Presence is a gift that you can offer yourself. By first giving the gift of presence to yourself you can then watch it spread to others. From presence with yourself, you inherently bring presence to everything you do and everyone you meet.
This process ripples out into the world beyond each interaction and each moment. It can bring more consciousness and peace to society as a whole, increasing the probability of more humans participating in an intentional and peaceful existence.
In this article I will explore how to cultivate presence, the importance of presence in every interaction, how this affects your life, and the ripple effect for all beings that you touch with this practice.
Give Your Whole Self
When you are distracted in friendships, family relationships, work, or any other activity, people will notice. Even if they are not conscious of your distraction, they will feel it energetically. You can create a negative feedback loop between you and another person of scattered and unfocussed awareness.
When you are checking your phone, or doing something like mentally reviewing your grocery list, while listening to your friend they will likely feel your distraction. Your rapidly toggling mind can create a sense of disharmony and unease in your own body and mind. Therefore, by withholding presence to yourself, you will inherently affect those around you as well.
Choosing to give your full presence to yourself and then extending this to your friend, you can help your friend and yourself feel a sense of peaceful presence. They will feel your stillness, and they will feel heard. Another beautiful byproduct of this is that you will both fulfill your intentions more effectively, which can bring a sense of peace through self efficacy. (Learn more in The Art of Mindfulness is a Masterpiece of Moments in the 'Now' (5 Tips on How)).
Science actually shows us that the mind cannot multitask. What appears as multitasking is the mind actually toggling from one task to the other so rapidly that it seems to happen simultaneously to our human perception. Studies show that this is less efficient than focusing on one task at a time and can be detrimental to effectively accomplishing the task at hand.
Have you ever gotten to the end of your day having checked off a long to do list only to feel a sense of agitation, guilt, or disappointment in your performance because you were not actually present throughout your day? Sure, you saw your friend but did you really fully give your time to them? Maybe you did your half hour daily meditation, but did you really allow yourself to be present with each breath?
Try your best to avoid simply going through the motions of every task and responsibility as you live your life. Try your best to create space to be calm and still instead of rushing from one thing to the next, always focussed on the next task. Fully give your whole self to each experience with presence and then notice the sense of peace that fills your body and mind. (Learn more in 6 Techniques to Staying Present.)
People Notice and The Universe Reciprocates
Your peaceful presence will reverberate out into the world to bring more of the same back to you. This is the law of attraction. What you put out will be reflected back. If you are rushing around, distracted, and mindless, then you find yourself in inner chaos. In this state, it is more likely you will manifest outer chaos as well.
It is not only what you are attracting, but also what you are energetically creating around you. Your sense of presence creates peace on the inside and outside. Through intentional mindfulness of each moment in each and every experience, you generate peace for everyone and everything around you. You create less inner and outer resistance, and more harmony. Things flow easier for you and other living beings, and you are more efficient in each task. (Learn more in 8 In-the-Moment Techniques to Cultivate Your Mindfulness Practice.)
Practice Brings Presence
The more often you practice being present and still, the more you will feel at peace with yourself and all that exists around you. How often do you truly give yourself permission to be present - free from reflection, projection, planning, worry, and anxiety?
Even if you’re like me with a consistent meditation practice, we all need this reminder regularly. Taking time for mindfulness practices, like meditation, is not only about allocating that time, it is also about truly allowing yourself to sink deeper into presence with each breath; feeling and experiencing peacefulness with each exhalation. (Learn more in Meditation & Mindfulness: What's the Difference?)
Schedule this time to practice mindfulness each day and truly let yourself go. Schedule time for solitude and silence. Schedule time to be in nature and marvel at the complexity of the Universe. Find your inner place of presence and feel the peacefulness that follows. Remember that this state of peaceful presence is available to you in every moment, always. As we nurture this place of stillness through consistent practice, it becomes more easily accessible.
To be Present is the Most Thoughtful Present to Yourself and Others
As you soften and become more peaceful, you may notice that the loving parts of yourself have the opportunity to arise more easily, more often, and even sporadically without your conscious intention. You can live from a place that is often referred to as the “flow state.”
You have more space, time, and focus for creativity, compassion, love, and selfless service. You have more energy to give to the world as the mind becomes more calm, focused, and peaceful. With all the humanitarian issues facing the world today, such as our lack of ability to unconditionally care for each other and the earth, presence can actually lead us into the New Age of humanity.
This begins with you. Let your peaceful presence ripple out into the world to create more love, compassion, creativity, and ease.