The Power of Presence
“ Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally.” Jon Kabat-Zinn
We spend so much of our time worried about the past or anxious about the future. We can’t change the past and the only place we can affect the future is from the present. The present in the only place we can actually ever be.
The cultivation of the skill of being in the present moment creates the perception within ourselves that time slows down and instead of reacting immediately to an external stimulus, we find there is more time to notice what is happening and choose a response that is more in line with our values.
As Viktor E. Frankl explains…..”between stimulus and response there is a gap, and in that gap there is a choice.”
Ore we can think of it as
Stimulus = Automatic reaction (based on past beliefs and patterns)
Stimulus plus GAP (Introducing the power of the pause) = Thoughtful response
The Observer Self
Being present facilitates the development of the Observer Self. That is the part of us that can observe our thoughts, feelings and sensations without being swept up in them and without judgement. Developing the capacity to be in your observer self helps us to realise that we witness things as they unfold and it is our choice about how we react and which filter or lens we choose to see. When we change our internal perception we feel differently. This awareness brings empowerment and self-responsibility to our human experience.
Presence = Awareness = Choice
Our mind is a powerful thing. It is estimated that we are not aware of over 90% of what drives out thoughts, feelings and responses – this is our "unconscious mind". If we operate from a place of not being conscious about our thought, feelings and responses then we are not operating from a place of choice. We live and work in autopilot.
If we learn to become more present and more aware then we can make conscious choices and influence our future.
The only place you have choice is in the present moment.