In my last post I discussed the importance of being present with yourself during change. There are three elements of the self for which such presence is important: the mind, the body, and the heart. This week I will focus on mental presence; I will cover the others in the coming two weeks.
We all know that mental presence is important. And, almost without exception, we have each in our own ways tried to cultivate it at some time or another. Perhaps it was meditation. It may have been daily reminders, or periodic alerts on our computer/tablet/smart phone. Journaling is a mindfulness practice for some. Then there are the times when we end up “in the zone;” time—and the world—disappear as we focus fully, presently, on a particular person or activity. For me, this most often occurs when I am either writing or photographing.
And, we all know how easy it is to lose that presence of mind. The project that is running behind schedule; making sure the kids have the clothing they need for this weekend’s event; the disagreement with our best friend. The future and the past often seem to want to control our minds, leaving no room for being present with ourselves or anyone else.
Yet, there are people who always seem to be present. When you are “in their presence,” you know you are in their presence—there is no other world for them outside the space the two of you occupy. But as much as I wish to be that person, and I am still working on it, that is not always me. Nor, most likely, is it you. If you are like me, we learned long ago how to be “not present.” Learning to be present takes lessons, and practice. [Read more…]