The Power of Being Present

The power of being present

So, what do I mean by this? For me there are different levels to being present, and from my own recent beginner’s perspective I am going to talk you through how I have worked to be more present in my day to day life, and the impact it has had for me. And maybe just maybe it might encourage you to give it a try.

I had always been one to be continually on the go, continually thinking ahead to the next thing I needed to do, the next person I needed to meet, the things I needed to buy, constantly in my head and very rarely in the moment and present to the world around me. When I started to do a hypnotherapy course, and started to work on relaxing my body, I began to become very aware of how tense I was physically and how difficult it was for me to calm my mind for the hypnotherapy. I suddenly had the realization that although I appeared calm to the people around me, my mind was constantly racing a million miles ahead, and my body was feeling the impact of that through tight and tense muscles in different areas of my body.

With this realization, I decided to look at what I could start to do differently to change this pattern I had. The question was how to calm my racing “things to do” mind? I looked at how I approached my day, and explored what would help me stay more in the present. So firstly, rather than constantly have my mind racing around things I needed to do, I created a list on my phone, anytime something important came into my mind, I added it to my list, so it was out of my head, and on a list that I could refer to when needed.

The next step in my own process was looking at how I could Let my body relax, so I started to pay attention to how I was feeling physically as I would go through my day, if I was starting to feel stressed, my breathing would become a little quicker, and shallower. As a result, I decided I would focus on this to help ground myself. For this I did a regular breathing exercise, that allowed me time to resync my breathing as such. I would take 5 slow deep breathes. With each breath, I’d tell my body to release all the tension it has, as I took each breath, I would stretch out my arms, get up from my chair, stretch my legs, and again with each breath imagine my body feeling totally at ease, and calm.

These were the two main things that were getting in the way of me allowing myself to be more present in my daily life. I felt these two strategies I created would help me manage these tendencies of mine. Now with these two things addressed and managed, I had a more relaxed body and clearer mind, and more time to observe and focus on the world around me.

What I discovered by working to be in this state was an increased awareness of my physical response to the world and a more grounded observation of what was going on in the people around me. Working to be present really enabled me not just to notice more closely what was going on in the people and world around me, but how I was now responding to them and interacting with them. I was more engaged, less rushed, more attentive, more in tune and increasingly more aware of the little details of the day.

My learning from this is what I have been missing day to day cos I had been running from yesterday to tomorrow with blinkers on, which meant I was actually missing out on the most important day: Today.

The power of being present for me is in “being in the day that you are in, and really valuing it for all it offers to you, large and small.”    

To personally develop or not to personally develop, that is the question?

Personal Growth and Development is our willingness as individuals to develop and grow. There are many aspects to personal growth. For the purpose of this blog my focus will be on our willingness to engage in the process of personal growth and development alongside our willingness to be open to change. 

Firstly I will focus on how our willingness to be open to change. This is a central aspect of personal growth and development. Personal growth is our willingness to gain a better personal understanding of ourselves. Which includes a deeper understanding of ourselves emotionally, spiritually and psychologically. It is also a key aspect of our ongoing personal development as human beings.

Additionally a central aspect of personal growth is our willingness to step into that place of exploring who we are. We readily explore what makes us tick, as well as how and what we could improve. We readily acknowledge and take full responsibility for all aspects of ourselves. These aspects include how we feel, how we behave, what we say, and how we say it. Thus enabling us to make positive change.

Further, it is our willingness to change those behaviours and/or thought processes that are key. This willingness promotes personal development and enables us to consider, adapt, change, or improve. It enables us to improve those aspects of our personality that may be blocking or impeding our progress in life. Therefore in addressing the difficult aspects of ourselves, it supports better relationships. It also supports better work experience. Additionally it supports our overall sense of wellbeing within our lives. Thus supporting more content living.

How psychologically safe do you feel?

How safe do you feel? I think it is crucial to acknowledge the importance of our psychological safety and resilience. A favourite author of mine William Bloom talks about the need for safety. He believes that feeling safe is the foundation of true success and personal development. He suggests that feeling safe is one of the foundations of a normal, happy and fulfilling life. As well as physical safety people also need a core of psychological security. Blooms strategies for feeling safe include: managing the hormones of safety and fear, building a reservoir of positive feelings for use in future crises, staying connected to the good things in life regardless of the challenging circumstances, managing your energy and creating clear boundaries, building inner strength, and developing courage and chivalry, Looking at the things you do not like, staying calm and strong when facing provocation as well as being larger than the issue, creating atmospheres and attitudes that encourage others.

Bloom believes that by creating this ability to “feel safe whatever the external circumstances is a crucial life skill that is especially needed in the modern world. If this is something you would like to read more on Bloom has written a book around this. It is called “Feeling Safe: How to be strong and positive in a changing world” it is published by Piatkus.

With Knowledge comes the Power to Change

Do you have any particular behaviour or habits that you would like to change? What stops you from adapting or changing this behaviour or habit? Write down the pros and cons of making that change. Then can you acknowledge that to start making the change is a scary thing. It means we will do something or approach something differently. This change may create different outcomes, maybe even more positive outcomes.

Sometimes change involves letting go of always “needing to be right”? One thing may be absolutely right for you, but completely and utterly wrong for someone else. Try looking at situations from other people’s perspective and see what you find. Also importantly with every new experience we have on a daily basis comes the opportunity to gain new knowledge about ourselves and the people around us. So how can you use this new knowledge to create positive change for you and the people around you?