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Evolutionarily, we acquired the power of presence for live-or-die reasons: to take advantage of an opportunity (namely, food) or to avoid a threat. Arguably, our species survived by ignoring distractions that got in the way of finding food or dodging wild beasts. Today, being present is a choice and its rewards quite different. Today, presence supports our connection to our surroundings, other people and ourselves, allowing us to flourish far beyond those basic needs of food and safety.
 

THINK & DO

Presence with our environment means, among other things, knowing the boundaries of the office. Is your office a space in a building, or is it your mobile phone? Presence with others means listening with eyes, ears and heart. Do you think you already know what someone is going to say, before they speak a word? Presence with ourselves means hearing our internal conversations. Is that voice saying anything that’s true?
 

READ 

In her latest book, Presence, Amy Cuddy, the Harvard psychologist and TED celeb, defines “presence” as “the state of being attuned to and able to comfortably express our true thoughts, feelings, values, and potential.”
 

QUOTE

“When you wash your hands, when you make a cup of coffee, when you're waiting for the elevator - instead of indulging in thinking, these are all opportunities for being there as a still, alert presence.” – Eckhart Tolle
 

MORE FROM SI

Presence takes practice, and Stop & Listen, by Simple Intentions founder Jae Ellard, gives you concrete tools to intentionally create more presence in your life. The ideas are further explored in our post on presence as a superpower on the Simple Intentions blog, where you can add your comments, share the post and get new posts sent straight to your email.

 
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