Presence. One of those tricky words to define, and most of us have experienced it, or we’ve witnessed it in others. Presence is an inner state, a fleeting kind of awareness. It’s personal, internal and it’s subjective. It is a state of being. It’s in the moment. Then it’s gone. It’s in another moment. Then it’s gone. We experience ourselves fully connected to ourselves, to others, to our environment, to what is happening in the moment. Time isn’t a factor. All of sudden, in that moment, there’s a sense of being connected to something much larger than ourselves, than this place, this situation. Presence is one of those things that intellectually you can get what it is, but you don’t truly understand it until you experience it for yourself. Presence, being awake to what is occurring in the moment, is a foundational building block for real change. New Year’s resolutions are not the solution for change, most of us know that all too well! Genuine, lasting change come from development, and it is presence that opens the doorway for our development as humans, as leaders. So, when people ask me, how do I stop operating from a reactive place to a more outcome-creating one, the answer is – by cultivating presence.
You’ve most likely heard about or experienced at some point in your life a “wake-up call”. It’s what’s needed for transformational change. Presence is what catalyzes a wake-up call. Cultivating presence requires us to begin to pay attention to things consciously, getting to know ourselves and our stories about ourselves intimately, so that it separates us from our reactions to things, and opens new possibilities of seeing other choices available to us. That realization, the recognition in the moment, of our way of being and then seeing clearly that we get to choose our next move, that is the moment of presence. That is the intelligent moment that realization from presence produces.
Developing ourselves is about transcending ourselves, including what’s honorable about our current way of being and letting go of what it closes down for us, in order to bring about a new way of being. It is cultivating presence that will make that journey possible. Can you imagine a world, a workplace, where people cultivate just being present in the moment? How would our interactions and collaboration change if our goal was just to be more present with ourselves and with others? What would change if all we did was to cultivate listening more deeply to others, with curiosity and openness? What if we focused on letting go of our attachments in order to listen to and be able to take another person’s perspective? It is this internal work that will bring about real transformational change. This is how we begin to let go of the stories we have been telling ourselves about ourselves, that are limiting us and keeping us in our current way of being. It is what will bring about the new way of being that we are longing for, in order to get the outcomes that matter most to us. By cultivating presence, you can be the author for a new story about you!
So, this New Years, I encourage you to be the author of your new story for 2019. As you reflect on your way of being this past year, what is it that you want to honor about that person that has allowed you the successes and happiness you enjoyed, and what do you need to let go of to realize the new way of being you desire for 2019? What is it that 2019 is asking of you? What is it asking of me? This is the work we all must do to raise the consciousness of our world.
Happy New Year to you All!