How present are you in your own life?
Are you present to the world around you? How about the people around you? How present are you to your acquaintances, to your loved ones, to yourself?
We’re all capable of being present, at least some of the time.
Even before I started working at this stuff in a serious way, I was often able to be present when I needed to. But sometimes, even these days, I find myself drifting off or forgetting that I’m here.
Presence oscillates. Sometimes it’s here, sometimes it fades a little. I don’t even think we’re built to be present 100% of the time.
But to be present just a little more? We all have room for that. Actually, once you get into the habit of trying to be more present you’ll find your capacity is pretty great. To notice you’ve been absent and gently welcome yourself back is a nice start.
For me, being present means feeling grounded in your body. It means being receptive to the person, or people, in front of you. A big part of being present means being aware of what’s going on in your heart: do you feel tender right now? a little closed off? what are you noticing in there?
We all want to feel more whole, more sane. We all want to feel that we belong. In moments of presence and quiet I start to believe we are all more whole, more sane than we think we are. I certainly believe we all belong.
A Matter Of Kindness
I used to think being present was a matter of trying hard, and wrestling with countless, urgent thoughts. And if you’re thinking that too, I want you to know–it’s not about that.
I used to think no matter how much I meditated, or tried to be mindful, that I was never doing enough. That I wasn’t devoted enough, or smart enough to ever get it. These days I’m so much kinder towards myself because I know that’s all untrue. It’s not true about me, and it’s not true about you either.
Sometimes it’s simply enough to hear birdsong outside your window and remember, “Oh, it’s Spring.”
What does being present mean to you?