Presence – An essential evolutionary practice.
For those of you that know me, it may come as no surprise to hear me declare and expound upon (at length!) my dedication to the expansion of human potential and evolution of human consciousness. I believe that those of us who are in roles that assist people to grow and develop have an obligation to continually be evolving our own selves and effectively ‘walking our talk’.
A critical piece of my own personal and professional mission is to continually deepen to my own self development, and from there, extend the tools and practices I find valuable to my fellow leaders, coaches facilitators, educators, healers who are leading the way for others. I believe this kind of self work is beneficial to our own evolution and ultimately supports the evolution of all life.
I have found that the more present, centered and grounded we are, the more balanced we feel, and the better we are able to perceive and respond harmoniously (rather than react) to whatever situation we might find ourselves in. Ultimately, this state allows us to be better equipped to assist our clients to reach their highest potential and to experience a sense of wholeness.
To be effective and of service to ourselves and others, one of the most important things we can do is begin by being grounded, centered and present. Indeed, the evolution of our consciousness depends greatly on our ability to be present, open and relaxed in the ‘here and now’, regardless of what is happening around us.
Practices that support us to be present, centered and grounded take us outside our daily routine to create a space beyond the experience of doing and into a recognition of, and relationship with, our being.
This state allows us to connect more deeply to life and to our own inner guidance. It also allows us the opportunity to experience more relaxation and flow, which is conducive to healing body, mind, spirit and emotions.
Experiencing this kind of true presence requires us to release any thoughts (and the accompanying emotions) of past and future and tune in to what is now. It also requires us to “be” with what is, even if that means experiencing and observing that which is uncomfortable.
One of the most profound ways to release old patterns and conditioning that no longer serves is by simply observing (being with) the uncomfortable feelings and emotions coming up in the body. We feel them, experience them fully and ultimately let them pass. Without attaching or identifying with these experiences we are able to transcend and move beyond these old reactions and free ourselves up to experience the gift offered by the present.
Another gift is that any pleasant life experience you are having in the moment is improved the more able you are to ‘be there’ and truly experience and enjoy the wonders of life, in a fully associated state – the ultimate gift of true presence.
How do we make this possible for ourselves? Here are some key ways that I have found to keep myself on track over time:
One of the easiest ways to stay present, centered and grounded in the moment is to connect with, and stay with the breath. In challenging moments, breathe in 1…2…3…4…5 and then out 1…2…3…4…5. Fully follow this, and let all other thoughts coming and going fall away, until the mind comes to a place of rest. If necessary, it can also be useful to focus on one positive thought that inspires love, gratitude, appreciation or some other positive emotion in you.
Intend to do it. Setting a powerful intention guides our attention, and what we attend to, we get more of. Affirmations such as: “I am relaxed, grounded and present the moment now”, or “Just for this moment, I allow myself the gift of fully experiencing here and now” are examples of inner mantras that can keep us on track – especially in challenging moments.
Cultivate your own self awareness and observation capacities. This requires practice over time, so that the habit becomes our default tendency. For those of you who are interested, I encourage you to download my free information sheet called “10 Practices to Empower your Presence.” which offers simple ways to cultivate presence and mindfulness day by day, moment by moment.
You can get a copy here: http://kimleischner.com/free-guide
How do you practice staying present? What have you noticed about the relationship between presence and the quality of the space you are holding yourself and for others? I would love to hear your reflections on this topic!