Updated: Nov 17
Presence means being fully here and available in this very moment and not distracted by the future or worrying about the past. It means noticing what's happening now with clarity and as much detail as possible. Within each of us lives a yearning for presence: a thirst for wholeness, a drive to be more than just digitally connected humans or mere projections of our fears and insecurities.
We desire to see, hear, smell, taste and feel life. We long for the unbridled joy of being immersed in something so real it almost hurts. In short, we want to be present. But unfortunately, we spend so much time networking online, pretending to be someone else when offline or distracted by the ever-so-long to-do list that we have forgotten how to just be ourselves.
This disconnected way of being has become dangerous because it prevents us from clearly defining what we want and taking responsibility for creating it. Instead, we seem to be driven by outside forces telling us how we should be and what we should want. We essentially go on autopilot.
Why Is Presence So Important?
Before we examine why presence is so significant, let's first ensure we understand what presence is.
Simply put, presence is the ability to be in the moment. It is fully accepting whatever is happening as it is happening. We don't get busy trying to make meaning of what is happening; what is happening merely is. Presence is accepting our emotional experiences; many forget this important part of presence.
Most people run from the present moment because they have become conditioned to avoid their emotions. However, focusing on being present allows us to listen to those subtle emotional clues and open up to a new flow of information. We stop trying to control a situation to make ourselves more comfortable; we lean in and allow it to unfold as it wants to be.
A great deal of personal power and wellness is available in the present moment. The iconic Vietnamese Thiền Buddhist Thich Nhat Hanh said, "The future is being made out of the present, so the best way to take care of the future is to take care of the present moment."
Of course, this does not make life easier right away, but as you begin to live in the moment, you start to see how your relationships with yourself and others improve.
4 Things You Need To Know About Presence
You Are Already Present — You Just Don't Realise It.
Being present with ourselves is our natural state. For example, think about playing with a child, laughing with a loved one, painting a picture, or just relaxing and letting go of the day's stresses. When the experience of linear time disappears into the background, and you become passionately engrossed in what this moment has to offer, are all moments where you are present. You are in the moment: focused, absorbed and engaged.
You aren't thinking about what you need to do tomorrow or stressing about what happened today. When you're present, you're fully engaged in what you're doing. You're not thinking about other things or wishing you were somewhere else. You are completely absorbed at the moment, whatever that moment might be. You are "in the flow of life."
Being Present Makes You Feel Good.
Being present allows us to fully experience life as it happens. When we're present, we're connected with what's happening around us and let the fullness of life be experienced.
Being present lets us see, hear, smell, taste and feel life as it happens. As a result, we find that there is so much to be grateful for. After all, gratitude is the gateway to more joy.
The emotions of gratitude, appreciation and care have been scientifically linked to a greater sense of wellness. We can appreciate the beauty and the people around us. This is rejuvenating for the soul and recharges our internal batteries.
Being Present Helps You Connect With Yourself And Others.
Being present helps us connect with ourselves because it allows us to truly appreciate our lives. It lets us appreciate our lives now instead of constantly looking back at what we have done or worrying about what we must do tomorrow.
Focusing on presence helps us connect with others and enjoy the people around us. This enhances our relationships and allows any barriers to the connection to fall away.
When we fully allow the present moment, we begin to touch our authentic sense of being.
Being Present Is The Gateway To Your Goals.
Being present is the gateway to everything you desire: better health, relationships, a better career and more fulfilment.
Being present is being in touch with your feelings, being engaged with the world and knowing who you are. As a result, your mind is clear and focused on what's happening around you. This clarity helps you see your very next step. We must remember that every great thing in our life happens one baby step at a time.
These baby steps are the key to your goals.
Being present isn't as complicated as we can make it. All that is required is a willingness to release. Release the tendency to make meaning out of everything and be in the experience of yourself.
As human beings, we tend to complicate our presence.
Don't be seduced by the tendency to make presence so kind of work because it is the opposite.
When you are present, you are being true to who you are: being open and honest with yourself and others. You are genuine and authentic, which means you are exactly who you are.
Also, it is essential to remember that presence is a practice. It is not a matter of if you will get distracted, but a matter of when. Being compassionate and gentle to yourself at that moment and anchoring yourself with the simple question "Where am I?" can be very soothing.
This practice of locating yourself is what it feels like to 'Live Inside the Pause.'
Dave is a Leadership and Life Coach living in Steveston, B.C., Canada. Dave’s expertise is with individuals and teams who feel stressed out and exhausted and know that they want something different. In 2017, Dave left a career as a Senior Manager at a large Local Government organization to start Small Pause Coaching & Consulting. His philosophy about taking a pause and inviting in a new conversation, a deeper conversation, has supported hundreds of individuals and organizational clients. He is a Certified HeartMath® Coach & Mentor, a Certified Trauma-sensitive HeartMath® Practitioner, a trained Equine Guided Learning Facilitator and a Certified Coach with the International Coaches Federation (ICF). Dave took his coaches training at the Newfield Network in Boulder, Colorado. You can learn more about his work at www.smallpausecoach.com or look him up on LinkedIn, Instagram or Facebook. Dave also expresses his creativity through the Small Pause Shop, where he designs apparel that supports living life ‘inside the pause.’