The power of presence

(I wrote this on the 30th of December but could not post it till today due to internet).

This morning I woke up in Miami around about 6am as my clock still hadn’t adjusted from London time. I went for a long run on a beautiful windy Florida beach, the sand still cool from the evening, dipped in the wavy water and  just sat on the beach in total solitude, catching my breath while watching the sunrise, hands and feet buried in the sand whilst the occasional wave smacked my face almost to wake me up every time I dozed off.

 

I felt present, aware, in the moment. I felt as alive as ever. Maybe it’s the tiredness of city life that accumulated on me. Still. I find that there are some rare moments when we connect with nature and with ourselves which give us a different kind of calm, focus, a feeling of clarity and true presence. I felt like I wasn’t in my body.  I was hovering above watching  me, from a birds eye view, taking in the whole scene.

 

I felt a different kind of awareness. Awareness of the daily sort is going through the motions of life, from one micro transaction to the other:  I’m having a meal, I boarding a plane, I’m brushing my teeth, I’m going into a meeting, or as in this instance, I’m clutching the sand and watching the sunrise.. There is no macro to the micro:  our life is simply a series of events. Its missing the glue that puts it all together.

 

 

This kind of awareness I felt this morning  is of a different king. Its transcendent awareness. The kind where your individual actions in themselves don’t matter,  you register them, are aware of them but park them in the background. The total picture comes to the foreground. The micro dissolve in the presence of the macro.

 

In one moment I felt more life than in the preceding  six months’ hustle and bustle  of busy city life where we live from moment to moment, transaction to transaction, motion to motion. We never stop to truly be in the moment, to detach ourselves from being truly present, truly alive, truly and absolutely aware of ourselves and our surrounding. The constant bombardment of email, texts, social media (I’m a victim myself I admit, I’m not just criticising others) only accentuates this feeling of being lost. We lose the big picture. The macro that I refer to above.

 

Most of my friends, myself included, live a pretty fast paced life. We are always doing a myriad things concurrently, and when we are not we are planning our next transaction. We analyse the past and plan the future, all the time forgetting the present. We are conscious but not really aware. We go  from one motion to the other, there Is no time for awareness.

 

I now know, more than ever,  that all the success, all the money in the world will not bring one true fulfilment unless they can feel this kind of transcendent awareness. Where you can grab the sand, feel the wave or the suns’ rays, squeeze a lemon, catch a crab or just sit in silence and still stand above these micro events. The sum of the total is greater than that of its parts. Unless we can get a birds eye view of ourselves, transcend out of our mind and body for a moment we can’t really appreciate it or truly live it.

 

I don’t know how this works – or is even possible – in a crazy city life which is non-stop, but I know I need more of this, and making it my top 2019 resolution.

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