57. Presence & Progress

I’m wrapping up the last few pages of the book I mentioned in my last post. The book is called “Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self To Your Biggest Challenges,” and despite some heavy research-laden content, there is a few nuggets that were particularly helpful in this season of my life. I hope they help bring benefit to your perspective on life.


“Presence is the next five minutes. Presence is removing judgements and walls and masks so as to create a true and deep connection with others.”

~Amy Cuddy

It’s hard for us to be present in our day-to-day lives when we are so caught up in what’s next or what just happened. This is a struggle for me because it feels like the moment-to-moment of each day is fairly routine but I get very anxious with the situations that I seem to face that feel like a waiting game. Sometimes those situations are precursors of bigger and further out situations. I am currently trying to consciously focus on the next five minutes every chance I can, in an effort to relieve some of the anxiety and stress and allow me to give more of myself and my energy to the moment I’m in.


“When people lie, they are juggling multiple narratives. What they want to be true, what they know to be true, what they are presenting to be true and all the emotions that go along with each – fear, anger, guilt, hope. All the while they are trying to project a credible image of themselves which suddenly become very, very difficult.”

This is so true with the lies I tell myself. At church, I’ve learned to think of these as false beliefs. When I place these false beliefs side-by-side with biblical truths, I begin to realize how silly some of my worries really are. The verse in Scripture that ties so strongly to this is found in 2 Corinthians 10:5, which says: “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” Taking into consideration that we live in a world full of shame, guilt, inappropriate relationships, lies, inconsistencies, and so on, we have no choice but to do a “trust fall”* into the Father’s arms and fight like heck to stay strong in these turbulent times. As Christ followers, it is important for us to realize and understand that we can’t, not even for a moment, let societies way of thinking penetrate our minds and hearts. Easier said than done, right?

*What a horrible analogy.


“You never figure out how to write a novel. You just figure out how to write the novel you’re on.”

This quote just brings me back to the realization that none of us really know what we’re doing. Some of us have so much confidence, paired with a greater diversity of experience in certain situations that it makes them appear to be good at everything. Others, like me, set out to do something and it seems like I have to fight so hard to keep my head above water and hope it works out. The whole “life’s not fair” theme comes to mind.

Because of this, it’s important to remember that we can only be as successful as we are present. That’s my takeaway from this book. If I can’t stay focused long enough on the task in front of me, nothing in my life will ever get done to its fullest. We don’t have to have all or most of the answers in the beginning. We just have to know enough in the present to get us to the next baby step.

I hope this gives you something worthwhile to think about in your own life and I would love to hear your thoughts or stories related to being present! Just drop a comment below and let’s start a conversation! 🙂

Until next time, take care.

Michael

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