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What Does It Look Like to Be Present? by Bonnie Brinkman

Aug 9, 2021
Bonnie Brinkman

“Wherever you are, be all there.”

Surely, you’ve heard this quote before. Whether it’s pinned to your fridge or you’ve heard a friend say it, odds are that it’s not new to you. And it’s probably a phrase you agree with! Basically what it is saying is: wherever you are, whatever you are doing, do it whole-heartedly… be present in whatever it is.

While we agree with the sentiment, how many of us can honestly say that we are truly present? In a world full of distractions, are we ever giving our undivided attention to anything?

What does that even mean?

Being present means to be completely engaged in whatever you are doing at the moment…whether that is work, an activity, or even a conversation. No checking your text messages on the side or replaying an old conversation over and over in your head. It just means you are fully connected to what is going on in the now.

Often, we are distracted while trying to accomplish things, which prevents us from being fully present. We tend to focus on things of the current moment. When we do that, it robs us from fully experiencing and accomplishing what we can IN that moment. And, in some cases, it robs others of our full attention.

So what can you do to be present?

It takes some practice but it begins with being aware. Be aware and in-tune of the moments throughout the day….even your thoughts (which can be some of the biggest distractions)! When you catch your thoughts drifting, try to remove those mental distractions. Focus on the present and work on listening. Or, if you are still having trouble, take a mental break so you can come back to the moment refreshed, recharged, and ready to give your full, undivided attention to the task at hand.

Another thing you can do to help yourself to be present is to remove unnecessary distractions. Whether that means you turn off the tv, put your phone away, or even take a minute to breathe deeply and try to clear your mind,  getting quiet and removing distractions from the environment you’re in can help to refocus and be present.

When we are present, we are able to take in the exact moment we are in and maximize it. We are able to show intentionality and care toward others, our work, and ourselves. So this week, commit to being more present and engaged. Focus on connecting to the moments you are in and appreciate them.

*courtesy of Safe Conversations


Bonnie Brinkman, and her wife, Darcy Jack, offer the 2-day training on Safe Conversations in the “Getting The Love You Want” workshop for couples created by Dr. Harville Hendrix, and his wife, Helen LaKelly Hunt.