Have I told you about Simon?
Simon is the one who inspired/compelled me to start Wild and Good.
We met in Sydney in 2008. Broad, brave and loud, his smile was as big as the sun, his laugh like a Mexican wave of joy, his club floor clearing dance-offs legendary.
Every day with Simon was about happiness.
Pure, genuine, uplifting happiness. Strangers were drawn to him like desert animals to an oasis.
He could do high octane and he could do cozy and genuine warmth shone through every second.
But the greatest gift he gave? Presence.
When you spoke to Simon, one on one, it was as if the entire world had dissolved around you. Nothing existed for him in those moments of communication except for you. It was not an intensity, more a gentle and entire focus. His whole being listened to you; every cell of his body was engaging with what you had to say.
It is difficult to describe, because it is the rarest of gifts. It is not too far-fetched to call it a moment of blessing.
You know when people casually, mostly ironically, say: ‘Oh, you’re gracing us with your presence?’ We actually were graced with Simon’s presence, and every one of us who shared stories with him, loved and laughed with him, are entirely changed because of it.
Simon lived bright and bold for two years after being diagnosed with brain cancer. Shortly before he passed on to his next life of sheer awesomeness, he sent me a message saying he was beating cancer and, when he was clear, he was going to travel the world on speaking tours sharing how he achieved his victory – oh, and enjoying epic parties and sleeping with hot women. Could I be his NZ rep? Hell, yes! There is no doubt in my mind he is still here in some way, putting those dreams into action.
So this Christmas, if there is one thing I wish to honour Simon’s life with, it is by offering the gift of presence.
Amongst the noise and hub bub of the festive season, with all its accompanying presents, it can be easy for us to feel scattered, stressed and as if we are skating through, fuelled by cheese, crackers and bucks fizz, not really engaging deeply with anyone.
What if we gave each other and our selves Christmas presence instead?
One simple way to do this is to listen. This Christmas, I will try to listen.
To listen to family and friends while they talk with me, even if it seems low key and throwaway; to listen to the messages within what they say to see if there is any way I can serve them better; to clear space so that I can listen to my own inner voice more calmly and compassionately; and to revel in listening to the subtle sounds of this world and the others.
Simon wrote to me once, “You live in another world, a magical world.”
I believe we all do and I want to share that, our beauty and our uniqueness.
I want to share his.
If this post resonates with you, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
How will you give presence this Christmas? By listening to others, by spending time alone or in some other way?
Are there practical ways you can help yourself towards this like turning your phone off during family events or writing an extra something you love about somebody in their Christmas card?
And, lastly, who or what in your life will you honour and in what way, as the year ends and a new one begins?
I’d love to share with you by email too. I read and respond to every single one I get.
Yours in presence and uplifting joy! xxx