What is presence? In the simplest terms, it means “Wherever you are at, be there.” When you’re with you children, you want to be with your children. When you’re eating, you want to be completely aware that you’re eating. When you’re having an important conversation, you want to fully show up to that conversation. This concept is like mono-tasking as opposed to multi-tasking. This idea is so simple, but so hard for many of us. We worry about the past, the future, our plans, projects, deadlines, etc. We start thinking about what we”re going to have for lunch in the middle of a conversation or we set our happiness into the future after we are given a promotion, earn a degree, buy a new car, or achieve financial independence. The list is endless.
Practicing presence is essential in order to fully show up as a coach and facilitate meaningful and effective coaching sessions that make all parties involved feel good. But how do you practice being present? Mindfulness of our breath is the first deep practice of mindfulness and presence. Mindful breathing is our foundation, the foundation to which we can return to many times a day. As the day progresses, there will be “wake up” moments where you become mindful of either being caught up in the past, future or any other practice that keeps you from being truly present. When practiced mindfully for a few moments, the practice below has the ability to bring us back to the present moment and in doing so, help us show up as leaders.
Exercise: Mindful Breathing
In the practice below, CEO of Behavioral Essentials, Rick Breden, leads you through the steps of establishing and practicing a seated breath meditation. This simple breath meditation is a great thing to do before your coaching session to re-center yourself and transition. Over time, practicing presence in this way can benefit yourself, your loved ones, your friends and neighbors, the people you work with, and the institutions and organizations you are a part of.