Let’s define a presence of mind as having self-control in stressful situations along with the ability to think and act calmly even if chaos or conflict surrounds you.
The surprising thing is, what you think you want is more control. Counterintuitively, what you need more of, is the ability to be open and flexible in your personal presence. Presence is your way through the emotional reaction, not having greater control.
When you recognize that you are searching for the presence of mind, on some level you are also aware your mind and body have been caught up in a reaction to something. You might notice you are a little anxious or feel the tension or even sense you could cry.
These feeling are emotional energy, and you have just been caught up in the grip of an emotion. Emotions can derail anyone.
Just ask anyone how has felt anger, frustration, regret, guilt, resentment or fear if they felt their emotions had a hold of them for a bit.
The good news is the solution isn’t only available in your ability to ‘think’ your way through.
You might be surprised to know that improved presence of mind is possible when you begin to pay attention to the energy that you create when you’re inside of a reaction.
While this seem a little woo-woo at first, there is a practical application for using your energy to move through a problem.
It is truly possible to extract yourself from the pattern of overreacting and maintain a sense of equanimity and calmness even in the face of significant stress.
Here are a few tips on how to improve your presence of mind:
1. Recognize what is present. When you’re able to acknowledge that you have been caught up in an energy field of reaction – you are on your way to improved peace of mind. It may even seem like you have been caught up inside of an energy field, where the energy feels like it a part of you. Just by noticing it – you’ve taken the first step to being able to extract yourself from the overreaction.
Most people describe this field of energy as if it’s a cloud surrounding their body. The reaction creates this energy field and most often it will represent itself surrounding or engulfing your mind and body.
You can poke the energy to reveal itself by asking “Will the part of me that is creating this reaction, show itself now”. Often just the question is enough to open up enough awareness so that you can sense it with your subtle senses of seeing and feeling.
This energy as it breathes around us creates an identification that has us feel as if the energy is a part of our reality and a part of us. We get caught up in and live in the expectation of this perception.
It has the quality of a singular perspective, and your goal here will be to extract yourself from the energy so that you can have a bigger, more world-view perspective.
2. Extract yourself from the energy. The key to extracting yourself from this energy’s power over you is to notice that the energy has a place where it’s present and then a place where it ends. Out beyond the edge of energy, there is a sliver of calm and peace. The key is to recognize and then favor noticing this quietness that exists out beyond the reactive energy.
Once you’re able to make the distinction between the energy and the fast quietness that exists out beyond the energy – you can choose to go out and stand in the perspective that is vast and peaceful. Once you have done that – you have extracted yourself from the reaction.
Take the time to notice that out here in awareness, you are so much more than that reaction. Notice just how fast and limitless is this awareness.
After you’ve taken the time to appreciate, the vast quietness of awareness, gaze back at what was the energy. Most often you will notice the energy that previously engulfed you as getting smaller and smaller.
The perspective happens because your awareness shifts to recognizing the reality that you are so much more than that old limited expectation and perspective.
3. See the energy as a story. I will suggest that you see this old energy as an emotional reaction to the story. It’s an old response.
Once you do this, you will recognize there is no real benefit to running the limited story. Then you will begin to notice how this old reaction may not be an effective use of your own life’s energy to support it.
It’s okay to let the reaction go.
Notice the energy cannot exist if the story does not exist. Often when you’re able to get this awareness the story and the energy will collapse back into awareness.
After you’ve extracted yourself from the energy, you’ll notice that you have greater perspective, more awareness and a greater sense of calm and presence of mind.
This type of awareness work – works especially well when you have an expert guide to support you. Contact us, and we can show you how this works in a complimentary Personal Leadership Break-thru Session.