Practicing Presence

Last month I made a huge move. Huge on a multitude of levels. Physically, mentally, spiritually… everything has rearranged. Moves like this are disorienting at best and most likely filled with significant discomfort as everything is given an chance to be reviewed. The move was a transition from 13 years spent in California (the last ten spent in SanFrancisco) to the island of Kauai.  VERY big city, to VERY small island. With such astounding contrasts in location, from daily sights, to way of life, this was very clearly no small move for all aspects of my self experience.

The process of truly practicing presence began with the initial intention to move. Presence is defined as the state, or fact of existing, occurring, or being present in a place or thing.  Once we commit to a choice our energy follows. I committed. And my has my energy shifted.

Packing up thirteen years of life. Shedding layers of belongings. Asking the question, “what’s really essential?” at every turn. And reflecting on what I was letting go of. All this (and more) filled the last few months I spent in California.

Now I’m on Kauai. Dropping in. Taking it slow. Relearning what it means to be me, at an essential level.  That’s right, I’m practicing presence.

I never really thought I wasn’t present before, I mean sure… I’d float through life at times a bit disconnected, caught up in memories or future musings, daydreams of how it could be, how it should be… But, ultimately I’m pretty confident that I’m conscious and aware. After all, I’m a yogi. I practice presence. On my mat, through my breath, in my body, the way I connect. I’m a therapist. I’m present in how I listen and how I see the people and the stories they carry. All this is true. But Kauai is different. Or maybe I am different here.

Here practicing presence is more than the quality of awareness and attention I bring to the practice or work I do, it’s the way I receive a moment. Here presence is in the subtle and profound shedding of so many things that have kept my mind, heart, and soul busy all these years I’ve been away from my roots. Presence  is my roots, the ease and beauty of just being. Living simply and seeing. Really seeing… seeing the people, the land, and the depth of my spirit and all the places I’ve been. Seeing that I can let go. Completely. And begin again. Right here, receiving this moment. Just as I am.