“Feelings are just visitors, let them come and go.”
I have had a big moment recently when working with one of my clients, where I realised the misconceptions of 'presence'. We have been told, shown and encouraged to see presence as a calm state. One of joy, love and fulfilment. Yes it is all of these, and it is also more.
It seems like there is this pressure of being present in our lives. That in some way presence is the utopia space to be in, the home we have been looking for and the destination that will save all for us. It's this pressure that is being presented in the form of presence that I feel so passionately I want to shed some light on.
What is it then?
Let me start at the beginning, or perhaps it's the end, either way let me begin. Presence is a state of being and being is a space in which you are able to allow whatever is coming through you to be seen, to be heard and to be experienced. It is not a passive space of bliss, it is an active, awake and conscious space in which you allow everything that is in you to be honoured and acknowledged.
The brain-mind is an amazing mechanical machine that uses past experiences to avoid threats in our present lives. Anything that may cause us pain or suffering. It creates these beautiful and intricate stories eg. 'I am bad, I need to be good', 'I am to blame' etc, that in a way are meant to allow us to be suffering free, but at some point in our lives they begin to create suffering.
Have you had that moment where you realise that you are not getting what you want in your life and you know deep inside that you have to change? You realise that there is a wall stopping you from living, a veil of a mask that is not serving you any longer.
One of these mechanisms is to not feel. To push everything down and pretend it's not there. All those feelings we have been taught are bad: anger, sadness, guilt, shame, frustration, fear. What we are not taught though is that what we resist, persists. That the suffering is often from not giving yourself permission to feel it all, and then to not make it mean anything about you.
That feelings are emotions, energy in motion. They are nothing to fear or to suppress or to shame, but to embrace. If we are able to embrace them, to allow them, to see them for what they are, moments, then we are able to let them go.
'What you can be with, will let you be'.- Dr David Norris
Let me invite you here then to change the word, from being present to just, simply, BEING.
Being with yourself in active, awake, consciousness. Allowing yourself in the being to feel the anger, frustration, joy, sadness, shame, guilt, fear, all of it. Feel how it passes through you if you allow it, if you do not condemn this part of you. Being responsible for and acknowledging your own experience, which in turn will bring you that stillness. Beyond the bliss you have been promised and instead to a place much deeper, much more healing, much more fulfilling.
Out of the story, out of the thoughts, leading you home to you.
Here is some ways how:
- Slow down, even just walk slower
- Listen for the stillness beyond the busyness of your life
- Feel into what is happening in your body, what is tight or constricted?
- Most of all, allow yourself too.
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