How to Get Started at Becoming Completely Present
I think that every time we are present in a stressful moment, people respond to us in a different way. They respond to us as someone who is confident and powerful. Our behaviour is reinforced within the self – so we feel ourselves behaving in a different way and it changes our self concept. Over time, incrementally, those things just build upon themselves so you get really big changes in the long run by just nudging yourself forward a little bit every time toward presence. Allowing yourself to be totally imperfect, but knowing that this time it was a little bit easier than the last time. It eventually becomes reinforced through various mechanisms and then six months later you find that you are a person you always wanted to be.
I think that people are surprised by that when the get there and that’s partly because they didn’t have some huge, long, concrete long-term goal and have to do a million steps in between – all they focussed on was the next moment. You know, working on the next moment, doing the next moment a little bit better, being a little bit more present – and eventually you get there.
One of my favourite teachers, I was asking her once when did she realize she was a great teacher and she said “you know, I knew I was competent, and every time I went in to teach I tried to engage with them a little bit more. But there was a moment where I realized that I was no longer thinking about what they were thinking of me, I was thinking about what they were thinking. And that was the moment, so I truly was present. But it was by pushing myself every time to be a little bit more engaged to the point where I was no longer worried about what they thought of me.”