This month at COR we are focusing on the importance of Presence and Mindfulness. These two tools are simple and yet profoundly important. We often find ourselves worried, problem-solving (a.k.a playing ineffective “mental gymnastics”), spinning in regret and fear. And nothing seems to change. Meanwhile, we miss the invitation to actually be here, to experience the richness of our own life, to actually be happy, effective, and loving.
I’m aware of the human tendency to check out, even at this moment.
As I write this, I’m flying from London to Oakland. London Gatwick airport is a Vegas-level barrage of distraction vying for one’s attention. It’s over-stimulation for a trapped audience on a grand scale. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with shopping, eating, flying, digital media or any of the other wonderful human pastimes we enjoy. The problem is these things often feed our seemingly-insatiable desire to check out and not actually be present for our own lives. Why is it so hard to actually be with ourselves and our own experience?
One significant reason is that we are afraid of what we’ll find if we are actually here. But here is where all of our human potential for growth is. Here is where life is. And the truth is that avoiding actually being here is killing us – it’s sapping us of our joy, our ability to grow up and turn courageously toward ourselves and each other with love. And we don’t have to look too far – in ourselves and in our culture – to see the what this is costing us.
Fortunately, we can absolutely learn to be present and mindful. Our ability to be with ourselves and our own experience is the foundation for every kind of personal growth we will ever experience. And this month we’d love to share with you some tips and tools for growing in Presence and Mindfulness. At COR we are passionate about it.
So, what are Presence and Mindfulness?
Presence may be defined as bringing awareness to the moment at hand, keenly attuned in “real time” to ourselves, Grace, and who and what is around us without being pulled into the past or future. Simple, but it’s a habit that must be cultivated.
Mindfulness is paying attention to the present moment without judgment or criticism (without judgment or criticism – that’s huge!). It is a way to be aware of acceptance. It can also be understood as coming to our physical senses or, very simply, waking up. Mindfulness helps us to become aware of the workings of our minds in a new way. We learn to see just how much our minds don’t want to be aware of the present moment, and how much our avoidance of discomfort actually hurts us.
Join us this month as we explore practical ways to truly be here. And remember, you’re worth being here for!
All the best,