Personal Presence Practices
Sometimes we make ourselves sick with worry about things in the future, only to find that when that time arrives, those things never actually happen. When they do, most times they are nowhere near as dreadful as we had imagined they would be. If they are, they often become the catalyst for an important shift in our personal or professional lives.
In my attempt to release the unhelpful habits of stewing over things that happened in the past that I cannot change, or worrying about things that may never happen in the future, I’ve developed some strategies to bring me closer to mastering the moment.
Here are a few personal presence practices that will support you in living in the right now.
A Return to Self. My dear friend sent me an advent tea calendar as a gift for my birthday this year. It has little windows that I can open each day for 24 days with a new tea to try. As I did more research on the concept, I saw that there are all types of advent calendars with everything from wine, chocolate, and cookies, to scriptures and beauty products. Advent is defined as the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event. I’m going to use it to return to myself by having a daily teatime ritual where I am fully present in the moment as I sit and savor the fragrance, flavor, and warmth of the tea.
What is one small way you can practice presence with yourself daily?
Your Self-Love Language. The Five Love Languages are often used in relation to how we feel loved by others, particularly in romantic relationships. What if we practiced our love language in the way that we relate to ourselves? My love language is Quality Time. I’ve taken this and coupled it with practices from The Artist’s Way by doing my daily morning pages and planning weekly artist dates. Instead of three pages of stream of consciousness writing as the author suggests, my morning pages are spent writing out my focus, schedule, intentions, and gratitude list in my Passion Planner Daily. My weekly artist dates include things like taking creative writing classes, going on walks in nature, and visits to the theater to see plays, or to museums to see the latest exhibits.
What is your self-love language and how might you make it a part of your daily or weekly routine?
Embrace Your Process. I’ve found that many of my clients are hard on themselves about procrastination. While procrastination may at times be a sign of some deeper inner work that needs to be done, I often invite them to consider a different idea. “What if procrastination is a part of your process?”
After being well into my professional career, I’ve learned that some of my best work has been produced the day of or the day before an event or deadline. I do research and take notes in the months and weeks leading up to events or content that I create, but I don’t force myself to finish far in advance. I’ve also released my attachments to perfection, what people will think, and the outcome. I’ve learned to trust the process and the people receiving my work to be in charge of their own learning and meaning making.
All of this has led me to a simple practice of taking things one day at a time. As I finish one project, I simply ask myself, “Ok, what’s next?” This keeps me grounded in the present and has tremendously reduced and even eliminated the depression that comes with fretting over how I could have done things differently in the past, or the anxiety that comes with trying to control what will happen in the future.
What parts of your process do you need to accept and embrace? What unhelpful practices do you need to release?
I am practicing presence with myself.
I am engaging with myself in the ways that make me feel the most loved.
I am accepting and embracing my unique processes that best support how I learn and engage.