"Perhaps one of the greatest gifts a person can give is making space for another to be present in their presence and their lives," said a friend of mine. It sounds so simple.
We are told over and over to "Stay in the present", or "Just be present". Sometimes we are directed to "Be present with your breath". We are given all sorts of How's, like focus on your breath, or clear your mind. It is a pretty good start, really, but I have come to believe that is the First Step version. Being present goes much deeper than that.
Being present means being in a place of integrity with your divine source. It is about connecting with source and observing what is happening for you from an energetic level. It is about recognizing if you are in an expansive space, or a constricted space. Are you aligned with constrictive emotions and energy like anger or jealousy, or are you aligned with expansive energy like love and joy? Are you radiating outwards or contracting inwards?
I do not know if we can truly be present in another's life if we are not able to be present in our own lives. The dilemma that can arise when we are trying to be present with another, if we are not practiced at being present with ourselves, is that we begin to buy into conditions. We buy in to their state of being. We buy into the idea that what we feel is conditioned or driven by what is going on around us. We can buy into their self image, or worse, their image of us. And all of that energy begins to feed our beliefs, and the energy with which we manifest our creation.
When I teach reiki, or practice it, I go into a space of divinity. In that moment, I am listening closely to energies that go far beyond the mundane. I may have my hands on a person's arm, but I am listening to vibrations of energy that go into other realms. I have tuned in to things that are not apparent or obvious in the physical world. I become aware of things that are in alignment with the spiritual truth of this person. My job is to hold the consciousness of knowing a greater truth, a bigger idea, and a greater possibility for this person. That is the best gift I can bring - the ability to move the energy of this person towards their divine truth WITH that person, not FOR them.
I struggle with defining being present as being in the now. It is true that NOW is the only thing that exists, and if our mind wanders to the past, we are energizing something that has already manifested and repeating that manifestation. Which may be perfectly appropriate if we want more of that. Isn't that what gratitude is? Energizing those things that we want more of is a good spiritual practice, and one in which mindfulness is our ally. The now is a manifestation of all we have been. It is an indicator of where we are at on the journey so far. But if we are going to move to spiritual magnificence, isn't it better to be present with Source, and recognize the Source in others? Isn't that why we say Namaste - the divinity in me greets and recognizes the divinity in you? In Tantra, we are taught that Consciousness delights in greeting Consciousness. Is not that the gift in all moments? The opportunity to see Consciousness staring back at Consciousness through another's eyes?
For me, being present in the now, or being aware of my energy in the now, provides a contrast for me to notice the extent to which I am open and in alignment with divinity. It gives me the opportunity to move the energy, and to practice returning to my awareness of Source. So to my friend I say "Perhaps the greatest gift is practicing my awareness of Source, living in alignment and integrity with it, and being aware of the same in you."
Gail Matheson PhD is mostly a mom, a psychologist, a light worker, a Practical Priestess and student of Consciousness. She is a partner in a Business Performance Improvement consulting practice.