In recent days, I have often lost my presence. I keep catching myself completely immersed in my thoughts and completely unaware of what is happening in the present moment.
One of my greatest gifts right now is taking my dog Duke to work at the Homeless Emergency Project (HEP). He and his brother have taught me all about the benefits of being present and not living in the past.
Yesterday afternoon, I took Duke to work. We sat in on a psycho-educational group and then hung out with some veterans from one of the veteran’s programs. Each moment, I was present. Duke was full of himself yesterday and spunkier than usual, so I had to be. Even more than that though, I lost all track of time talking with the veterans.
You may recall my post on how you know when you have found your passion. Losing track of time while doing it is certainly on the list. The same has happened week after week since we’ve been going there.
When you go into one of HEP’s programs, you cannot take your pets with you, so Duke is often a welcome sight. I was fortunate enough to get my boys (dogs) back after my stay there in 2004-2005, but most aren’t so lucky. Duke helps them through that loss the same as Sammy did for me.
Just like the rest of us, sometimes the folks living in the HEP programs get stuck in their own heads with no awareness of what is happening in the moment.
Duke and I help them to find their presence. As soon as they see Duke, he becomes their focus. The moment with him is now. He often insists on it with his incessant pawing to be petted.
After coming home later than I had planned, I realized how much more focused and present I was feeling. I had a different perspective on several stressful situations in my life. Duke helped me find my presence while he and I both helped dozens of people find some as well.
I thought that made for a pretty good afternoon.
How do you know when you have lost your presence? What does it take to get it back?