Sharing the lessons along the way…

Finding Presence


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.duke in a tie 1-23-13

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?

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Comments on: "Finding Presence" (4)

  1. Steve Booth said:

    Great blog post T! As they say, giving someone your full attention in the present is the greatest present of all to give. Four legged attention is a close second, mind you…

  2. I know I have lost my presence when someone has to repeat themselves because I wasn’t listening the first time they said something–a habit I am getting better at breaking. Also, when I am driving, or I forget something that was prominently left out so I wouldn’t forget it.

    So I lost my presence yesterday while driving and ended up being on the wrong road and being stuck in traffic I could have/should have avoided it and it was too late to turn around before I realized I had turned too early. It cost me having to wait until I got up to the light to turn around. A 10 minute trip turned into a 25 minute one because I was lost in my thoughts as I usually am while driving. It forced me to bring myself back to present and laugh at myself!

    I have no sense of time lately and have to remind myself all the time what day, month etc it is, it is actually a wonderful feeling but makes it tough operating in a world that is obsessed with time. I lose all sense of time and feel most present when meeting new clients, while pet sitting, being with friends and when writing. Other times are when riding roller coasters, being on or in the water, watching sunsets and being in nature. Certain songs or music also have that affect on me.

    When I lose my presence I usually just tell myself to be here now and focus! It is awesome how you and Duke can give people wonderful moments of joy and being present! 🙂

    • What a great example Nina! Driving is when most people need to be present the most and when we are most often distracted by phones, songs, or our own inner dialogue. There definitely has to be some grounding to keep track of time, but those moments where we are fully present are awesome, aren’t they?

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