the perfect gifts, anticipation as we look forward to holiday gatherings and even a sense of exhaustion, when we are trying to make everything that happens “perfect.” It is times like this that we can lose track of “beingness”–that of being present in the moment. But, being present in the moment is the only way to assure happiness. Thich Nhat Hahn, a renowned Buddist monk, “Mindfulness is the miracle by which we master and restore ourselves.” His words ring true as we are all bustling around and trying to meet impossible deadlines this time of year. He said, “Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts. Whenever your mind becomes scattered, use your breath as a means to take a hold of your mind again.” Eckhart Tolle, a well-known author, stated, “All negativity is caused by an accumulation of psychological time and denial of the present. Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry…all forms of fear…are caused by too much future and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness and all forms of nonforgiveness are caused by too much past and not enough presence. ” This season, give yourself…and others…the gift of presence. It is a gift that captures the sacredness of our lives.