“What should I get him?”
“I have no idea what to buy her.”
I think that if we could see people’s thoughts, bobbing over their (our) heads, this week, there would be a whole lot of these sentences.
Yes, there are so many choices and yet, what if we mess up? What if we totally miss the mark and disappoint someone - while wasting money?
Yesterday, I heard someone close to me pretty much express how much he wished to bypass the whole darn thing and wake up when it’s over.
Which I get. And yet... yet. What about the lights? The music? The trees? The food? And what about ... the love? Are we going to shrink all of this away because we are afraid to mess up on gift buying?
Come on. We can do better.
As I myself ponder the universal questions, I am reminded of a great little tool that will make the whole thing much easier. And I am excited to share it with you, as I think it may help you, too.
The trick is to switch from Form to Essence. Then to flip back to Form.
I know it’s not the usual way to do things, but man oh man does it work...
If you have not taken my Essence vs Form class, this may sound like a crazy jumble - which is something you don’t need right now. Please stick with me. I am going to make it super simple.
You see, we are used to thinking in Form, especially when it comes to gift buying. A Form is something which we can touch, or purchase. So, a car is a Form. So is a necklace and so is a book.
An Essence usually comes in “feeling words.” For instance: Adventure, Calm, Growth, Pleasure, Play, Discovery...
For today, that’s all you need to know about this.
Now, here comes the process:
Think about what Essence you would like to lavish upon someone. Specifically, ask yourself this question: How does this person like to feel? Then let the Essences show up. Do they like to feel Playful? Do they like to feel surrounded by Beauty? Do they like to feel a sense of Growth? Comfort? The list is endless (and if you need inspiration, you can order a deck of my Essence Cards) and it is actually quite fun to explore.
Do this for several people, and jot down their Essences, next to their names.
Now, we are going to do something called :”Flipping the Essence.”
Look at the Essences you have listed and think about several Forms that would make a good fit for each one, for each person - and for your budget. There will be many Forms available for each Essence. Some of them will work and some will not, which is fun.
Name Essence Form
Suzie Beauty a print
a monthly flower subscription
Peter Adventure a gift certificate to REI
a memoire of an adventurer
a subscription to a targeted magazine
Jane Comfort a throw
a selection of teas
a lavender rice bag
You get the idea.
For me, this shifts the process from overwhelm to a form of intimacy. By honing in on the Essence of the people whom I want to gift, I am already involved in the loveliness of getting closer to them - which is a gift for me. Next, I get to pick the Forms that work, which is much more like an intentional treasure hunt than a chore.
So, that’s what I’ll be doing these next few days.
I would love to hear your thoughts!
Essential Happiness Retreat
January 10 to 20, 2019
Guadeloupe, French Caribbean
"Thank you for sharing your wonderful, heartbreaking, exhilarating experience with the world."
"Thank You Laura for sharing, for teaching and spreading loving kindness. "
"I think I love you. You bring good things into my life, or remind me of things I love and know, but have let go of."
"Laura, you are so good for me. I laugh and sniffle and get the shivers when I read your essays. Thanks so much for letting all your wonderfulness run around loose."
"Heart-achingly beautiful, your words and how you reveal your truth."
"Thank you so much for who you are and what you share with the world. Your mere being transforms lives as it has transformed mine. This particular post did to my heart what water does to parched soil."
"Thank you for your gentle words that are packed full of wisdom. I have been struggling with the concept of what words can do to another person when they are negative words. Your words are the flip side of our word power, and shows how delightfully powerful kind words can be. Thank you."
"Once again Laura Lavigne takes you on an adventure of the heart. She has a way of pulling you right in the car with her. Asking you to consider changing a fear to taking thoughtful action. Whether she's teaching a class, leading a retreat or heading for a happiness sprinkling, Laura will invite you to shed old ways of thinking and be completely authentic. Join in!"
"Essentially pure love.
I enjoy how Laura is kind to herself and to us other humans who dance in and out of each other's lives. "
"Don't miss a post!
You can count on Laura for warmth, humor, charm, and a lift to your day and your heart. She inspires me to be braver than I am, and to love the world out loud. She's a gem, and a generous one at that!"
I write because this is the way I am able to taste life more deeply.