The reality is... we ALL want to be connected. Google “Relationship” and you get 300 million responses; “Personal Relationship” gives you 153 million responses. 7 Keys to… 5 Ways of… 20 Steps Toward… With access to everyone’s ideas, thoughts, opinions and experiences, there’s no shortage of information available to us about how to get connected… and yet in today’s world of technology, statistics reveal that at many levels, people are more emotionally dis-connected than at any other time in all of history… We have access to countless books on interpersonal relationships, communication, connection, marriage, healing; Youtube has a vast offering of resources and yet people are still saying, “Can you hear me now?”, “I think I got dis-connected!”
In today’s world of technology we give much of ourselves to social networking, video games, the Internet, and countless other pre-occupations. Eighty-three percent of the Millennial generation (birth years range from 1980-2000) uses a computer for work, and their average personal time on a computer is 17 hours a week. The younger you are, the more likely you will communicate by texting.
Our time, our attention, our creativity, is being held captive by electronic gadgets that are sucking the life out of us… Life we are meant to share with one another.
The exciting thing is, people are looking! They are searching. They have become aware that while they are “living life” there’s a lot of “life” missing from their living. Every human being has at their core, an innate need to belong. To be part of something significant, bigger, greater, grander than themselves. To feel the abundant joy and strength that comes from an honest and meaningful personal encounter. To experience a life exchange that is both authentic and challenging; where there is a purposeful significance in time spent together. Where being known isn’t just something talked about in a workshop, conference, or training event - but at the deepest level is manifested in our interpersonal relationships. Where knowing isn’t a burden, but a joy.
What we all long for is Presence…
The ability to experience the nearness, the attention, the availability of another human being. The face, the skin, the breath, the words, the spirit, the heart of another living soul. To be engaged at a level that resonates value, that accesses joy, and produces life. This is what we all long for. Practicing Presence. At the heart of presence is being. It's our ability to BE that gives us access to presence.
BE FACE TO FACE.
BE PRESENT so much of our ability to be present comes from a realization of the gift we give to someone when we are present.
• Present yourself! As a verb, when we present ourselves, we are handing over, granting, giving, bestowing, demonstrating, and putting on display; we are making known and unveiling ourselves. This requires commitment and intentionality. Selflessness. It is about choosing. It is a demonstration and recognition of your own worth and value.
• Nothing hidden, nothing withheld, and nothing protected. Vulnerability, authenticity, courage, and truthfulness are what we exercise when we don’t hide, withhold, or protect. It is a practice of trust and manifestation of love and honor.
• Show up. Bring who you are to the relationship. Don’t dumb down the grace you carry or the power that you bring to the relationship. We need you!
BE FACE TO FACE there is no replacement for what we receive from each other when we are face-to-face. Only here can a true friendship and closeness really be developed.
• Science is now able to prove the emotional and physical benefits of face-to-face encounters; parts of our emotional health are completely dependent on what we receive in eye-to-eye contact.
• There is a giving and receiving that takes place when we are face-to-face. We actually send and receive data to and from one another through our left eye. We have the ability to connect at a deep level, spirit to spirit, when we are face-to-face. Our joy center is nurtured through eye-to-eye gazing. H A P P Y happens!
• Being face-to-face means we’ve chosen to direct our focus on one another. We’ve minimized outside distractions by putting away our cell phones, closing our computers and iPads. We've told our children, “This is Daddy and Mommy time.” In doing this we send a clear message to one another… You are important. You are the priority. You’ve got my attention. I’m all yours! We receive life-giving affirmation and value from one another when we position ourselves in this way.
BE STILL stillness is not the absence of activity, but quietness of mind and heart.
• Letting go of the things around us, the busy-ness of life, empowers us to become aware, or tuned-in, to one another at a deeper level... needs, desires, longings. It is often a soft, quiet, and very powerful place of knowing and being known. A place where deep thoughts have opportunity to surface and be shared. A place that is safe to explore dreams. A place to understand needs and desires.
• Developing a discipline and the art of directing your affections toward one another opens this place of stillness. It provides a breeding ground for familiarity and mindfulness that is lived even outside of the moment.
• Peace, rest, and security are produced through stillness, being still with one another.
Being present, being face-to-face, being still are three important ways to cultivate Presence in your relationships. Whether in a leadership team, marriage or family, friends or housemates… Practicing presences always results in connection.
Re-engage through practicing presence…
• What significant relationship in your world is looking for presence?
• What transformation is waiting for that relationship?
• What would this relationship look like, feel like, be like in two weeks time - if you gave it a commitment of 15-20 minutes daily practicing presence - being present, being face-to-face, being still?