“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” Buddha 

Being present in this moment isn’t easy in the noisy, distracting, busy world we occupy yet, as I think about it, it is the most efficient and perfect use of our energy, our capability.  The present moment is the only place I can be or have any control over. 

In the past couple of weeks I’ve been reminded of how powerful a force presence can be in our lives.   

A few days ago a family member asked for my help writing his mini biography for a company website.  ‘It’s not my thing and it’s needed tomorrow morning,’ he said.  I could feel the panic coming through the phone.  At the time I was driving home from the office knowing I had a number of other things to accomplish before sleep and an early start the next day.   

Arriving home I ignored the things winking for my attention – real or fabricated – and went straight to my computer.  From the first word I was connected with my subject, heartfully, and the words flowed.  Within 15 minutes the work was done…no fuss, no drama, no agonising over meaning and nuance, no sense of pressure (all often part of my process) yet the piece felt authentic…an accurate and warm reflection of the person and business-like but lighthearted brief. 

A stiffer test of my practise came in a day working with a group of very young people – late teens to early 20s.  We were exploring leadership. At a practical level there were the obvious differences such as language – is cool still cool in their world? – and cultural references to attend to, to ensure the learning could land.  Then there was the challenge of retaining engagement when attention spans were short. 

I found myself connecting at heart with the group – with their energy, with their playfulness and their hopes and concerns.  Being fully present, listening and seeing through the heart, helped me notice where people were feeling challenged or uncomfortable with themselves, with each other or the process and support them in finding a deeper understanding.  It helped me connect with the energy of the group and with the energies of the individuals within it so that I could adjust the sharp or soft of interactions. 

As I reflect on these two experiences I notice how powerful a quality presence is for self and for those around us and how its ongoing cultivation is so important.