SomaNews March-April 2020

The Gift of Presence

“When you love someone, the best thing you can offer is your presence. How can you love if you are not there?."
— Thich Nhat Hanh

"Your presence is the most precious gift you can give to another human being." – Marshall B. Rosenberg

As I sit here with fingers poised over the keyboard, I listen to the birds outside calling for a lover with a beautiful song. My opinion, nature is always in its glorious presence. Nature is such a solace when we are not sure where to take the next step on this path called life.

I smile, enjoying the birds’ simple, sweet songs. And as I turn my gaze back to my computer, I remember the chaos happening around me, my community, our world. So much is coming at us – and it is all energy. Powerful energy. When do we need to step out of its way and let it go by, and when do we need to turn and face it?

How can we be present to it?

Life can bring us deeply into our minds and thoughts, creating stories that can cause fear, stop us in our tracks, or fill us with anxiety. I believe to be truly “in” the world, we must be present. Remember that adage, you must be present to win? This, my dear friends, is truth.

In somatic work, we offer a practice called centering – a powerful, fundamental practice to bring us back to the present moment. This practice helps to build that self-observer, who can be within and without at the same time.

Centering is part of what we call presence. Presence is the ability to be in yourself and connected to others. It isn’t just being in the moment; it is being in the moment within yourself and with others.

Developing presence

Where in your life would you like to develop more presence? What are the steps for building a body, a shape, that draws to you what you need for the gift of presence? Here are some ideas.

  • Doing what you say you will do.

Integrity – a quality of fairness, doing the right thing in a reliable way, an inner sense of wholeness and consistency of character. This brings in honesty and trust, when we are integral in our words and acts.

  • Managing your moods.

Mood – the shape of your body creates mood. Are you able to manage your mood? When limiting moods hit, such as resentment, resignation or anxiety, how do you reshape your body to interrupt to choose and maintain a generative mood, such as curious, bold, energetic, or grateful. When we manage our moods, we can bring in greater flexibility, closer listening, better coordination with others.

  • Completing what you start.

Commitment – a public declaring of an intention, then doing what’s intended to completion. When you honor your commitments, you are creating a presence that says you get it done. When you complete what you start, you take a stand and build trust.

“Take the matter of bacon and eggs.The chicken makes a contribution. The pig makes a commitment.” John Mack Carter

Right now, in this chaos that surrounds us, how can we stay present? Practice.

Practice doing what you say you will do, manage your moods, honor your commitments. And above all, love yourself. Open your heart with compassion for self and others.


"Your presence is the most precious gift you can give to another human being." 
– Marshall B. Rosenberg

I'm here for you...

I'm committed to supporting you in any way I can. No matter where you're located, the marvels of Skype or Zoom will allow us to work together virtually. Reach out to me if you would like to explore developing or deepening your presence. I offer a free initial session for new clients.

Phone: 707-480-3846