I find myself seeking and requesting “presence.” But it isn’t easy to say exactly what presence is.
Most of the topics we’ve looked at up til now have shared the common characteristic that they could be written about. But topics like “presence” are not that easy to discuss.
We had a phrase in the Growth Movement: “being met.” And what that meant was people risking being present with each other, people hanging out together from a point of being conscious, aware, present, and finding that others were wanting that space as well. We “met” each other in the space of conscious awareness or presence.
When one is present, one is as fully conscious as one can be and hopes that the other person shares the same desire. One always risks that the other person won’t show up, won’t know what one is talking about, and the outcome may be disappointing. But then again one sometimes encounters people wanting to be conscious, open to being so.
When two people show up together, the result is nourishing and restorative. Love flows and happiness arises.
I don’t mean to hurt anyone’s feelings by pushing forward. I don’t feel I can remain within the agreed-upon space of the constructed self any longer. I have to take steps into this new way of being or, it seems to me, shrivel up on the vine. That’s how it looks for me. This is like the “call of the wild.”
“Being met” does not mean that one person is hungering to meet another. It means hungering for a person to “show up,” as we’d have said back then. Everyone in an encounter group was waiting for everyone else to “show up,” to become conscious, present, alert, alive, aware. Once people showed up, then we really got down to exciting and rewarding work. Until then, all was agony and groaning, or so it seemed.
Showing up meant one existed outside one’s act or number. One had become satiated with patterned life and yearned to leave it. One had tasted the energy and love that’s released by being conscious, the joy of being reconnected and one took it up and learned the art. So often the first taste of presence was enough to thoroughly sell someone on it.
Back then, I did not see the act of will that showing up required because everyone was doing it in the group and it was part of the group culture. But now I see it.
Those who choose to be “present” pay a price in not being understood and looking strange, and even losing friends, but they know and choose the rewards.
So that’s what’s driving me these days. I must have more and the more I want at the moment is presence.
Having said all that, “presence” in itself remains just another step on the overall journey. Not like I know where the journey goes. I do not.
But when we reach each new stage on the journey, the next stage seems to open up.
I’m beginning to think that, if I do the work to get to the next stage, then the next stage after that will make itself known to me.
Living into life, greeting life in each moment as if what awaits me is surely more satisfying than what I’ve left behind, is proving rewarding in my experience.
I’m at peace with change because I’ve ended up satisfied at the end of each jump I’ve taken. In a sense, it’s as if I’m coming to trust life and to trust taking the next step and finding myself OK.
Presence calls me, invites attention and rewards experience. Here I must go as the next stage on my journey, to a space less sensory – quiet and still.