A Coaching Power Tool Created by Akhilesh Chaturvedi
(Executive Coach, INDIA)
Everything we do depends for its quality of thinking we do first…Our thinking depends on the quality of our presence.
We have want we want… it is that we can’t feel it because our mind is making too much noise being in past or future
We can only experience this feeling being in present.
Presence vs Past & Future in Nutshell
Being is your very essence and it is immediately accessible to you as the feeling of your own presence – Eckart Tolle
There is a question of what is meaning of presence and what is not presence, it has been again subject of discussion in many philosophical circles. If you ask this question in practice term and try to give answer from mind concept, it may not be possible to answer. It’s not what you think; it is the impenetrable meaning of waiting. The presence arises in the stillness, where there is no concept of mind. The mind takes you either in the past or future. Presence is more than an abstract notion. Think for a minute about the various levels of your thoughts. At one instance, there is past which is playing on the scene and the other instance future is dancing. Our state of existence is shaped by our thoughts that take us in past and future, and interpretation of the results that has already happened or what would happen. Our state of being in the past and the future affect how do we see ourselves and our surroundings. Take for example, a graduating student who is about to get his result. When this student thinks of results of the past and associates the result of today, depending upon the past performances, he will get many different accounts of emotions. Although each student will get the result, their emotional state, future and road ahead varies depending upon the association of past experiences and future actions.
From a practical perspective our thoughts are set of guidelines that we live by. We all have different thoughts based on our perceptions. There is also intense state of presence, where we can be free of thought but as our living conditions, we are guided by our own thoughts of past and future. The context in which we place our thoughts, these thoughts will create a particular picture. If we give attention to the present, not the past or future, these pictures will become irrelevant. The past cannot survive in our presence, when we give attention to our behavior, reactions, moods, thoughts, fears and desires as they occur in the present. We need to evolve to deal with this past non-judgmentally and without attaching and analysis. As we become aware and more conscious of your present, we get insights into our emotional, and function in past and future ways. So more we focus on time – past and future – the more we miss the presence, the most precious thing – we’ll miss the entire ingredient to manifest our destiny. Being in presence, we have a divine ability to manifest and attract what we need or desire.
Nothing ever happened in the past; nothing will ever happen in the future too; it happens in the presence.
I am not in charge of my life, is another great opportunity to see how we create our own destiny. Each thought of this kind create conditioned response to the circumstances of our life puts the responsibilities on something outside us and we become emotionally charged when our life is not going as we would like it to.
We can change this perception in presence. So let’s explore the role of presence in our interaction with ourselves. Have you ever observed your thoughts, once you observe your thoughts you’ll find – you’re different than your thoughts? This is because you’re in presence, you’re not identifying with mind and hence you’re not cut-off from the vine. Many thing transpire when you live in past or future – the psychological condition of fear become way of living – this fear takes many forms – unease, worry, anxiety, nervousness, tension, dread, phobia, etc. This kind of psyche fear is always of something that might happen, not of something that is happening. Through self-observation, more presence comes into our life automatically. This presence creates the timeless dimension and emotions mentioned above appear and we just become watcher — of thoughts & emotions.
So why is being in presence is so important to us in dealing with our life, environment and surrounding. It is important first to take responsibility for living in presence, knowing the difference between Psychological Time (PT) and clock time (CT). PT is identification with the past and continuous compulsive projection into the future. CT includes learning from the past so that we don’t repeat the same mistakes over & over – lesson from the past is applied in presence, and planning to achieve goals is done in presence.
Taking this first step empower us and frees up emotional bondage. Presence is nothing but self-awareness, developing higher consciousness. The consciousness has infinite power to create. If the consciousness focuses on something, it can bring that into physical form in the world. As the consciousness is running with the feverish mind, it creates what the mind focuses on. Thus if the mind is focusing (or thinking repeatedly) of something fearful or repugnant, it would create that into a physical form. Thus the famous quotation –
We attract what we fear intensely.
On the other side, when the mind visualizes something beautiful or positive, it manifests that also. Having support people around us can assist us in living in presence and at the same time learn to manage yourself in presence by consciously noticing your breath, the sounds, textures, smells and scenes that you are experiencing.
Living in the presence is empowering. Creating presence living can be difficult and mind could deter living in presence. Once you overcome difficulty of living in presence its worth in comparison to living in Psychological Time (PT) that always brings disempowerment. Living in Psychological Time is always emotional turmoil. Being in the presence is wonderful experience; it sets the development and growth. In the presence you identify your strength and knowing your strength is empowerment and through this empowerment – you grow strength to strength.
If we decide not to live in presence then we choose to be in conditioned living. We are either one or the other, Presence or in Delusion of Time. The result of being in Delusion of Time (Past or future) is illusion and not reality. In illusion, we convince ourselves of something. We change the content of the illusion through our thoughts (past and future). This is done to keep ourselves being happy and keep moving further in the illusion. This happiness is always very short lived and at the end of its life – creates negative emotions.
Historically we’re living in delusion of time and don’t focus on the end point. Take the first step. The first step can be to simply agree to live in presence. This is awareness, this is change, there is no “mine” or “yours”; Presence is one and this is powerful. It generates a collective energy field of great intensity and you, your surroundings, and environment feels the cosmic significance.
So, what is that we do to be in presence?
- Learn to watch our thoughts and emotions:Initially, it will be difficult and with determination and regular practice it will be quite simple. As you observe your mind, as mentioned above you will notice that mind is different from our consciousness and it is wondering and constantly creating verities of movies (images, sounds and feeling). The mind is master of Psychological Time (PT), trying to manage the various emotions unstoppable. Keep observing thoughts will bring the stillness and slowly these movies will have no significance.
- Drop your Psychological Time (PT): Again this is a difficult task as we lived in the PT always, yet possible to tame your mind to move beyond PT by the following:
- Breath Observation: Observing breath first bring the awareness of our life energy, every inhale energizes us and very exhale relaxes us. This inhale and exhale observation brings us in presence. As we move into presence, the mind become still and we experience the wisdom that created us and hence we explore the power of presence to manifest our true potential.
- Observe what you are doing: Just observing what we’re doing is a great help to bring the presence. Becoming aware of moment, feel and act the mind does focus on the current activity and don’t get change to distract. Over the period of time, mind subsides and the consciousness moves into a “flow” with the work.
- Meditation: Both the practices mentioned above are also meditation and there could be many methods to practice calming of the mind. In meditation we are not doing anything, i.e. any activity or work. So it is not as strong as watching the mind, breath or our feelings, while we are doing something.
- Accept the current moment: Accepting the current moment is letting go the resistance of the current reality of the life. The mind oscillates into past and future to find ways to distance itself from the present reality and resisting almost everything that happens to us in the present moment. Acceptance of the current moment, we move into a state of relaxation and our actions derived from relaxed state takes way the negative emotions, and filled with a space of love, patience and peace.
- Identify the space: When we focus on the space between sounds, visual space and space between our thoughts, we move into a state of stillness, in flow – the presence.
- Awareness of the pain body: All of us have a pain body, which is conditioned for ‘nourishment’ and always demands us to either hurt others or get hurt ourselves. This drives us to become protectionist – fight, insult, demean others in thought, word or action, and prompt others to do the same. The moment we become aware of the pain body rising in us, we can see it, and that transmutes it into a positive energy and transforms us as observer- mind disappears to live in presence.
- Awareness of negative emotions and unease: Negative emotions or unease emerge always in us, we could either resist it by move away from it or not allow it to grow or if it has already grown in us, or we experience it in full awareness. The first two states are suppression of the emotions that would push us into the realm of the Ego’s story, and its is machinations of the mind. To experience the emotion the simple technique is to enquire – “ am I at unease now ?” . If yes, then “what am I not accepting”? Once we are aware of the unease inside ourselves, we should watch it and move through it, experiencing it in full awareness. That would help subside it like a deflated balloon. Finally – moving into the presence – creator of destiny.
Significance for Coaching:
Bringing the client into a state of presence can be a very powerful way to help them move into a new perspective, manage negative emotions, challenge saboteurs or limiting beliefs, shift in their behaviours and be more aware of their true values that drive their lives.