If this looks familiar to you, it is because it is! A message worth re-reading.
Okay, you know the drill by now.....I write about the themes that I am hearing. Why, then, am I taking you on this brief journey I went on six months ago? What does it have to do with anything?
The "thing" that seems to be coming up again and again, is a deep yearning for actual "connection". Like the kind you get with actual people: friends, partners, colleagues etc. and not the Instagram/Facebook kind. I'm talking the "real, flesh and blood" kind. Face to face. No distractions. And the question is, when was the last time you were "present" for anyone, yourself included? The following is a throwback to six months ago and I thought it may be time to put it out there again because, until you understand that connection and presence starts with you, yourself, and your situation, you are really not equipped to offer that to others. Connection begins with presence. The ability to be with what is.
Here is an actual experience I had in Italy last September. Enjoy.
I am on a train, travelling from Sorrento to Napoli. I am on a train and not the fancy kind. Rather, the kind I was warned about prior to my trip to Italy. The kind where I was told to bring wipes and sanitizer for my hands. Where the AC is opening the windows and the “advertising” on the walls is graffiti. That kind of train.
I settle into my seat and proceed to start reading a book.
Several stops in, a couple of local musicians get on the train. A saxophonist and an accordion player. They begin to play and I continue with my face in my book. Ironically, a book about being present in the moment...
I see the irony of the situation and put my book down. I close my eyes and proceed to "experience " the moment. I can hear the music more clearly now. I feel the breeze from the window and I am swaying in my seat as the train speeds along. I become totally immersed in what is going on. And then it happens. I am completely overwhelmed with the absolute beauty of the experience. All my senses are fully engaged in the moment. True presence. It brings me to tears. I let the tears stream down my face and savour that as well.
Then it is over.
Being in the moment is a learning process for me. I am intellectually aware that "now" is truly all we've got and at times, I sneak ahead of where I am or creep back to where I was. I'm not suggesting that you can't do that, just try and spend more time where you are. The power was immense and now I have a beautiful memory to tap into to remind me of the gift of presence.
So, how am I going to incorporate this practice more deeply as I am settling back into work? Being conscious about doing it first of all. Remembering that the whole experience was maybe 3 to 5 minutes tops and how often do I find myself with a couple of minutes in my day? How many of you have 3 to 5 minutes between a meeting or a phone call where you could sit and just “be”. Wherever that may be? Go back to visit an experience that brought you a gift that you could use in that moment. Maybe a gift of patience, certainty or a little escape to a trip you once took. Try it next time you have a few minutes and see what opens up for you. Then, maybe, start extending that same "gift" of presence to those around you - just a couple of minutes, with your eyes away from your phone/computer/TV or whatever distraction is in front of you. Give your full, undivided attention. Notice what changes in you and the other person when you do this. You may be pleasantly surprised.
If you are ready to get reacquainted and present with yourself, Contact me and lets figure it out, together.