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The Gift Of Presence

In December 2021 we've fully emerged from living in lockdown into a brave new world. Living with Covid-19 seems like a small sacrifice after giving up so much of our usual day to day connections with community, workplace and extended family members.

Many of us are finding the social aspect of our lives need dusting off and we are rediscovering ways to be in relationship which doesn't always come as freely as it once did. Practicing presence is a great way to work on reconnecting and it starts from within.

I recommend making the practice of presence (like mindfulness) an intentional part of your daily habit. Keeping it front of mind and a priority to partake in activities that increase your ability to be open to the unfolding of your life and fully engaged with those you share the journey with.

Ways to be more present:

1. Check into the moment

Pause for a moment and check into yourself, notice how you're reacting to the environment, what you're feeling, thinking, sensing and how you're responding. Are you open and curious or judgmental and closed? Make adjustments to your body posture and breath into now to reset.

2. Listen without responding

When you're having a conversation instead of thinking about what you'll say next, try to put aside your own thoughts and engage in listening with your full attention. You can enhance this process with eye contact, body language mirroring and staying open and cultivating an attitude of curiosity.

3. Savour positive moments

Take the time to notice beauty and celebrate positive moments and things that bring you pleasure. The idea here is to broaden and build your capacity to feel good and notice the things you have to be grateful for.

4. Be in your body

One of the easiest ways to be more present is to be notice and listen to your bodily signals rather than thoughts. Thoughts tend to focus on the past or future or assess, judge and analyse the things we are experiencing but the body is always present and directly takes in new information.

5. Trust your intuition

Learning to listening to your gut feels is a powerful way to be in more direct relationship with the present moment. The gut is like a moral compass and the animal of your body with be much faster and precise and sometimes thoughts are so busy you can't hear what it is trying to tell you.

6. Be reflective

Take some time in your day or week for reflective practice. Either through meditation or journalling you can learn more about yourself by reflecting on your experience in a deliberate and intentional way to clarify questions or inquiries you might have.

7. Spend time in nature

Turning off digital distractions and getting out into nature is a great way to increase your presence and build upon your natural mindfulness. Through our intrinsic connection to nature being in among trees, birds and animals can help us reduce our cognitive load and feel in harmony with our lives.


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