Have you ever witnessed complete presence? A moment where two people were blissfully enraptured by each other.
Have you ever experienced presence like this yourself?
Being “present” with others is a great skill to have. We have charisma when we are present with others. We make others feel important and listened to. We also experience energy and happiness when we have a moment of presence with others.
I know what presence is. Yet until I actually witnessed it in it’s most pure and beautiful form, I didn’t realize how big of an impact it could make in my life.
This story is about a visit with my, at the time 91 year old grandma (she is 93 now!).
A little background on my grandma. She is uber healthy! She is beautiful! The only challenge she currently has is short term memory loss.
For example, she may ask you how you are doing repeatedly without realizing it. Despite this, we’ve never had to question her love for us. She always has a hug, an adoring smile and a cookie for her children and grandchildren.
I wish she didn’t struggle with memory loss at all. It’s sad. Yet I saw a distinct blessing within the memory loss. She had 100% presence.
It was incredible to watch her. Unaware that she was asking things repeatedly, she was enthralled with each repeated answer. She was completely focused on whomever she questioned. The beauty of her presence was particularly magnified in her interactions with one of my girls.
Watching the way she and my four-year-old daughter interacted was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life. I know that is a strong statement, one many people say as an exaggeration, but it’s true. I have never witnessed presence like this before.
They both had bliss in their innocence. They giggled, they hugged, and sweet kisses were shared. I watched my grandmas eyes as they focused 100% on the little human full of life in front of her.
What a gem of a moment. I watched my daughter flourish in captivating her great-grandma. Each genuinely enjoyed the other.
Tears welled up in my eyes as my heart captured this moment. I get teary eyed just writing about it. How beautiful it was to witness true presence and love between two souls.
As they played together effortlessly, my daughter happily accommodated Grandma’s repeated requests for hugs and kisses. Comments and compliments were acceptable no matter how many times they were offered. Judgement and limitations faded to reveal something so beautiful. The most beautiful gift of all: unconditional love and presence.
Seeing this interaction deeply affected me. My innermost soul was awakened and grounded. I realized I had just witnessed true presence, true peace and true love.
“And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” -Marianne Williamson
How can we live with genuine presence in our own lives? How can we find joy and unconditional love like that? How do we develop a high level of living in the moment?
We do not have to struggle with short term memory loss to enjoy the benefits of complete presence and living in the moment. We can learn how to do it right now. Here are a few things I’ve learned about how to live with presence…
Unwrap Your Presence: 3 tips I learned from watching my grandma and kiddo.
Smile. Yes it’s that simple. Your smile creates a positive internal state.
When you are happy you are not worrying. Worry creates a negative internal state which then turns your focus to self. When you are not worrying you can focus on the moment you are in.
Take action: Keep your smile the entire time you are in the moment with another person. You’ll know you are experiencing true presence when smiling just happens.
Focus. When your internal state is happy you can focus better on the person you are with. Some tips to stay focused are: Keep eye contact, relax your body and take a deep breath.
Take action: Listen to what your companion is saying and ask questions to stay engaged.
Playfulness. Being playful creates a fun, relaxed, non-judgemental environment. It feels safe for both people in the moment.
Take action: How can you be playful in conversation when you are not a 91 year old grandma or a 4 year old kiddo? Crack some jokes, or add style to your conversation. Instead of saying, “I need more coffee!” say, “I could use an IV drip of caffeine!”. It adds a bit of fun to your words.
Read more about playfulness in conversation from this article about better conversation skills by clicking here.
Developing the skill of presence will help dissipate stress and give you more calmness in the moment. Think about it. When you are smiling, focused and playful it’s hard to feel stressed.
A great indicator of how present you are is your emotional state. Anxiety and peace cannot be experienced at the same time. You are either troubled or you are calm.
So how do you find presence when you are feeling upset or talking with someone who is hard to deal with? Get to a peaceful internal state. When you can find a calm internal state you can start being present.
A helpful tip I found in The Charisma Myth by Olivia Fox Cabane, is to think of a place that calms you down. Find your happy place. Think about your favorite spot and put yourself there mentally. This will calm your nerves and snap you back into the moment. Read more about dealing with difficult situations here.
Try applying the tips in this post to a conversation today. See how the moment changes for you. Remember to smile, stay focused and be playful. It will make a world of difference for you and the person you are with.
Love and Blessings!
Your Breakthrough Coach,
Natalie Hixson, CPLC
For fun! Where is your happy place? Is it the beach? A cozy chalet? Maybe your own bed? Tell me in the comments below!