It was sometime last year that I finally had to concede that I really did have a hard time staying present and connected with emotions and my bodily sensations on a day to day, moment to moment basis.
I can’t remember exactly when I realised how pervasive the problem was for me. But it probably happened because we spent so much time in airports last year.
Airports are like my ultimate tune out of myself and my experience zones. Up until recently when I hit an airport, not only did I immediately become vague, illogical and distant, I also had a zillion additional strategies up my sleeve to disassociate from the fear, stress and projections I experienced being there. (I’m not telling you my strategies by the way – because it’s kind of the opposite of what I’m writing about today and trust me, you just feel like a zombie woman after using them, which isn’t fun).
Naturally my soulmate had been pointing out the problem of my ‘going away from myself’ fairly often since we met. While I could recognise what he was saying was true (read: nod, agree, and then largely avoid), it took me a long time to actually want to see what a major and life-long issue it was, or what the repercussions of my constant tune-out were in my day to day life.
Last year, exacerbated by the airport merry-go-round, I finally felt how debilitating this problem was in regards to my personal growth and long-term happiness.
I began to recognise, how my problem with staying present, was affecting my ability to experience emotions – both painful and pleasurable. This lack of experience was not only limiting my spiritual progress, the key to which is my desire to feel my real emotions constantly, it also meant I had no joy in my life.
I couldn’t effectively feel anything, or deal with anything, while I wanted to absent myself from things a large percentage of the time. This meant neither significant release of pain nor the resultant relief that comes with it. But additionally, many times, I just wasn’t there enough to feel happiness of the wind on my face as we gazed at a startling view, or the enjoyment of a new acquaintance in a foreign city. Even the taste of great food was dulled by the myriad of other experiences I was suppressing as I ate it.
Beyond this, I was also very lonely. My unwillingness to be present with myself for long periods meant that I couldn’t experience deep connection in any relationship. This problem extended to my most significant and valuable relationships. Without experience of myself, I couldn’t achieve any true intimacy or connection with God or with my soulmate.
Put very simply, I came to understand two very important truths:
1. Not being present meant not really living my life.
2. Becoming present was actually the crucial first step in engaging humility on a daily basis.
Thus ‘Operation Get Present’ was born.
Today I’m introducing a new series in which I share many of the things I learned and experienced as I decided to focus on this one thing – becoming present – as my first goal every single day.
In some posts to follow, I hope to give you practical tips that helped me in this endeavour, plus convey some of the emotional and spiritual things I realised and encountered along the way.
As fair warning, I should say that blog writing, at the moment, falls a little lower on my list of priorities than many other things in life. That’s why things get a little sporadic around here. So, while I’m promising you a series, please keep in mind that entries will come as time and personal processing allows. I’m pretty sure that most of you get that! Thank-you for your understanding.
By the way, if you are stuck for inspiring reading, you should totally check out what Denis, and Paige & Kerry have been up to in Kenya. Is it completely dorky of me to tell you that, in my head, I call what these guys are doing The Awesome Adventures of PKD?
Yup, probably 🙂