“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!