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This ‘being present’ movement is great on paper, but there were moments today when I was pining for my ‘Ignorance is Bliss’ days. Those lost and unconscious days also came with 50lbs extra pounds on my body, feeling disconnected and hanging on my hook waiting for the next person to need me. But it had it’s benefits. Like the hiding from the world. There was comforting darkness. There was sweet avoiding and being unwilling or interested in addressing the feelings I hadn’t processed over decades. It was just me, my surface facade of “everything is fine”, my bathrobe and Turner Classic Movie Station to keep me distracted and entertained. Now THAT was blissful. I use to believe that to “be present” I would walk around in some altered, zen-like state sitting in an ashram chilling with the Dalai Lama. The most peaceful person on earth. What I know today is really quite the opposite. It has been described that to be present is the simple act of being with whatever you are doing – fully. To watch and witness it all. To be open and willing to experience whatever presents itself inside and outside of you. This is where master gurus say they meditate 24 hours a day – meaning WHILE they are living life. Like gardening, walking or talking to friends. That they are fully there and not thinking about the next thing to say or do. They are in the moment… and the next… and the next. I’m good with that, as long as I’m walking through a warm, lush field of swaying grass at sunset on an all expenses paid vacation. That would be EASY to be with. But what about when I am wrestling my 2 year old to change his explosive diaper, have kids tormenting each other for fun and no clue what to feed them or me for dinner (which is now an hour late) because I chose to spend that hour cleaning up an unplanned video for my next ‘Daring to Suck’ challenge? (…more on this tomorrow). Was I present? Yes. Fully. Was it blissful? No. I felt the buzziness in my stomach from juggling too much. I noticed my shortness of temper and lack of patience with my kids who only wanted my love and attention. However, I also noticed I caught myself before it got worse. I felt my feet on the ground and took a deep breath in and out. I got down on the floor to read them a book and shake off the mounting tension. I smelled their hair and noticed how grown up and helpful my five year old is all of the sudden. I laughed watching my 2 year old struggle to hold a ‘grown up’ spoon. And in doing so, the light and space inside my body came back… phew. This is sweet recovery from the practice of presence. Some days ignorance is easy to pine for when we feel overwhelmed, but recovery and grace are pretty cool bonuses in the world of presence too. We all know that life isn’t a field of tall grass every day. It’s messy and awkward. We have voices in our heads, stories we become aware of and time constraints that bring pressure. We bump into people who see things differently and there are disagreements and we can’t control how the world shows up in our presence. But we CAN control our responses and our recovery. These moments are our do-overs. And the only way to be back in the drivers...