You might have noticed that when you are in presence, you have a greater feeling of freedom. Freedom and presence seem to me to go hand in hand.
When I am angry, I feel beside myself,
When I am upset, I go within myself,
When I am overconfident, I am full of myself,
When I am reflective, I turn toward myself,
but in presence, I am myself.
In the examples above, we are not fully present, we are apart from ourselves. But in presence, we know ourselves as we really are.
Rupert Spira likens presence to a room: agitation can happen in a room, but the room itself is not agitated. When we are in presence, we know the agitation, or the unhappiness, or the anger, or the joy or the sickness, but we find that we are not the unhappiness or any of these. We find that still place within us where these things happen.
Our Focusing experience is greatly enriched by being present to what’s going on for us right now. It’s not difficult to come into presence, but sometimes we need to re-learn how to find that space, and there are several helpful techniques, which a Focusing teacher can guide you to find.
Have you ever been so completed involved in something that you feel really calm, or ‘in the flow’, and that nothing can disturb how you feel – even if just for a moment? Try it now.
Bring your awareness to your body right here, right now
Notice your feet; what are they touching?
What else is your body touching?
Can you be aware of the flow of air in and out of your lungs?
Your awareness is now focused on something that was happening automatically, without your conscious control.
This is not the same as not knowing what’s going on around us, or forgetting what the time is! It is being completely aware of our bodies in space and time.
In this place of presence and complete awareness, we can explore more deeply what is going on for us, and what our emotions are trying to tell us. We can explore these in a Focusing way and get to know ourselves better, and so enrich our lives.
Jez Alborough says, ‘We enter this world as the experience of Oneness, or Being, but we lose our perception of this as we grow up and become identified with our Personality. After that identification, the Suffering of Personality overshadows the Stillness and Love of our Natural State.’