The Gift of Presence: Even When the Going Gets Tough

The Gift of Presence: Even When the Going Gets Tough

When you work in healthcare, whether it’s in a fitness center, in customer service, in management, in coaching, as a physician, a nurse or administrative assistant, you are reminded, on a regular basis, that life is hard for people.  People are stressed out, people are managing chronic conditions, people have financial issues, people are grieving, people are angry, people are unsure.  People are also happy, satisfied, healthy, and thriving, but folks tend to their struggles before they share their joys.  Interacting with humanity, especially when it comes to something as intimate as one’s health and wellbeing, is messy and unpredictable no matter how hard we try to make it into a program or round out the edges or meet our outcomes goals.   So often we have the urge to swoop in to offer a solution, to look at the numbers and provide a suggestion, or to give advice based on what we see…

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To be Mindful

To be Mindful

What is it to be mindful?

Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. You notice little tidbits of beauty or feel the breeze on your face. It can be so easy to let ourselves slip into our routines and operate on autopilot, or go through our days in a semi-conscious state as we get sucked into the busy tendencies of modern life.  Practicing mindfulness means truly living in the moment and awakening to every experience.

Maybe to be mindful means that we need to turn the sirens and highways down and listen to the frequency that vibrates under the dull hum of the ‘first world’.  Perhaps it’s like looking under a log and seeing the other world that’s alive in the moss and soil and insects that make their home there.  So many times we just glance at the log and continue walking by, intent on where we are going.  Intent on getting there.  Achieving the goal.  Crossing the finish line.  Arriving.  Arriving quickly.  So many times we don’t even notice the log and the other realm that exists closer to the ground.

What are we missing when we hurry to get where we think we need to go?

We miss the deep blue of the western sky at dawn when the sun is just starting to spread rays of abundance into the day.   We miss the way the wind brings texture to a body of water that would otherwise be still, and waiting.   We miss the sound of roots eagerly drinking up moisture after incubating all winter in preparation for the moment the earth signals that it’s time to start growing again.  We miss the unruly pattern and unexpected symmetry of an aspen grove’s baby leaves as they dance in the rose colored breeze of a new season.   And we miss the opportunity to use each moment to appreciate a single breath and the life that flows through it.   We miss seeing the beauty where yesterday we saw nothing.

If we listen, we will hear.  We will hear and we will stop missing.  We  will notice the log and every other enchantment that there is to notice.

Maybe to be mindful means to see beauty where yesterday we saw nothing.


What might you do today to fully engage in each NOW moment?