Giving Presence

February 12, 2015

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By Taylor-Grace Freiberg

We are multi-dimensional women with so many different things going on in our lives. Life, and all of its dimensions make it difficult for us to “give presence” to the things that bring us meaning and fulfillment. This year my mission is to give presence and practice being completely in the moment.

So what does it mean to give presence? Giving presence is allowing yourself to live in the here and now, it means shutting off the distraction in life. Giving presence means listening to understand (not to respond). It means staying connected to friends and investing time to check in with these friends. Giving presence means showing up blocking time to do our passions and engage in relationships that bring joy and energy to our lives.

When we stop participating in things that don’t add value to our lives, when we say no to activities that leave us feeling empty, we have more time to give presence. Here are some things that we can all stop doing in order to be more present:
• Practice the art of listening! Do not listen to reply. Listen to understand.
• Ask questions that spark conversation, instead of “How are you?” Try… “What was the best part about your week?”
• It’s OK to say no. Stop over scheduling. You don’t have to do it all!
• Re-think “obligation”. If you don’t feel up to it or it’s not your purpose, don’t go!
• Grow your network. Block time for friends and colleagues. Group outings are great but meaningful conversation happen one-on-one.
• Do coffee in the morning vs. drinks at night.

Say no to busy-ness. I think it’s time to give presence to the things that light us up from the inside out. Here are some ways you can practice giving presence in your life:
• Wake up an hour earlier and take that cardio hip-hop class, walk, run or start with some mindful stretching.
• Schedule an early morning coffee date with your friend, this way you aren’t interrupting your workday.
• Turn off the social media and be social!
• Set aside 20 minutes to call your girlfriend that moved away.
• Turn off the TV and read that book that is sitting on your nightstand.

What if we made time for the things that we have always wanted to try or do and stopped letting “busy-ness” hold us back?

Recently I watched a Ted Talk by Jill Bolte Taylor (neuroanatomist, author, and public speaker) on what happened when she had a stroke. She was able to connect her experience in having a stroke to what she has dedicated her life to studying and researching; the human brain as it relates to schizophrenia and severe mental illnesses. Jill walks the audience through her experience of having a stroke and the radical connection she was able to make while going through the stroke due to her background in neurology. Jill explained the difference between the two hemispheres of the brain. The left hemisphere is the I AM “responsible” part of your brain: I am a woman with responsibilities, and I am in charge of what happens next. It’s the voice of reason and the voice of reality. I think we live in a world that encourages us to live in the left hemisphere where we are absolutely sure of what we are doing. We need a plan, we need to have the right answer, and we should be focused on what the future holds.

The right hemisphere is about what is happening in the present moment. What if we “stepped to the right of our left hemisphere” and started giving presence to the moments we are living in? What if we started to really be present for the relationships that lift us up, the passions that bring meaning to life, and the things that bring us joy and happiness?

I think that I am going to step to the right for a while and give presence to the passions and people that fuel my purpose; and YOU are invited to join me! What will you do to step to the left and give presence?

Taylor-Grace is on a mission to collaborate, complement, empower, enable and engage girls and women everywhere to dig deep and discover their own YOUnique beauty. Taylor-Grace is a Health and Wellness Passionista. She serves as an intern for I Am That Girl and launches chapters all over the world. Her long-term goal is to do “Epic Stuff”… to be a health and wellness advocate, trailblazer and change maker for children. B.S. in Health Communications. Follow her on Twitter @Thatgirlteegeee.

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