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The Power of Presence
I spent years evading myself and my life
For as long as I can remember, I'd always had this lingering feeling of lack, even when things were seemingly plentiful and good. I lived, for years, in a scarcity mindset, terrified that I would never be enough, have enough, make enough, or live enough. It's like I was waiting for the ball to drop—or even my joy to drop and roll away.
Many of those feelings come from childhood stuff gone unaddressed and the fear of abandonment if things didn't go as planned. Living that way made it hard for me to celebrate the little joys—the micro blessings—if you will, and it kept me from noticing that enoughness is wherever I am.
Over the past year and a half, my daily morning walks have consistently shown me that the moments in front of me matter a lot, and if I'm not paying close attention, I will miss the beauty of it all. What's been coming to the surface recently is that I don't have to grasp feelings of "enough." There's no need to obsess about what's sufficient for tomorrow. All I need to do is be present today, even if discomfort or worry arises. The big lesson I'm constantly learning is that there doesn't have to be an uncontrollable need or impulse to fix things. Things will be what they will. And more times than not, we don't need fixing; we desire witnessing without judgment.
One of the greatest lessons over the years has been this: Getting caught up in improving every little thing or stressing about every single issue on our plates creates a lot of room for missing what's in front of us—we will miss ourselves.
I spent years evading myself and my life because I was stuck in the fixing and the worrying. Constantly thinking I had to heal fully before I was truly deserving of good things. It was impossible to be present. I lived in the past and worried about the future, which ultimately took me away from the moments of goodness in my life. Practicing mindfulness was extremely challenging for me at one point, but now it's becoming more and more a part of my life walk. A book that continues to help me on this journey is When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chödrön.
As of late, I've been feeling a deep sense of inner peace. Today, I can confidently say that I am so happy to be here and in my life. I've been thinking about that often—what it feels like to be in an easeful place. I release the idea that I have to be "healed" and in a place of emotional perfection before I can be easeful. It's been a hell of a journey for me, and now, I feel exceptionally grounded in the peace of mind that's met me exactly where I am.
For a long time, I wasn't sure I'd feel this kind of ease. As a person with anxiety and OCD, I thought that worry would always be a part of my story. I was wrong about that. And while I still have moments of intense anxiety, I do not allow it to take over my life anymore. Life continues to show me that nothing meant for me has ever missed me. I've been practicing putting some of my heavy emotional baggage down. Before acting on my emotions and feelings, taking a pause or a deep breath brings me back to the here and now.
I am so grateful that I answered the call to pay closer attention to myself, the moments and experiences right in front of me, and the power of presence.
Community Question (leave a comment): How are you practicing presence these days?
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PS. Registration for cohort 2 of my Healing Together program is open. We start next month. During our 6 weeks together, will be using writing to heal, art practice, and mindfulness to unfold and stand in our power. There are only a few spots left. You can learn more and register at the link below.