Presence is a word for the experience of feeling connected to a larger sense of self.
It’s a connection so it’s easier to notice it when connected with others.
Either way, Presence busts our sense of isolation and uncertainty, supports community, helps us feel we’re in our right place.
It’s what’s in the wings when we’ve stepped back from our personal isolating performance a moment. We realize that there’s something more than our performance. At least we hope there is.
It comes with the illuminating recognition that we’re uniquely ourselves, that we’re gifted and that others are these things too.
Presence is a quintessential human experience, familiar and unmistakable to anyone, whether or not they call it Presence or don’t give it a name. Even the first time you become aware of it, you recognize that it’s always been there in your consciousness but you were just overlooking it.
Noticing Presence is a developmental capacity that’s spreading in our world.
Presence starts to become apparent as we’re seen and heard. It’s often easiest to notice when we’re connected, safe and open with others in groups. Then it’s like “group mindfulness: But here you’re not not so much mindful of what’s in your consciousness, as you are of what’s in our common consciousness. You notice you’re sharing in a collective consciousness, a collective intelligence.
It’s as if Presence taps our experience of isolation and confusion on the shoulder. It messes with the lonely sense of being a stranger in a strange land, us against the world. When we recognize Presence, we recognize everyone else is here too and we’re like them.
Presence isn’t difficult or esoteric, but it’s often overlooked. We seldom get to it because we literally don’t imagine there is such a thing. Presence just take the stage in the self-sense that’s our social norm. Noticing Presence, by whatever name, is at the root of social change and individual change and organizational change too.
Words about Presence don’t help much but connecting to it deeply changes everything. It’s a practice, not a goal. It takes a lot of practice.
Two things you can do are 1) sign up for Presencing Practice Notes near the top of the page. This will give you reminders, which are themselves practice. And 2), when you want to, join a practicing drop-in group.
The PLUS part
Think of it as applied Presencing. Presencing isn’t one thing but when experienced in a group it tends to be rather diffuse and general, reflecting our diversity. If we want to narrow in and approach particular life concerns in the spirit of Presence, we can do that with others. Doing this is a natural follow-up to practicing Presence. If you’re receiving Presencing Practice Notes you’ll hear about these.