“Be here now.” ― Ram Dass
Pursuing your dreams with a powerful intention and sense of purpose, also requires a call from within yourself to activate that desire.
The power of presence ignites your capacity to create a remarkable future by transforming that intention into future action.
So what is this elusive thing called presence which people desire?
I am frequently asked in seminars how people can cultivate more presence in their lives. I would have thought inhabiting your body was enough to foster presence.
Firstly, let us define presence and examine why it is paramount for connecting with the authentic self.
Consider the last time you attended a social gathering and met someone who exuded a mysterious quality. It may have been a distinctly attractive quality, perhaps a distinguished grace or a peaceful nature which drew you towards them.
It may have been an elusive aspect which you were unable to quantify or it was merely that they seemed comfortable in their own skin and aware of their surroundings. They might have moved about the room as if floating on thin air, while radiating an unmistakable allure.
People who have presence have an inner radiance, since they are comfortable and content within themselves. They seldom walk or move in haste. Their gestures are timed and controlled, as if rehearsed.
They rarely seek approval from others, yet it is others who seek approval from them. I have met numerous people who have personified these characteristics. Upon reflection they were the most genuine and grounded people I recall meeting.
Others may incorrectly assert that it is all an act, although I am loath to buy into that argument given the congruity of maintaining such an “act.”
So how does one create presence?
Why would you want presence anyway?
And how does it serve you?
“One of the best feeling in the world is knowing that your presence and absence both means something to someone.” — Anonymous
Maintaining presence is the outward reflection of your inner world. It is the frequency you transmit, while advising others of your inner contentment — that is you are in charge of your inner domain. You are the master and architect of your destiny.
You might be aware that human beings fall into one of two categories relating to their personal characteristics; leaders or followers. If you are a leader you are fortunate enough to inspire and lead others toward revealing their uniqueness. If you are a follower, you are fortunate to being the recipient of such leadership and acquiring a number of the leadership qualities bestowed by formidable leaders.
Let us make the distinction clear that being a follower does not imply being a sheep, devoid of thought to create one’s own circumstances.
Over the years I have looked up to and modelled my life on a number of esteemed leaders. All of them possessed unique qualities which I sought to incorporate into my personality and thus become inspired by.
Psychologists suggest when you recognise a quality in another person you admire, you already possess that quality within yourself. Therefore, presence is distinguished by an unknown quality within you which seeks outward expression.
The following points relate to creating powerful presence in your life. Allow me to render a caveat by stating that it takes time and patience to create sound presence.
You cannot rush the process any more than nurturing a growing child. You cannot wake up one day and be blessed with more presence. Presence is acquired, much like water filling a bath tub– recall that water always finds its own level.
As you discover the essence of your underlying nature, you simultaneously learn more about your capabilities. You reveal your hidden talents, as well as your imperfections; your genius and magnificence.
For example, if you are inherently shy, cultivating presence may be slightly more challenging than being an extrovert. There are seldom great leaders who are shy. Granted they may possess introverted qualities at times, though their predominant qualities are extroverted in nature.
Identifying with your shyness might invoke a commitment to working on developing your inner leader by allowing your light to shine. I am certainly not advocating that shy people are less socially developed. I am suggesting that shyness and leadership may not be conducive qualities if you seek to cultivate presence.
As someone who regularly speaks before audiences, I experience shyness when I meet new people within a personal setting. I am far more relaxed these days and allow myself to feel at ease with the person I am communicating with.
This has required a great deal of commitment from my part to step out of my comfort zone, since I have become accustomed to being in a quiet setting, spending my days writing.
Presence occurs as you are engaged within the present moment. You do not attend a social gathering and turn on presence — it cannot be manufactured or imposed on others. There are numerous actors, models and singers who have the ability to turn it on and off, given their years of training and experience.
Once they are away from the spotlight, they quietly retreat into silence to recharge their batteries. You cannot be expected to be engaging all the time — those that are may feel depleted mentally, emotionally and physically once they retreat into a quieter setting.
You cannot erect a facade by staging presence. A useful analogy might suggest that a light house serves to guide ships into safe harbour by shining its light out on to the sea. Seek to become that beckon of light for others and naturally they will be drawn to the light of your presence.
It follows as you are open and receptive to engaging in the present moment. The key to cultivating presence is to be awake to each moment. It requires that you become present in your body and not stuck in past thinking nor worrying about an anticipated future.
Gradually as you remove fear and anxiety from your life, this will enable you to see opportunities present themselves.
If you are consumed or paralysed by fear, your mind is conditioned to seek it out and in doing so, this becomes your focal point. The true essence of living in the moment is that you are no longer a victim to your past or a slave to the future.
When I talk about harnessing self-awareness and inner wisdom I refer to accessing your inner guide or your inner teacher. Recall a situation where you intuitively identified with an inner voice communicating with you or recognised a feeling summoning you to take action.
I am not suggesting hearing voices either, rather the quiet whisper echoing from within. It speaks so silently that it feels like a fleeting gust of wind. If you dismiss it by drowning it out with thought, it can disappear as quickly as it reveals itself.
You may have experienced moments of inspired action in the past without any prior knowledge of the situation — that is you acted intuitively. Perhaps you discovered yourself in a random place, meeting someone unknown and immediately connected with them. These are situations where you accessed your inner guide. It is your inner wisdom which knows no bounds and limitations; yet has the answers to all your questions.
As you learn to work with your inner wisdom, you access presence and unite with spirit, which is waiting to be revealed through you. Try it out from time to time by invoking it on personal matters in your life.
In many ways like learning to ride a bike, you become a better cyclist by developing sound bike handling skills, which are attained through trial and error.
In a similar way, the more you become adept at accessing your inner wisdom, the more others will see the beauty emanating from your soul. You become the lighthouse others are attracted to.
Allow these words to find meaning in your life by incorporating them into your daily life. Learn and build on them through patience, trial and error.
Do not be surprised if you make mistakes. Be kind to yourself since you are learning, growing and evolving.
Remember there is no such thing as failure in life; only the opportunity to improve.
Originally published at medium.com