I mean, just being, rather than the human entity. Mindfulness may be the familiar term used in the mainstream and in Buddhism. This is my take on a concept I find very helpful.
How many of us know how to be? Just be, in the present, not in the past or the future. I find it a challenge with thoughts always whizzing through my mind and with a natural tendency to reflect on events, the past. I am determined to conquer being and I can see some progress. I now recognise many of the times when I am not being in the present. As Karen Sothers says, it takes a lifetime of practice and even then…
My route to this discovery came when I asked for help to improve my presence when I network. She told me a story about a successful networker who just pays attention to anyone she is talking to. It confirmed to me that ‘presence’ is more than being the dominant figure in the environment or the life of the party. Presence comes with being present in the moment, taking full advantage it and responding in real time to the opportunities it provides. Neither dwelling on events or parts of the conversation that preceded the moment nor anticipating the direction of the conversation and seeking an opening to get a word in.
My teacher, Leah said being present is a ‘present’ to be cherished and my coach, Duncan who taught me not to fight distraction but acknowledge its presence but let it go immediately. I am learning to smell the air in a room, sense the muscles in my shoulders or move my toes to remind me of just being. What I have discovered is the peace that comes with being present, listening better, connecting better with people. I am at my best when I am just being.