Presence is the foundation of connection. Presence is mindfulness. Presence is bringing your whole self to a conversation. Presence is deeply rooted in a strong sense of awareness. Believe it or not, it is always available to us. Think of recent conversation you had with a friend or loved one - were you really present? Can you get through a conversation and not say a word? Ignore an incoming text? Hear or actually listen? Being aware of what is happening in the present moment in a balanced and non-reactive way is true presence. It is inviting, gives others space, and opens the door for engagement. Presence = Connection. Check in with yourself. Are you being mindful or mindless? Presence is work. I know what you're thinking...more work? What? Presence moves from the mind to the body. When you feel you want to react, take pause, let it pass and return to presence. Take note and investigate what happens when you lose presence, how can you refine your speech, thoughts, emotions, and perceptions? Presence takes practice. Mindfulness in the moment is not so hard, it is about sustainability. According to Oren Jay Sofer (Say What You Mean: A Nonviolent Approach to Communication) you can

Connect to presence by:

  • Slowing Down

  • Breathing

  • Enjoying the Sunshine

  • Being in Nature

  • Touch

Disconnect from Presence by:

  • Stress

  • Feeling tired

  • Being hungry

  • Rushing

  • Fear

  • Impatience

  • Perceived threat

Becoming familiar with your disconnectors will allow you to build connections with greater presence. For me, I lose presence when I am rushing or feel stressed.

Take some time to discover your connectors and disconnectors to presence. Make a list. You may be surprised at what you find.

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