Episode 156 The Gift of Presence: Interview Rachel Reist

Episode 156 The Gift of Presence: Interview Rachel Reist

Once upon a time in a land of bounty there lived a woman who knew the difference between a Christmas present and Christmas Presence. She was one of only a few who had slowed down enough to think about the power of being with her people vs. the power of doing things and buying stuff, but the difference it made significantly changed the experiences for all around her, but especially for herself.

As a woman, she saw herself as the guardian of her family. She had learned through many years of giving away and trying to meet outward expectations, that holding space for her to be herself and for her loved ones to be themselves, created a sacred space… held a space of sacredness for being present in the most important ways.

She created traditions carefully and on purpose and as those traditions were executed and played out she didn’t rush through them, she stayed fully present and enjoyed each moment, each person, each smile, each shift in energy.

As she held the space for sacred being she remained fully present to the moment, and this changed all her experiences. She had transformed from harried and rushed with doubts and fears as her carefully planned holiday events unfolded, to a space of presence that was slower, more allowing, and and done with great purpose.

One day as she opened her home to guests who were arriving for her dinner party, she had to remind herself that being present with her friends who were soon to arrive was more important than having each hor douvre plate perfectly situation and each napkin folded. “People care more about how you make them feel, than they do about the details of a situation,” she rehearsed. She took a deep breath as the door bell rang and as each guest arrived she didn’t hurry them in, she looked in their eyes, she let them know how grateful she was they had arrived, and then after careful connection with each she opened herself to allow things to unfold as they would, whether or not the night met her expectations. For things seldom unfolded as one expected. Tonight was no exception. As the party closed down they hadn’t had enough time to do the gift exchange at the end of the night – change of plans, people would just take a gift on their way out the door. Jamie, her friend’s husband had spilled a drink on the living room carpet, and Casandra, her friend from work, had gotten into it with one of the other guests, but holding space for each of her beloved friends and being present rather than embarrassed, rushed, or disappointed allowed her to thoroughly enjoy the evening exactly as it played out. As she raised her glass in a final toast she reminded them that this dinner party had been her gift to them for the season and that rather than a present she was so grateful for the gift of their presence in her home.

What might the gift of presence look like in your life? How might being present and intentional about each thing you do this holiday season change your experience into a sacred space rather than a harried space?

Today I have a guest – Rachel Reist here, who is is a licensed clinical social worker and a Qualified Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction instructor, trained through the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Healthcare, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Her career has been devoted to working with children, adolescents, and families and she currently works at the Davis Mindfulness Center.

I want to talk about some of the principles illustrated in the story I just told – things like being vs. doing and simplifying, and the power of attunement in our personal relationships. How do we hold space for ourselves and each other?

Tune in to the audio program to hear my discussion with Rachel about being vs. doing, slowing down, and the greatest gift we can give to others and ourselves.

My wish for you this holiday season is that you will create exactly what you want. That you will have the rich moments with the people you care for and that you will be able to give things of true value – your presence, your love, and memories you’ll all cherish. Be your celebrations large or small – remember the simplifying – when we are purposeful and present we change the nature of the experience. Create your best Christmas story this year.

Don’t forget to pick up copies of my book: LIVE Living Intentional and Fearless Every day for everyone on your gift list who is a seeker for better living. For everyone who needs a little more connection, possibility and self-care in their lives. Easiest shopping ever. Just grab it on Amazon and have it delivered right to your door. It’s also a fabulous, intentional gift to start a group or a family project to do all the 21 Challenges together and share the journey of filling your lives with good things.


Loveyourstorypodcast.com has all our past episodes, you can shop for the LYS t-shirt or there is a link to Amazon to get your copy of the book.


Have a wonderful holiday my friends. I’ll see you on the first Wednesday of the new year.


About the author, Lori

Lori is the host and producer of the Love Your Story podcast, a podcast dedicated to sharing candid interviews and conversations about living our best life stories on purpose. Lori pulls no punches in capturing interviews that shine a light on how we make it through the hard stuff – stress, anxiety, suicide, eating disorders, rape, the death of children, abuse, divorce and the real stuff we have to deal with. But, she also shares interviews with Olympians and incredible athletes, life coaches, therapists, and people who are changing the world – most often these two categories are one and the same. She has a master’s degree in Folklore--her research focuses on the personal narrative. She is the author of six books and over 100 magazine and newspaper articles, including her latest, L.I.F.E. – Living Intentional and Fearless Every Day. She consults with individuals on a personal and business level in helping them find their stories, reframe the ones that are holding them back, and manage the stories they currently tell themselves in order to create the story they personally want to live.

Leave a Comment