This is my birthday week. I was thinking about what I would like to give myself as a gift. I bought myself some pretty bracelets.
They make me happy – in fact, I am wearing them now, as I type. I like that they remind me to Dance and Sing and Love and Live.
But they are only bracelets.
Then I thought deeper.
I thought about how becoming present is the cornerstone of my work. It is the best way I know to gaining access to a million and one wonders… starting with simplicity.
I always use it at the start of sessions.
I made it the first Success Exercise in my book.
But do I actually practise it as much as might be helpful to me? No. I often get caught up in my mind, and live as though that is my reality. But it isn’t. And when I remember, The Presence Exercise “keeps me right” (favourite words of my daughter, which sum up perfectly how I am trying to live my life).
The Presence Exercise is a short moment of awareness of your body in this moment in place and time. Not as a separate being, but connected to Heaven and Earth. When I do it, when you do it, when we do it – we are open to receiving grace.
So I decided to give myself the practice of The Presence Exercise even more – multiple times a day. When I sit with my morning coffee outside, when I sit down at my computer, as I walk along the street. And especially, at those times when I notice I am getting out of sync – you know those times.
And I decided to give it to you too, because I can. Here it is. You can download it, listen to it now or read a version (shorter than the spoken one).
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The Presence Exercise
The more present you can be, the more you can notice.
The more you notice, the more you can clear.
The more you clear, the more you can move on.
Being present is the greatest gift for self transformation and Everyday Happiness. This is one way of feeling present.
Give yourself 10 minutes of undisturbed time.
Lie down on the floor or outside, somewhere which is not too soft, as you want to be able to feel the support beneath you. If you need a cushion or two, that’s fine. You can also do this sitting.
Take some time to pay attention to your breath. It will probably become slower as you have this awareness but don’t particularly try and do “deep breathing”.
Become aware of the Earth beneath you. Feel the exact place where your skin touches the floor. This is where your weight falls through to the ground beneath you. Imagine your skin as it softens and widens, as if it is a sponge filling with water. Soften and widen….
As you feel the Earth, imagine her as a Mother, holding you in her arms, as if you were a baby. Imagine the Earth breathing, with you resting. Gravity becomes your home.
As you breathe out, imagine any tensions or stuff you don’t need or want draining away into the Earth, where it will be composted.
As you breathe in, imagine you are breathing in fresh energy not just from the air around you, but from as far away as you can imagine. You can breathe in from the edges of the Universe, from Heaven.
Breathe fresh energy in, old stuff out, riding the waves of your breath.
This awareness brings presence.
Presence brings peace.
With practice, you can feel Presence between Heaven and Earth in a heart beat. xClaire