There is a word that’s been skittering around my mind recently, a word that, depending on context, can get a little fuzzy. That word is presence, which can range from the prosaic “leadership charisma” kind to the sensations you might experience (perhaps wholly imagined) when you’re walking around a graveyard late at night. It’s a tricky term to embody and give form to, and yet it is, in my experience, instrumental in evoking purpose, in ourselves and in others.
Presence as a word can mean that we exist, that we are in a place; yet for me, when we’re with someone we care about, someone whom we can trust, we have the potential to be wholly present. So how might we do this? I found the image of this Chinese symbols illuminating, where we listen, we watch, we attend what’s in front of us with our whole focus, heart and soul.
Evoking presence – that quiet space between moments, when our awareness is wholly focused in the now – can bring about be the royal road to purpose. We are quiet within; with that awareness we self-witness our internal workings, our thoughts, emotions, physical sensation, desires, imaginings and intuitions.
We become present with our own process, and from that space within something special, something other, comes into being in the space between. An openness appears, enters awareness, and we get to choose to give whatever we are experiencing in our awareness fuel, giving it attention through our heart, our will – or not. From that we can choose to act, and that presupposes content from our past isn’t in our present, dictating how we’re filtering experience.
So being present brings presence, with ourselves, with whomever we’re with at the moment, and with whatever activity we are focusing our awareness and will upon.