One of my LinkedIn contacts, a coach who works with new coaches, sent me a video asking me if she could share her seven steps to being present.
The idea, which is in my experience correct, is that when we are present, transformation, both of ourselves and others, is a lot easier.
But the idea that presence can be reduced to steps is silly, and maybe even dangerous.
There are times when I am present and there are times when I am not. And there is a whole range in between.
When I am present, there is little or sometimes even nothing on my mind. I am simply here, with the person or people in front of me.
I am fully responsive to what is happening. I can be completely confident that my full creative capacity (which of course isn’t really “mine”) is online.
But if I’m thinking, “Do I have good eye contact? Am I acknowledging what the person is saying? Am I mirroring their posture?” and other things that books tell me are the ingredients that comprise presence, I am the exact opposite of present. I’m focused on me, not what is happening in front of me.
This is why I say you can’t “do” presence.
Presence is what happens when you stop doing, or trying to do, anything.
Presence is what happens when you even stop trying to “do” being.
Presence is our natural state, what is left when the doing and trying stop.
It can be hard to understand this until you notice when you are in it.
But once you see that, once you see the effortlessness, the utter simplicity, you will find yourself, catch yourself even, in presence more and more of the time.
When have you caught yourself? What’s different, for you and those you are with, when you fall into presence?