Being present is a wonderful place to be. We all seem to be striving for this magical place called presence, the present moment, being in the moment.
It sounds enchanting.
I raise my hand in the movement towards presence. I meditate, I exercise, I write, I spend time with people that I love and have work that doesn’t feel like work. I steer other people towards these practices that supposedly create this thing called presence. I’m a believer. And…
Is this yet another goal to hit? Marker to strive for? Thing to add to our expanding to-do lists?
Oh, wait, I need to be present. Right…presence. I’m being present now. Right NOW. Sooooo present. Ommmmmmm. (ding!….damn Facebook….carpool….damn I forgot to send that email.)
The thing about “presence” is often we don’t know we’re being it, until we’re not.
Because as soon as we come to a “present moment,” we’re out of it. It’s already the past. There’s an infinitesimal space between when the brain and conscious mind actually become aware of a moment in time, and by that time, we’re not in that actual moment anymore.
It’s not a place to get to. It’s not a place at all. There’s nowhere to get.
So what’s a good present human to do?
How can you really tell if you’re being present? Here are some pointers:
- It is something that is experienced, felt.
- A thought cannot produce presence.
- It just happens. It’s an occurrence. Something that’s backed into.
- The way to get there is to create an environment in which it has the best odds of occurring. This environment can look like meditation, or stillness, or running, or dancing, or riding horses, or being with someone in a way that has you both full with love, or your art, or somehow expressing yourself in a way that feels true for you.
- If you’re in judgment, judging ANYTHING — yourself, someone else, a situation — you are most certainly NOT present.
- Thoughts may arise, because that’s what the brain does, but you aren’t attaching to them. They are just flowing. They don’t even feel like “yours,” they just feel like thoughts. (This is where true creativity is born.)
- You actually don’t have a sense of a YOU. If you find yourself thinking about needing to be more present, ask yourself, WHO is being present? (That’s a Level 2 question right there. Play with it. I’ll give you a hint…the answer isn’t “me.”)
So, what does all this mean? Why bother? Who even understands all this anyway? What’s the point?
There is no point. There is no point on a dial where you will sometime say, “Aha! I’m present!” The mind will become so circular in it’s thinking, that if you stay in it, you will see the pure hilarity of it all.
Life is so fascinating. The mind is such a funny thing when I don’t take it seriously.
We all want to know love. To experience fully. To be happy.
Stay curious. Life is beautiful. You are beautiful. There are trillions of things happening all around us all the time that we have NO idea about. Even within our own bodies.
The wonder of it all is mesmerizing.
Awe and wonder. Reverence and rapture.
It’s all happening, when we are present.