Today we’re going to talk about presence. What is presence? And why do I want to talk to you about presence? Presence is the quality of attention to the moment…to yourself, to your body, to another person, to your child, to your spouse, to whoever you are with…or to your breath, to the nature that surrounds you. It’s a quality of attention to whatever is right there. It’s about being completely and exactly where you are not lost in your thinking, not lost with your thoughts, trying to think about what’s going to happen tomorrow, or to rewrite the past and whatever you’ve done before…or how you could have done it differently.
Presence is actually a moment where thoughts can come and go, but you are not following them. You’re just right where you are. What does it change in your life to learn to be present and to learn to practice this presence?
Presence, as I say, is a quality of attention. So, you might have often heard that it’s not the quantity that makes the most important that is the most important it is to quality. And we might have never really understood what it meant. And what it means is exactly this. It doesn’t matter how much time you spend with your child or your spouse or your friends, or even at work, if you are not really present in what you’re doing. Because if you’re not really there, it’s like you were not there physically. You can sometimes spend a long, long time with someone, but not being there because maybe you’re on your phone, or you’re lost in your thoughts, and it’s a different quality because energetically we can feel the difference. When you’re thinking, when you’re in your mind – or when you’re really there with the person – and even when you speak to someone or when you listen…if you already think about what you’re going to say or if you already interpret what they’re saying…if you already think you know what they’re gonna say next, instead of truly listening to them, instead of truly being with them, deeply listen, feel it, there’s a different quality of attention. That’s there, the different energy that’s present. You know, sometimes if you’re a woman, you might be doing the dishes or preparing dinner cooking, and your child or your spouse come and says, ‘Oh, can I tell you something?’ And you say, Yeah, sure. And they’re speaking, and you listen to them, but at the same time, you’re cooking or you’re busy with something. And if you pay attention, you’re going to certainly start to see that you’re not really listening. Because you cannot pay attention to two things in the same moment, you cannot really be present in those two things.
So if you’re a man, you might be busy doing something in your garage, and your wife comes and says, ‘Oh, I would like to talk to you about this.’ And then at the end, she says, ‘Did you hear me? Did you listen to me?’ And it might annoy you when she says That. But she asks only the question because she knows that you focused on something else, and you’re not really listening to what she’s saying.
So that’s that’s exactly what it is about. It’s about neither doing something good or bad, right or wrong. It’s really about learning to give the quality to your life that you really want to give. It’s about really being with the person you are with, it’s about being completely focused on the task you’re doing. And what would that change? What for example, if you’re working, you’re going to see that the more present you are, the more time you gain.
Presence is actually when you are completely immersed in the present moment. And the present moment is a moment out of time. So when you are in the present moment when you are present and completely focused, what happens is that you lose track of time. And by losing track of time you become out of time, and therefore you’re not concerned with time anymore. And you’re going to see that you gain time. You only lose time, waste time or run out of time when you’re in time, and are very concerned with time. So the more you can step into the present moment, the more you’re going to see that you have more time than what you ever thought before.
Another thing is that if you are with your spouse or girlfriend, boyfriend or your child or anybody, any member of your team, you’re going to see that the more present you are with them, to them, to what they see, the more attentive you are, the less of you they need. You could even say that sometimes you might feel like they are needing you a lot, or calling on you a lot. Or maybe sometimes being difficult, or we could say, needy or these kinds of things. And it’s actually, probably, if you look where you are at in these moments, you can see that most likely you’re not present. So you could be with them, but you’re not really there. And so what they are calling for is your presence. It’s you to come to this present moment and to get out of your head and what you’re doing and to be really with them. That quality of attention. That quality of relationship will actually change the nature of what you share together and with each other, which means that you’re going to have the opportunity to spend more real, quality time together. They will then be asking less for more of you, or asking less questions or wanting your help for less, because you’re going to give them what they really are really asking for, what they really want, which is presence. Everybody, whether we know it or not, is actually calling for that. And in moments where there is an insecurity or unsafety, or turbulence or turmoil or difficult time or conflict, what is important and what you can do to change the quality of the nature of what’s happening, is really just asking yourself this question: Where am I at right now? Am I present to this person? If you are, then maybe there’s something else going on and you can really question them. But if you’re really honest and that you see that you’re not really there with them, you’re not really listening to them, or you’re on your phone or you’re doing something else or thinking and preparing in your mind. What’s next. Then stop it. Come back to your body. For example, the sensation of your body sitting on the couch, or connecting with your feet on the ground. Or if you’re walking pay attention to your pace, how your feet are on the ground, and how you make every step. And you’re going to start to feel more relaxed, and more and more there. And you’re going to see that most likely, they will change the nature of their state of mind. Why is that?
Well there isn’t really something or someone outside of ourselves, whatever we’re going through and whatever is reflected outside of us is a reflection of where we are at within ourselves. Everybody is like a mirror of our own state of mind. So the more present you’re going to be, the more you’re going to attract that real presence. And the more you also are sometimes going to offer space for anyone going through a tough time to just feel really received, feel really loved, cared for.
They are important because one of the things that presence brings is that because you are really with this person, they can also really sit down, and really relax, rest, let go and that is very, very important because we so rarely have this opportunity. And sometimes just by ourselves, if we have had a lot of traumas or time in our life, it’s difficult just by yourself to settle or to rest, because we don’t feel safe. So the more you’re going to be able to share this presence and offer this presence to someone, the more without even wanting to help them, you’re going to really help them heal all that because they’re going to feel loved and important in a way they might have never felt that before.
So, how can presence change your life? Well, it will change it completely. It will give you the quality of relationship that you might have always been looking for. It will give you more energy, far less stress, you will gain in time, you will gain focus, your job will also gain in quality because you will be more focused and therefore, you will gain momentum and inspiration. Also, you will be more creative, you will be more able to listen to your intuition or inner voice and therefore, you can be led from another place within yourself – a place of wisdom – because it’s what your inner voice is about…tuning into the wisdom that’s always present within you.
So, how can you start practicing presence? Well, you could start by taking five minutes morning, lunch and dinner for example, before eating, it’s a great thing to do because you’ve just learned to be present before you eat. What’s going to happen is that you’re going to eat also differently. You’re going to feel less hungry, you’re going to eat in a slower way, and you’re going to also be more present to your food.
So, you could take five minutes to just sit, feel your butt on the couch or the chair you’re on.
Close your eyes and breathe.
Take a very deep breath.
And just realize that you’re right here.
Sitting on your chair, feeling the sensation of the sitting on the chair.
And keep your attention there for a while.
And every time that your thoughts are going back. Now trying to get you on track again, just step back, don’t follow them. And come back to the sensation of the sitting on the chair or the feet on the ground. And practice that more and more every day, three times five minutes, just to become acquainted with this beautiful quality of presence to yourself. Because you cannot truly be with someone else if you’re not with yourself too. You cannot truly love if you don’t give that love to yourself. Presence is about unconditionally loving. Be there and you’re going to see that the more you practice that for you, for others, or in your job, the more your life will improve. And I would love for you to give comments, or write down, what changed from you being present? How did your life improve?
Thank you so much, and I look forward to being with you next time. Have an amazing time.