Being Present

In today’s world it is quite a challenge being present in situations. Being present has become a bit of a buzz word these days.  The reality though is that it truly is a practice that brings untold benefits.

So what does it mean to be present? When we are fully present all our attention is on the now i.e. the activity we are involved in. This means that when we are talking to someone our mind is not wandering off. Nor is it busy formulating our response. When we are driving, cooking, in a meeting, etc. it is about focussing on the task at hand. We just allow ourselves to “be”.

So why is being more present so important?

At work we interact with people who are much more than resources to get a job done. Beneath the work persona is a human being with their own insecurities, needs and dreams.

Today employees have a greater need for connection with their seniors. They want to be heard, taken note of and seen as a unique person. They look for an authentic connection with their seniors and colleagues. If we are so busy with our own thoughts etc. we lack the capacity to truly connect with another human being.

At home our spouse wants to feel a solid connection with us. Being present at home with our spouse makes them feel wanted and cherished. Like us our spouse spends a great deal of his time working in a hard world where the focus is on delivery. So when he comes home he wants to relax and know he can be himself, away from the masks that work demands of him.

The same applies to women. Home is our safe haven where we make time to connect, relate and to listen to one another.

Probably the most crucial place where being present is essential, is with our children. Every child has a basic and inherent need to be heard. This means that every child wants to be seen as special and important. They want to be recognised and appreciated for their uniqueness. We cannot hear our children when our mind is thinking of work issues or what next we need to tick off on our Things to Do list.

When we are fully present for our child, no matter how short a time it is, we give them our undivided attention. We drop everything we are doing. Sit with them and make them the focus of our attention. Take a leaf from servant leadership and make yourself a “servant” in the sense that you make yourself fully available to them. This does not mean the same as doing everything for them! We put them first and allow them to determine the agenda.

In all of these examples the recipient feels heard and listened to at a much deeper level. In fact through giving all your attention you show the other person the utmost respect. In what contrast is this to what is happening in reality: people sit in presentations sms-ing on their cell-phones or reading the news on their tablets!

Being present has many advantages for us as women too. We savour our five minute break to enjoy a cup of tea. Yes, we give ourselves this “luxury” of just enjoying a simple pleasure. This can make a definite difference in our well-being. Remember we are human BEINGs not human doings. So give yourself permission to take a break and relish every moment of it.

In fact small children are an amazing example for us of being more present. They fully engage in what they do. Nothing else matters to them. All their attention is on what they are doing.  They are not even remotely thinking about the fact that they need to clear up their toys just now or that it is nearly bath time. They are fully absorbed in what is in front of them. There is so much we can learn from them when it comes to being more present.

You can learn to be more present through coaching. Being present will enable you to feel more grounded, centered and at peace. So try it for yourself and see what you experience. To learn more about the impact of physical and emotional well-being in the working environment, download my free guide to Balancing Work, Your Family and our Career.


Posted in Well-being, Women.