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Soulful Sundays: Presence

“Time isn’t precious at all, because it is an illusion. What you perceive as precious is not time but the one point that is out of time: the Now. That is precious indeed. The more you are focused on time — past and future — the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is.” ― Eckhart Tolle



There is a major difference between being present and engaging in the present moment. Being present means we are just punching the clock, checking the boxes, and doing the bare minimum, all the while hoping that this will be enough to take us to where we desire. Conversely, engaging in the present moment is an act of love. It is a full commitment--equal parts asking questions and listening for responses.


Participation is key to presence and is also essential for fulfillment in life. How many times in each day are we not fully engaged in what we are doing? It is difficult to derive an exact answer, but practically speaking, we don't really need a tally. All that we need to ask ourselves is, "At any given moment (like right now) how engaged are we?"


If you don't hear all the details of a conversation you are having,

If you have to reread the same paragraph multiple times,


If you miss your exit while you are driving,


It usually means that your mind is wandering away from the present.


Some measure of wandering is completely normal, but in excess, it can cause anxiety, overwhelm, and a strange sense of dissatisfaction. Our most important thoughts are drowned out in the sea of clutter. We have trouble moving into action because we are too busy projecting into the past or future. We need to practice the essential skill of executing our attention.


We live in an attention economy. The creators of social media are well aware of this limited resource and take advantage of it every day. Fifteen-second attention spans are the new norm. If it doesn't grab us right away, then it might as well not exist. Unfortunately, we are conditioning ourselves to apply the same patterns to work and relationships. We want instant stimulation to be provided to us, without having to meaningfully invest in the interaction. The ancient law of equivalent exchange is always in play, though. We get out of life what we put into it.


When we find ourselves mired in unwanted feelings or thoughts, the antidote is to focus on what is immediately in front of us. What can we affect right now in order to change the future? What does the present moment tell us about the echoes of the past? Are they still there, and if so, how can we address them currently? If time is an endless river that we are forever interacting with, then perhaps it is time we did some paddling--not only to avoid the hazards but to make the ride a little more enjoyable. We are all perfectly made to be a part of the exact moment that we are in--to deal with its challenges and revel in its glories. It is sitting right in front of us. Always.

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I agree with Mr. McGinnis.

I read these each week as well but haven’t commented til Jimmy broke the ice!

Today’s post spoke to me too, especially regarding our fractured attention span.

When we practice just noticing when our attention is pulled away it helps things feel less rushed. Though we may appear to be moving at the same rate, the experience of it feels just a bit more spacious - there’s a little more room for each experience to have more “fullness”.

Like being stuck in traffic for a few minutes. If we take a moment to notice the warm sunshine on our face, that moment becomes much more than just a delay- its a brief & welcome stillness.

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Hi Blake,

Thank you for these weekly reflections. I don’t comment or even respond each week but I look forward to them each week and today’s reflection was “spot on” to pass on to my son, so job well done on paying it forward..

Keep up the writing as your writing extends beyond the CHM community.

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