I want to run away or make it stop or find the answer. And all this is happening for me while I’m safe in Minnesota simply hearing about the unthinkable. I’m still pulled away from the present moment. I’m hijacked by the stress and overwhelm, and it's a familiar place for me.
And when I’m hijacked, I’m nowhere near present. I can be having a conversation and I’m not really listening. I can be watching a show and I’m not really tracking. I can be reading an email and I’m not really following. I’m here and no one is home. It’s a familiar place of distracted action. I may be getting my to-do’s done, managing my time and I’m still missing the moment. It’s the difference between time and presence. “Time isn’t precious at all, because it is an illusion. What you perceive as precious is not time but the one point that is out of time: the Now. That is precious indeed. The more you are focused on time—past and future—the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is.” – Eckhart Tolle
And that’s just it, life is happening in the present moment. When we aren’t present, we are missing it. The present moment is where we find our aliveness, it's our most precious place. It’s the only moment where we are at choice. It’s the instant of possibility. Presence is where our soul lives. It's the center of thriving. This is exactly why I centered my model of Leading from the Inside Out on presence, we start and end with presence. I can know this and the trick is shifting into presence. It's simple but not easy.
I find presence when I remember to take a breath and shift into my body. It’s here waiting for me when I take the time to tap into it. We have in us this depth of presence and so much more comfort than the little bit I get from the familiarity of go, go, go. And I continue to forget to go to this place of comfort. Finding my stillness feels so hard and distant when I have one more thing to worry about, one more email to write, one more conversation to have, one more …
So that’s the practice, finding the stillness and within it presence. Or to quote Martha Beck, “Give in to stillness; more importantly, open into it. If you can do this for long enough, I’m telling you, you’re going to experience something more miraculous and bewildering than anything you’ve encountered on this path so far.” Be still my friends. This is where we find possibility. We’ve got this together! And if you need help tapping into the power of your presence, let's talk.
Caroline Cochran, PhD is a Certified Presence-Based® Coach and a Leadership Development Consultant with over 25 years of experience.