The Practice of Staying Present


Being present means being in touch with yourself, with your mind, with your emotions, with what is happening in your body. This is the way to understand what is real, what you want, what you need, how to care for yourself, how to create what you want, how to weave ideas and elements together. It’s a practice that opens doors for growth and greater abundance, one that allows you to perceive new possibilities, to see what is here for you, to expand your capacity, to open channels, to make choices and decide actions.

Being present to yourself is the best way I know to not get lost in everyone else’s expectations, needs, feelings, and plans. The best way to find your voice and say for sure what you do and do not want. To create and hold boundaries and to advocate for yourself.

This is a practice. A habit. A mindset. You simply set the intention to be present. And you notice when you have wandered away, and then come back to yourself. Meditation, breath work and guided imagery can help to incorporate this practice into daily life. Daily practice strengthens our internal connection and makes calm presence possible when we need it most in high stakes or emotionally charged situations.

Without awareness, all opportunity for choice just runs through the default programming set up in childhood. Been there, done that. Without presence, we just keep recreating the same experience over and over again – maybe the faces and scenery are different, but inside we feel the same old limits, frustrations, hurts, and fears. Without presence, we get stuck.

Many of us think that the way to relax, cope and feel better is to turn down the volume and dull the experience. From this mindset, heightened awareness seems unpleasant and mindfulness sounds boring. There are a million ways to make situations seem better through distraction, denial, distancing, holding back, hiding, avoiding, numbing. There are so many ways to not be present. So many ways to space out, float, disengage, leave. On the other hand, some of us are champions at simply enduring what is difficult, proud of our ability to keep going no matter what.

But, I have learned that being present is not about endless suffering, tension, fear, exhaustion, or worry. It is not about tolerating and enduring abuse and pain. Awareness actually frees us from the intolerable because we no longer fool ourselves into believing it is okay.

Feeling our emotions isn’t always easy, but it’s the only way we can know what our emotional needs are and then go about getting our needs met.

By accessing your real experience, awareness will help you to create true peace of mind, excitement, satisfaction, positive energy and physical relaxation. When you are present, you can understand, accept and care for yourself. That’s what it means to be grounded. In that mindset, you can take care of your important relationships and attend to your chosen priorities and responsibilities. You can remember who you are and what you want.

Developing the habit of staying present enriches life with purpose, and removes habitual ambivalence and self-sabotage.  It’s a daily practice: a moment-by-moment, life-enhancing practice.

For more support in this area, use my guided meditation The Practice of Staying Present (on the Meditations page). And, of course, you can always contact me for personal support!




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