The Gift of Presence

 

How many of us spend most of our day, in another day? And what I mean by that is this… thinking about what we did or didn’t do yesterday, or planning for something in the future.  We have conversations with ourselves all day long about our To Do lists or replays in our minds of events that already happened.  

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How many times have we been driving somewhere only to get there and have no idea how we got there.  On such autopilot, we didn’t pay attention to anything along the way. And something I’ve noticed about myself most recently, is how many times I’ve had a conversation with someone and really had no idea what they were saying because my mind was off and racing on what I was going to say next, or who I was going to talk to next, or what I was needing to be doing. And doing this, not even remotely on purpose, I really wanted to be paying attention, my mind just does its own thing.

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I, I and more I. My life was just one big ME!

My life was passing me by and I was missing it, minute by minute.  Happiness only happens in the present moment. You can’t experience happiness on a memory of the past, you can have happy memories but it’s not the actual essence of true happiness.  You can’t find happiness in an expectation of what you think will happen in the future. As a matter of fact the thing that can upset you most in life is your expectations… so why was I living there.  I was missing anything and everything that was real. My chance at true happiness, true connection was passing me by. Over and over again.

I need to get PRESENT.

Over the last couple years I’ve really taken to meditation and mindfulness practices.  Through my meditation I have learned how to pause. Maybe one of the biggest tools I’ve been given… the ability to PAUSE.  Pause when agitated, Pause before speaking, Pause before action. PAUSE BEFORE EVERYTHING. What you get in those couple seconds is literally the difference between reacting and responding.  Game changer… better yet, life changer.

In my mindfulness practice I have started empathetically listening.  This, again, has been my biggest challenge. But by far… the most rewarding.   Listening without intending to respond. Making eye contact. And when I find myself drifting (which happens more times than I’d like to admit) I pull myself back in.  This is a practice. I practice this everyday, all day and the rewards have been astronomical.

WHAT A GIFT…

To be able to truly listen to someone.  My connections are real and beautiful. I was missing out on all of these gifts that are just there for the taking.  True human connections. Heart Open. I’ve had the extreme pleasure of working with kids over the past year. And how much they’ve taught me about being present.  They’re always in the now, they’re free. Free to just BE.

And now with the wisdom that comes from my meditation practice and the connection I feel from my mindful listening… I feel like its a whole new life out there.  I get to be a part of other people’s lives and invite them into mine. I get to create and manifest and enjoy the true essence of what I want my life to be. I FINALLY GET IT!  

The Gift of Presence.

 
Connie ClotworthyComment