My kids will sometimes frustratedly cry out "You're not listening to me", and inwardly I'll panic admitting to myself that indeed I haven't been and I quickly scan back over key words in the conversation trying to convince them I was kind of there. Being present to ourselves can be a challenge and being present to others can be a challenge. How do we do it and why should we do it (beyond being a better listener)?
Do you know how to 'be present' or 'just be'? A lot of us run from our own company but the pandemic has made many of us sit with ourselves as we've been locked down in our homes, in our own company, having to spend time with our very own selves. How have you found it? I had one friend relay that they realised they weren't quite as lovely as they thought they were! When we are without distractions and fewer demands we have to learn how to just be, to simply be present.
I have found mindfulness practice a really helpful way of being present. Settling into a comfortable sitting position and bringing my awareness to the immediacy and now-ness of my breath I'll then bring my awareness to my body. I'll just 'listen' to it, acknowledging sensations that are present, like I'm listening to a friend of child tell me how they are - it's really quite interesting how out of touch with our bodies we can be. Then I might spend some time listening to what else is present: what thoughts keep pressing for my attention, also becoming aware of particular emotions that are present. There'll often be a general 'mood' that describes my body-mind-soul being (relaxed, uptight, expectant etc) and I acknowledge this.
I'll also bring my awareness to God recognising that God is a Presence. I will hold everything I'm aware of in myself (the good, the bad, the ugly) and allow Him to hold me and hold those things I care about. I've come to realise that when I am present to myself, that God also becomes more present to me (or rather that I'm better able to perceive it). And there is rarely a demand to change or get up and 'do something', but the Divine Presence is healing and a Helper. I can let go of things (which is a kind of 'work' really). When I practise regularly I notice how I'm more present to all that is going on and I can be more present to others.
Why not take 2 minutes right now to sit-breathe-acknowledge (body, mind, emotions) and discover (the Presence of the Divine). Let me know how you find it or comment below.