When we are at our best in any given moment, we open ourselves to a vulnerability that not only gives others an experience, it also co-creates an interaction between ourselves and others.  It is in this intentional presence, that we participate in the most basic of human desires – to share ourselves.

One of the gifts of the holidays, is the intentional gatherings of: family, friends, co-workers, and communities. We gather to be present with one another. We can never be certain this time is just another annual gathering, or the last.

Last Thanksgiving, my wife and I celebrated with only one of our four children – Tony. It was just the three of us. He was about to finish his undergraduate work at UC Santa Cruz in December. It was a beautiful sunny day and we took a hike down to the beach in Laguna. Being a waterman, Tony was the only one to venture into the ocean in late November. It was such a pleasure to watch him enjoying himself in the chilly waters. What we didn’t know at the time, was that this would be our last Thanksgiving with him. He died unexpectedly in June at the age of 23. We honor him at We miss his spirited presence.

Presence is when we are being and doing ourselves – intentionally. I believe it is simply the greatest gift we can ever share with one another. I am grateful for all the folks that have shared their journey with me as we co-created moments in our shared lives. I will always believe that I was the greatest beneficiary of the experience.

So, as we intentionally gather with one another, I invite you to reflect on and share what you have received from others along your life journey. Celebrate the ongoing invitation to give and receive with one another as if this is the only moment you have. Be the presence of you at your very best. There may not be any greater gift to both give and receive.