“When you’re less reactive, you become a light in the world, contributing to less suffering and more happiness for yourself and others.” Richard Shankman
Being present is very simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. We have things to do, places to go, and distractions that divert our attention. On top of this, our mind races, fretting over things we’ve said, worrying how we’re going to get everything done, and criticizing ourselves for what we've done 'wrong.'
Presence isn't necessarily something we 'accomplish' - it's more of a way of being. When you are present, you are fully in this moment – you’re not stuck in yesterday’s events or worried about tomorrow. You’re just aware of what’s happening around and within you, right now. You’re bringing your full attention to what you’re doing or who you are with. When you’re fully present, you can see more clearly and experience life more fully.
How do you define presence?
What impacts your ability to be fully present with yourself or others?
How could being more present make a positive difference in your life?
A Practice to Try
Put everything away and sit comfortably with your eyes closed. Notice yourself sitting, just as you are.
Turn your attention to your breath for a few moments. As you have thoughts, acknowledge them and allow them to float away, naturally.
Then try this exercise in mindful breathing:
Notice how you’re feeling now? What has shifted for you?
You can practice this simple breathing technique anytime you need to return to your center and bring your presence into this moment.
Today I will be fully present to whatever happens.