In reflecting on the quality of presence for this blog, I considered how my relationship with the understanding and practice of presence has evolved. Over the past months I have had many stimuli on this subject, one of which has been working with Otto Scharmer’s Theory U where he invites us all to sense deeply into our lives through our relationships, the quality of our listening and the connection we make with others and the ‘system’. I have also been reading the work of Richard Rohr who, from a different perspective, speaks of the stillness, the silence and the nothingness and all-ness when we are fully present having found that space deep inside.

I notice for myself that presence, the inner stillness, is something that I can lose sight of in the everyday hustle and bustle of life and yet equally I notice that changing bit by bit. For example, as I contemplate the cacophony of news, global challenges and daily pressures closer to home I also notice that I can feel myself connecting to that stillness within my core which acts as a compass or a touchstone. A place where I can find my Self and my truth – a truth that provides a sense of equilibrium and rightness in and amongst the outer world of ‘doing’. It helps to inform my response and come from a more balanced point.

I mentioned that sense of evolution in my relationship with presence and I realise that some of that deepening of my practice of connection comes from seeing it as an everyday thing, something that is always there if we just pay it attention and ‘pick up the phone’ as it were.  Mindfulness and meditation, developing our emotional intelligence and opening our heart are all important ways of helping us to build our relationship with, and understanding of, presence. And yet it’s in the ability to tap into that in the midst of the busy-ness and noise that we really get to appreciate the value of the other practices.

So now, when I am out and about in my daily life, and something rattles me for whatever reason, I find I am increasingly taking a deep breath and taking a moment to connect with and pay attention to that inner point of stillness – seeking to become fully present with my whole Self.

Lorraine Flower