Acknowledging and Appreciating a Friend’s and Your Own Essence

EssenceFor almost two years, I’ve had an accountability partner, Lara Simmons. We speak every Friday for about 20 minutes, though sometimes we have longer conversations and sometimes shorter ones. Through the support from each other, we’ve worked on our books, arts, blogs, challenges, and successes. On the first day of Chanukah, I opened my apartment door, to find an envelope from her. She lives in Seattle and we have yet to meet in person. Inside the envelope, there were eight carefully wrapped gifts to be opened one a day. I was filled with joy and love. Lara put so much effort and love into the gifts that made me overcome with emotions. I was on my way out, and when I got back I sent her an email, unsure if words could represent what I was feeling, and how much her gesture touched my heart.

Each day I waited for the evening with anticipation to open the next gift, trying to guess what was inside based on what she wrote in each numbered note. For example, gift 4 said “Because it always helps”, and I figured it was a chocolate bar, and it was! The last one, though, I had assumed it was a writing notepad for new creative projects, but it was a sketch pad, and it made me giggle. All of them had a deeper meaning, which can only come from someone who listens, who is present during conversations, who recognizes the essence of being, and who takes the time to care and appreciate someone’s truth and essence. I felt seen and heard.

How about you? Have you gotten a chance to spend some time with someone and truly listen, even if for only a few minutes a week? Do you know someone so well that you could come up with 8 gifts to give them (no need to get anything expensive), that could make their day, week or life?

I invite you during this holiday season to consider a few people in your life that you have taken the time to truly know over the years. What gifts could you make or buy for them that would make them feel that they matter, that there is someone out there who values them, their expression, their humanity, their authenticity? Could you imagine how that would make them feel? Why not take some time and do it? You will have so much to gain with the knowing that you impacted someone in their core. It might create a ripple effect of others giving and receiving love.

I encourage you to do the same for yourself. If you imagine you were your best friend, and you truly knew what makes you giggle, what makes you feel loved, what makes you know that you matter, how would you acknowledge it? What kind of gift could you hand craft or buy that would show your being that you know how much you matter, and that you honor all parts of you? What gifts will acknowledge to your soul that you are familiar with your own essence?

The gifts I received were carefully chosen, and it made me appreciate Lara and our connection even more. It also made me see myself and my soul from her eyes, and if I may say so, I like what I see. Offer that gift to you and to someone else you know. And let the year end in a beautiful and impactful note.

I’d be happy to hear what gifts you came up with for you and/or a friend.

May this holiday season be filled with love, self-love, light, your essence, magic and miracles.


Elisa Balabram

PS. If all else fails, buy chocolate. Lara and I agree… it always helps.

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