I am still not quite finished with my holiday shopping.  I have a few more gifts to purchase this week, and sometimes this late in the game I am starting to get a bit exhausted with the process of deciding what is the right gift, completing the purchase, and then wrapping and preparing for the give-away.  I fight the slacker in me that wants to just get it done and who is willing to cut corners so that I can hunker down with a good book and begin my holiday hibernation.  I hear from others that they too sometimes feel like it all can get to be too much; finding the perfect gift that will be well used and loved by those who receive it.  I love gift giving and it made me sad yesterday to realize I was letting my attitude get in the way of giving my best.  But what really stopped me in my tracks, was the realization that this attitude sometimes extends beyond those last few holiday gifts.  Sometimes I bail on giving my very best gifts because I run out of steam.

This awareness had been building inside me all week, the seed of which was planted during a coaching call earlier.  I have this amazing client who I have been coaching for six months, and recently I have experienced this strange phenomena  where whatever she is working on becomes a profound lesson for me too.  She was sharing this idea of how important it is to be clear about which situations must be seen as critical moments to make a significant impact.  It isn’t that it was a new idea exactly, but coupled with my holiday exhaustion blues it caused me to pause.  I had this OMG moment when I realized that I am letting moments go by that I should be taking a bit more seriously.  I am letting myself get caught in the minutia of the end of the year drill and not taking the best gifts I have to offer, and serving them up to create an extraordinary moment.  And if this is happening now, how often does it play itself out during the rest of the year?

I know myself, and I am a big doer from way back.  It’s easy to let the million things on my to-do list get in the way of stepping back and then stepping in with the best I have to offer.  Don’t misunderstand my message here; it is not about being on the naughty list and looking for a way to correct my behavior.  I don’t intend to dwell on my past shortcomings but I do plan to use this insight to propel me into the future.  My holiday gift to you is to ask you to join me in remembering now and in the New Year to:

  • Be present to what is most important now
  • Listen to and care for your body…without it you can’t do what you are meant to
  • Recognize and fully use your unique gifts and talents (if not you than whom?)
  • Live your purpose in 2014

Happy Holidays and Warm Wishes for a prosperous New Year!

If you like this blog, I think you will like my book The Cycle of Transformation. Available now!
Deb Siverson is a seasoned executive coach, certified as a PCC through the International Coach Federation. If you want to schedule time to discuss how you or your organization can increase engagement by having a different conversation at work, contact us now.


All I Want for Christmas

My husband asked me over the weekend what I wanted for Christmas.  I hemmed and hawed, scratched my head, and came up empty.  I did what I sometimes do when caught off-guard, I began thinking out loud.  Sadly, I described everything I didn’t want.  I could tell he was quickly losing interest in the conversation, if that’s what you can call a one sided dialogue of me wracking my brain to come up with what I might like to find (or not) under the tree this year.

I considered the typical things like perfume, jewelry, a massage (this did wrestle for my attention for a brief moment), but nothing really jumped out and captured my interest.  “Honestly, I can’t think of a single thing that I just have to have,” I said.  Then I wondered, is my holiday spirit MIA this year?  I hate it when that happens.

Over the past few years, I have found myself getting less excited about baking, candy making, Christmas letters, and loading up the Christmas tree with brightly wrapped gifts.  I worry sometimes that I have slid into the bah-hum-bug category of people.  For years now I have been telling my husband that what I want to create this Christmas is simple, quiet-time, to sit by the fire and read a book to the sound of Johnny Mathis singing I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas on the stereo.  And every year, though I have gradually shed many of the crazy Christmas trappings, it still somewhat eludes me.

This year my feelings about Christmas are heavily impacted by reading in the paper that unemployment is over 10% (and we all know it is much higher than that when you count all the folks that are underemployed or have just given up!), or that our national debt is going up another half a trillion dollars, or that it is becoming increasingly more difficult for the middle class to have access to a college education, or even medical insurance.  It makes it hard to want to be frivolous when so many people are struggling.  Some would say we can fix it if we spend, spend, spend, but my heart just isn’t in it.

What do I want for Christmas this year?   The obvious of course, I want Peace on Earth but we all know the only way I can have that is if I find it within my own heart.  I want my daughter to have a healthy and easy delivery of my new granddaughter in early 2011.  I want BJ’s knee to heal completely so he can get back to doing what he loves, playing soccer.  I want my husband to feel strong and capable again, after the loss he experienced this year.  I want…I want…I want.

And then earlier today I read on page 94 in the December edition of Fast Company about a $25 gift idea.  It is called the “No Mo” Chemo party and it is given to celebrate the completion of one of the young patient’s chemotherapy at St. Jude Children’s research hospital.  And then I knew exactly what I wanted.  I want to give a “No Mo” chemo party.  I want to celebrate life this Christmas!  I want to dance, and love, and rejoice in hope.  And I want to help a deserving child at St. Jude Hospital celebrate too.

For more information on how you can donate $25 and provide a No Mo Chemo party CLICK HERE.


Below is a video of a No Mo Chemo Party.