The 6Ps: Presence
(This piece is the ninth post in a series on the “The 6Ps for Profound and Positive Living". You can find all writings on the subject by searching 6Ps in the search bar.)
There is a reason that my 6th and final P is focused on presence. Since I created the 6Ps as a means to help ground, center and focus me when starting my day, could there be anything more important than to make the most out of my day than being fully present, alive and open to each and every moment?
While I have never been diagnosed with having Attention Deficit Disorder, those who know me most would report how easily distracted and scattered I am and that my natural state is one of disorder and chaos. And yet, I know I do my best work as a father, husband, coach, consultant, teacher, grandfather and facilitator by being completely attentive and focused on each moment and each person I encounter. If I am highly anxious, beset by negative emotions, exhausted and feeling overwhelmed, it becomes extremely difficult to be fully present.
Therefore, reflecting on the 6th P is for me the most comprehensive and time consuming since I know to be fully present as long as possible throughout my day, I need to tend as much as possible not only to my mental well-being, but also my emotional, physical and spiritual well-being. I have found that to do this well requires:
· a disciplined practice of at least 10 minutes of meditation or deep breathing to clear and still my mind;
· 20-40 minutes of a cardio or strength workout to ground my body;
· reflection and writing in my gratitude journal at least the things that I am most grateful for at that moment as I know this fills my heart;
· and finally, a short, simple prayer of “God, may I be a positive blessing on all those I will encounter today”, to center me spiritually.
You may have to experiment with what works best for you, as it took quite a lot of experimentation to get to what works best for me. And I am still not completely content that I have it exactly right. For example, those who are very disciplined and practiced in meditation and mindfulness, would probably challenge me regarding my 10-minute daily meditation and deep breathing. But I am open over the next several months to pushing myself to extend my practice as well. I also recognize that my spiritual practice is not very deep and just praying that I may be a positive blessing on those I encounter may not be purposeful or inspiring enough. There are times when friends, family or clients are struggling with some significant challenges in their lives, that I do take the time to reflect on their struggles and to ask that God may bring about goodness in their lives. At this point though, I recognize the need to be more expansive and disciplined in my spiritual reflections.
Living a remarkable life is within most of our reach because it is not predicated on how much money or stuff you accumulate or on the size of your office and title. I am sure they are out there, but I haven’t seen too many job titles and listings of bank account assets on tombstones. What is most important is that little dash between one’s birth and death. I just know that to make our dash as meaningful as possible requires that we live with as much intention as possible. If what matters most in life is the quality of our relationships and the depth of love and compassion we have shared and given to others, then making sure we are completely present to life and those we share it with by really engaging this 6th P of presence, can be a wonderful way to start your day!