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I have an internal dialogue that begins when I write because I feel its trueness, and test it to the worst that happened in my life, the loss of my daughter. I ask how can I speak of this in light of that? How can I represent this facet when I’ve lived that?

Without fail, I talk truth. My body is a barometer for truth. I literally feel uncomfortable when I don’t exist in truth. My heart beats true. My perceptions smell truth. I am truth. My fear lives in the past and future. My truth is in the now. I feel present and capable in now situations, much more than I do remembering past problems and imagining future problems.

To live in truth is grounded in the present. My lifelong anxiety is based on traumatic memories and future worries. When I’m handling situations, I’m present. My panic attacks lessened when my eyes opened, and my attention was brought back to the present. My breath is an anchor.

I set my intention to live in truth. I stay in truth and I am safe. I wander to the past and I activate fear. I scout ahead to the future and I’m on uneven ground. The presence holds the key.

There is no past or future.

Only the now the present moment.

The past is a memory in the mind

a memory that is remembered

in the present moment.

The future is an imagination of the mind

an imagined reality that comes

as the present moment.

Past and future are concepts created by the mind

to help us make sense of what has happened

and what might happen.

The truth is

life is experienced in the

eternal present moment.

The Now

So why not honor and appreciate the Now?

Why not give it our full focused attention?

To place focus on the Now

is to cultivate presence in our lives.

In presence

we live fully.

We are in tune with reality

not the creations of the mind.

In presence

we are free to choose the life we create.

Instead of being a slave to the conditioning of the past.

Instead of being a slave to the worries of the future.

All problems exist in

past and future.

In presence,

there are no problems.

In presence

there are only situations.

Situations to be accepted

or handled accordingly.

And therein lies the

power of presence.

In presence

our actions arise intuitively.

Thinking is unnecessary.

Worrying is unnecessary.

In presence

we surrender to our intuition.

The wisdom of intuition is

more intelligent than thinking.

In presence

there is inner peace.

We no longer resist the life we are creating.

We connect with everything we experience.

In presence

our actions produce joy and gratitude.

Our work is of high quality and

contributes to our purpose.

Others can feel the potency of our vibration.

Our relationships flourish and thrive.

We attract healthy interaction.

In presence

we feel our essence as one with our experience.

One with the timeless and limitless.

Eternity and infinity.

In presence

we transcend.

We align with

the Universe.

This is the Power of Presence.

Participants’ Reflections:

  • I have a confession to make. In the closing stanza of the poem, I heard an alarm and had to deal with the reheating of my oatmeal. It yanked me out of being in the present with the poem and gave me no choice. I decided to meditate on that. I used to be good at multi-tasking. It’s a message to do one thing at a time and complete that one thing.

  • The oatmeal on the stove is a situation. It’s not a memory from the past. It’s a situation. Your presence went from here to there. It’s a good example.

  • That was spot on for me. I have a lot of things going wrong. What this morning did was bring light to the fact I can’t keep going back to the things that have gone wrong. They’re things, like the fridge and furnace. The present thing is the physical. I need to stop thinking about that and whether I can manage in the future—it brought me back to the present. Right now I am dealing with some really severe health problems and that’s where I have to focus, on the here and now. That’s what I meditated on. I’m here and now, can’t go forward or back. I’m here now. Thank you.

  • It reminded me about the power of affirmations. When I started learning them, the first thing I wanted to affirm was to stop a behavior I didn’t want which is affirming the behavior I didn’t want to do. A great way to stay in the present is to affirm the present moment and not affirm the past worries. The brain doesn’t know the difference. It hears the past worries and it thinks about the past worries. But if it hears about the present moment, it thinks about the present moment. We are training this brain to help us.

  • Thank you. I enjoyed this reading. What you just said about a situation, I heard there are no problems, there are only situations. You clarified that. A situation is what is happening now, it’s not connected to past worries. It’s just a situation. I’ve been in bad situations and had to figure out how to get out of them. It’s important to just be in the situation. Thank you.

  • I’m always using the meter of what I went through. How could I say that when this was so horrible? But it was my current situation day after day after day. Things got worse when I lived my current situation and remembered walking the halls when she was a baby and that would make it worse. Or I would worry about what will happen in the future and that would make it worse instead of staying present with my situation. It’s not downplaying the idea of the situation because situations can be very serious, but they are happening in the present.

  • I had an interesting reaction. I heard what you spoke but my attention was on another conversation about Covid. Normally, I am able to get into my breathing, but I could feel my body vibrating which was unusual in that tension. It was so hard to get out of feeling that vibration. So the stress isn’t just in the mind, it’s in the body. I had to transfer my breath.

  • That’s perfect to say. I have triggers that affect my physical body. My mind may say stay in the present, but my body is all of a sudden in another moment. It’s hard to overpower because it’s a physical experience that is convincing me what I am feeling is real and not good. It demonstrates the sensitivity of our beings.

  • Thank you. The physical part of this relates to where I went with it. I went to practicing to be in the present. What does that mean? One thing that came up was athletes who are in the zone. It’s perfection. They are in the present. I’ve experienced the zone in music, where I was one with the universe when there was perfection in the music and the sound. Thank you for bringing up the physical part of this. It’s real. A lot of questions came up on how to practice to be in the moment, which is almost a paradox there.

  • Awareness is the first key. It’s like the movie Soul, about being in the zone.

  • One of the things about athletes, they say that time slows down for them. A basketball player will know where their teammate will be and can pass a ball to an open place knowing their teammate will be there.

  • As I was sitting in silence, I remembered I learned to focus on my presence after years of living in terror that my daughter would die. She lived for 32 years. I had years and years of traumatic experiences. I would find myself in a grocery store. Then I’d hear a baby cry and it would trigger me back to painful memories losing my sense of now in a cascade of painful emotions. I trained the power of my mind to stay present. Otherwise, the power of my mind reacts to what it’s used to -- triggers and memories. I couldn’t do it for years. It’s hard. I don’t want to make light of the fact that body triggers can be changed by the idea of practicing presence because that’s not my point. It’s the consistent practice of awareness and the belief you can pull yourself back. It takes practice. Understanding the concept is a doorway so that when triggered again and again by situations, one can remember the doorway to presence. It’s not easy. I don’t want to make it light at all.

  • If we are busy worrying about the future and having regrets about the past, we miss the present moment because we are not there. There’s a lot to be said for learning that skill of staying in the present.

  • There’s a beautiful beech tree I drive by often. I’d love to get a picture of it. It’s one trunk at the bottom and two trunks that come out from that, and they are gracefully leaning towards each other. I hold reverence for nature. I understand triggers. You’re saying it’s not easy. I don’t know if there’s a way, with the chronic illness of my family member, to be in the moment without having the fear. It’s better to have something in my hand to calm me. Can those be separated? Even when you are in the moment, can the fear be taken out of it?

  • I think it’s a constant balancing act, pulling back, pulling back. Stay in the present, stay in the present. We do the best we can and in time we train our mind to the now.

  • Thank you. Thank you for traveling this short journey on presence with me. I hope you all have a gentle day. Tuning into our inner voice, we practice kindness and patience with ourselves as we go about the day, recognizing when we are present and when we are not, gently guiding ourselves back like a little kitty stepping off a safe path back on course because we deserve the gentleness. I hope you all have a nice day.

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