Do you feel like being more present would work absolute wonders for you? For your career? Your relationships? How much you can get done in a given day? Does it feel like your practice of being fully present is like a band-aid that can get easily ripped off in the moment?
There’s a key to being more present that you won’t lose when you get rattled. It’s a way to be more present that’ll stick with you consistently. I’m going to show you a practice that you can do to become increasingly and consistently present.
Presence seems like it’s about focus. And, in some ways it is. But there’s a missing link between what you might think will bring you more presence, and what really brings you the presence you’ve been desiring.
Have you noticed that the things that help you with presence don’t actually help in all circumstances? Maybe you’re great at focusing when you’re at work, but then when you’re with your family you can’t stop thinking about work.
What I’ve found that grows our presence is what we least expect. We think we have to focus on presence itself. But what I believe is that we also have to focus on what presence isn’t.
I’m going to say that again. Though we think we have to focus on presence itself (and focus is important and there’s a parallel there), what really, really, really brings us to greater presence is focusing on what is not presence, or what kicks us out of presence.
Maybe, for example, you meditate, but you wonder why it doesn’t last all day. You might meditate in the morning and by noon or 3:00 PM you don’t feel as centered and grounded as you did when you completed your meditation practice. Or maybe there are some days that are just harder for you to be present than others. Perhaps you’ve decided that’s normal. But what if there’s a different way to stay that present all day?
Now, why in the world would it important to focus on what is not presence? Why wouldn’t you only focus on the thing you want? Isn’t focusing on the thing you don’t want creating the thing you don’t want?
It depends upon how you focus on what you don’t want. I’m not saying to think about it a lot and mull over the fear and the possible downsides. What I’m talking about is focus mean focus in its pure form.
What this means is going towards the thing towards the thing that is kicking you out of your presence. Whatever it is that’s keeping you from being present. Go there, allow your attention, allow yourself to be there and allow your attention there. Be With it, sit in it, love it and love it all.
You don’t need to know what that is. Go to what you are experiencing, to what you can be aware of in your experience. So if it’s numbness, for example, experience your numbness. Like really just experience the numbness. Experience the lack of what you’re feeling. Breathe into it.
Maybe it’s fear. Go to the fear, experience the fear, breathe into it.
If it’s distraction, go to your body. Sit In what’s underneath the distraction if you stay there. Even if you think that you don’t know – and you may not know right away. In fact, you probably won’t know right away because distraction is a very powerful tool that our subconscious mind is playing to not be present with a feeling or an emotion.
But if you stay there in that space of, “Oh wait, I’ve been feeling distracted.” You go into you and you stay there with intention and with love, you’re going to find it. You’re going to find what’s underneath the distraction, whether it’s a conscious awareness of it or simply a feeling and a sensation that breaks up and breaks away.
So what creates presence? The kind of fullness of presence that we’re talking about? The kind of presence that’s consistent, that stays with you, that allows you to be in a challenging situation or be in the face of someone else’s fear and still be present. Or that allows you to move in and out of situations. Now you’re at home. Now you’re with your family. The kind of presence that allows you to just be present no matter what. What is required for that? What creates that presence is dissolving what keeps you from being present. I’m going to say that again. What creates the true presence that we’re talking about – the fullness of presence – is a is dissolving of what keeps you from being present.
It’s introducing Alchemy to your presence.
Here’s the basic gist of what alchemy is. Alchemy is essentially dissolving some form of matter – and in this case we’re talking about something in your DNA – from what it was into something entirely different, that far better serves you. Essentially, it’s shifting the stuff that was never really you to become more of who you really are. And the shadow, the wound, the fear, the belief system that wasn’t serving you, that old ingrained tendency to make yourself wrong, that’s what stops you from being present. And going there and being with it will help you dissolve what’s been stopping you. It will help you dissolve what holds you back from presence.
You can’t dissolve what’s preventing you from being present by forcing focus or feigning happiness. You do get to choose, it’s true. You get to choose. But presence is a choice to be committed to what’s true to what’s really true for you. You’re making a choice by being present. You’re making a choice to be present with yourself.
Being present with yourself means honoring what is – not forcing it, but allowing it.
What changes when you approach presence by honoring what’s there for you, is that you dissolve the thing that’s in the way of being present. What happens is you become an expanded version of you.
You’re able to hold more. You become more genuinely, truly powerful – like the kind of power that your soul knows is real power.
You can handle more throughout your day, throughout your life, with ease.
You can hold more space for yourself and for others.
You organically relax into the moment you. You’re not rocked by things that happen, and challenges start to feel easy.
Alchemy creates true presence. And anything else is a forced band-aid of presence.
So I invite you; this is your invitation to go to the thing that is not your presence; to stand and the thing that kicks you out of presence.
It will take a minute. It’ll take some adjustment because your psyche is used to keeping you safe. Your mind is used to going towards the thing that it fears.
Presence isn’t just something that we develop on a meditation cushion or a yoga mat. I definitely advise for those things; those things can be very supportive. But alchemy creates the true presence. It creates the version of your presence that allows you to be a powerful leader; that allows you to show up fully for yourself and for the life that you desire to have, to be, to create, etc.
Now it’s your turn. Tell me in the comments what your intentions are for deeper presence. How do you intend for fuller and deeper presence to support you in your career, your relationships, your life, for your well-being? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.