What does “presence” mean, for you?
One person said: “My life goes better when I feel present.”
Someone else said, “When I feel more present, I am more “fully here”, more vivid somehow, as if I were a colour cartoon as opposed to just a black and white one.”
How about you? What do you feel like, when you feel very present in the moment?
Someone said, “When I feel like I am not living from a state of presence, I feel a bit vague, less empowered, a bit diluted. I feel like I could be easily pushed over.”
Another said, “Perhaps I haven’t slept well, or am a bit hungry, or stressed, or distracted. Perhaps I feel numb or flat from being on my computer too long.”
Someone else: “I hear choppy sounds, discordant tones, and see random shapes that don’t sync.” And: “There seems less distinction between myself and my surroundings.”
When present, this person went on, “I feel: distinct. Edges are clearly delineated: my own edges: where I start and stop is clear. My boundaries feel clear. My voice speaks on behalf of my boundaries. I have a sense that what I say and what I do is in alignment with myself and with my surroundings. This is a good feeling.”
Remember a time when you felt present. Where were you, and what were you doing? What do you notice about the situation that had you feeling so present in that moment?
What visual metaphors might you use to describe presence? Some say, “A tree, with strong roots, it’s branches vibrant against the blue sky.” Or “The lake beneath the mountain, the water so still, you can see every detail of the peaks above, reflected in the stillness.” What does your sense of presence “look like”?
What do you hear, when you think of your sense of presence?
One person said: “When I am present, the sound is like white noise in the city, the low reverberation of downtown: the sound that “all is happening” and “life is going on” and “we all fit into it, we’re all contributing”. It’s not “birdsong in the woods on a spring morning” – but that gentle, comforting, ever-present hum of the city on a normal working day. This is the sound of “presence,” for me”.
What is your version of the “sound” of presence?
And now, what does presence feel like, to you?
Someone said, “Warm, peaceful, living – and the feeling of blue-green, if colours can have a feeling.”
Many say they feel a good difference: living from a sense of presence. How about you? What can you take for yourself from this mini-exploration into the rest of your day, and maybe into tomorrow?