Presence not Presents

…and the Lord spoke to John saying, ‘Come forth and you will receive eternal life.’ John came fifth, received a toaster and went to bed disappointed!

Ok, not really, but we could take some initiative from this…

Presence not Presents - Jennifer Barnfield - The PEPP Method

Christmas has become so materialistic and commercialised that many families can’t keep up and feel the expectation of presents and gifts to be unachievable without a rather comfortable bank account and the child’s expectation of a huge pile of presents.

I wonder what would happen if we entered January with a huge memory bank of presence instead of a house full of presents, some of which may end up unwanted?

Presence over Presents

This is by far an incredible way forwards because being present in the moment enables our brains to process situations, thoughts and visions better than watching an event on a video you made whilst you were there, half listening due to texting/Instagramming/Facebook updating etc or being on a phone call. There’s plenty of exceptions, however, I’m sure it’s possible to be present for more time than we currently are?

Distractions create insecurity in our brains because we don’t experience every moment that passes us by, therefore we can be left feeling and wondering if we missed something.

So what’s our Inspiration?

The inspiration we can take from John’s toaster is this: if we think not about the present we received but more about the thought process the giver put in, the time they spent finding, ordering or maybe even making the gift. What about the time spent wrapping the present, posting it even? The cost of postage they may have paid for or the moment they thought about your reaction upon giving it to you?

If we think about that, remaining present, knowing that someone has cared enough about us, put time in thinking about us and given something that, in a funny kind of way I guess, resembles their version of ‘love’ – maybe, just maybe, then we are able to find gratitude and thanks and also be present in the moment. That moment we received someone’s gift of ‘love’.

Start off as you mean to go on

So, let’s start off in January as we mean to go on. You can start anything at pretty much anytime, so let’s start a ‘life of presence’ now.

Did you make any new year’s resolutions?

I did, I have made the following vows…

To not look at my phone between 3pm and 7pm unless it rings, and I’ll only answer it if it’s important.

To focus on one thing at a time whilst working – I find that working from home can be very distracting knowing there’s a pile of washing somewhere that needs sorting out.

To take time out to travel and visit this country and to take a family holiday away.

Being present in today’s way of life is not easy, but it is very simple. Here are 3 simple ideas about how you can introduce presence into your life:

1) Celebrate the tiny ‘win’s’ in life.

2) Sit, walk, run outdoors and breathe deeply.

3) Be ok with not knowing the answers to everything.

4) Reflect on your day.


Being present also helps us to focus. Once a day you can use this focus to think about the abundance you have in life, whether that’s a roof over your head, food in the cupboards, neighbours that are helpful, friends and family members who care, transport for the school run or to get to work, a gym membership or a road to run on, clothes to wear and an umbrella to keep dry in the rain. The simpler the gratitude the more present we know we are becoming.

My daughter said to me in the summer, ‘Mummy, aren’t the flowers so beautiful? It’s the rain and sun that makes them like this’

Simplicity and presence is the key to living a fulfilled life of happiness.

With love and Positivity

Jennifer Barnfield

Positivity and Visualisation Practitioner