|“If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.” ― Lao Tzu|
What is “Presence”?
We define presence as being fully aware of what is happening with yourself – and whoever or whatever you are interacting with – in the present moment. Having all of your attention and awareness focused on what is going on in any given moment in time. It requires a high level of self awareness to be fully present. It is a skill that can be honed and amplified.
Why is it so powerful?
The more present you are, the more of your energy is available to you in that moment. The greater your level of awareness. The greater your level of focus and your ability to choose how you want to respond … To be happy or sad… Angry or peaceful… To engage or walk away… To let go or hold on… To buy or sell… To contract or expand… To act now or wait… etc. etc.
Your power to consciously choose is your greatest source of freedom!
Unfortunately, the more negative judgements we have about ourselves, others, a situation, or the world – the harder it is to be fully present with it all. That’s why we tend to distract ourselves, split our attention and focus and diminish our presence and power. The beautiful thing is, we can change this.
Here’s one clients story…“As I move into my 4th week of self-isolation, I have a heightened awareness of the beauty, and the pain, of spending an inordinate amount of time with myself. Living by myself, the only real distraction from being fully present with myself is my dog, Scout.
I’ve recognized what I love about myself and the parts with which I am less enamored. In a nutshell, I have become more aware of who I am and how I act — AND I am learning to just BE – more present with and more accepting of these different facets of me.
To recognize some of what I love and what I don’t love about me isn’t new — having the presence to see them and to accept them without judgement is.
When I first started working with Helen, I was at a very different point in my life, I was starting to come out of a complete ‘unraveling’ of my life. I had literally walked away from a career, a relationship, moved half way across the country and was just starting to peak my head out of the shell I had chosen.
I had recognized a lot of “stuff” that no longer served me — behaviors, ideas, expectations. I didn’t know what I wanted but I was really clear about what I didn’t want. I decided to come to an intensive and my life has been a whirlwind of change since then. In the last year and a half, I have moved twice, walked out on a job, been hired, promoted and quit a job that I thought 8 months ago I would love.
In that time, I have refined my ability to be present with all the choices I have made and continue to make. I have asked for help — by attending intensives and choosing to be a part of a group of people who are on a similar journey. I have learned that my mind has many ways to try and keep me safe. Not all of them truly help or serve me, Shame, Blame, Judgement are 3 big ones that come out of fear. In learning to be with myself, and owning my choices without blaming myself or shaming myself and learning to release judgement, I have a greater sense of who I am and what I want.
Each time I choose, I have an opportunity to refocus, refine, enhance what I want and who I am. This allows me to be even more present for me and it spills over to being more present with other people I encounter too.
What I have found is that I can more easily shift my perceptions and release judgements or expectations (lovely names for the past and the future) and accept what is.
The power of presence is recognizing that I have all the control and none of the control – I have total control of the choices I make and no control on how others respond to those choices.
When I am present, I make choices that resonate with me and my truth and I release all the judgement surrounding it. I accept what is in all it’s glory, pain and uncertainty.
And that for me is the power of presence. It isn’t a destination, it is a way of being that allows me to take in what I have created and then choose again.
The power of presence gives me confidence to trust in myself and the recognition that when I am true to my self I am living my most authentic life.”