Giving the gift of presence
“There is nothing more powerful than a human soul rooted in the present moment, free from the illusion of the past or the future.” – Tony Robbins
We’ve all heard about the power of now. The brilliant spiritual teacher Ram Dass famously said “be here now” 50 years ago. Yet most of us don’t truly understand the gift of presence. We live in a fast-paced, technology-filled world with numerous distractions at our fingertips. Smartphones, iPads and Netflix constantly trigger us to ignore the moments in front of us – this moment right here and right now. The stresses of work-life balance and emotional struggles like depression and anxiety can make us want to retreat into a make-believe world.
It takes strength and focus to be able to feel the gift of presence in your life. But when you finally realize that your presence is the greatest gift – not only for your friends and family, but for yourself – you gain the power to shape your life experience. Every time you make the decision to have a clear mind and an open heart, you’re embracing the true meaning of the gift of presence.
So forget about the past. Stop obsessing about the future. Remember, the quality of life is the quality of your relationships – and we show our love and commitment to our relationships by staying in the present moment.
What is presence?
The gift of presence meaning is defined by more than physical presence. We can all think of times when we were “there” but our minds were elsewhere. True presence means that you are deeply mentally invested in the situation at hand. You are experiencing the entire moment: the temperature, the sounds, the smells and the sights. You are deeply engaged with the people around you or with your activity – and that doesn’t include watching TV or playing on your phone.
Your presence is the greatest gift, because this very second is the only thing that’s real. The future is imaginary; it hasn’t happened yet. The past is a memory, and memories are just emotions. Your past is not your future – or your present – unless you live there. Give yourself the gift of presence, and learn to experience life instead of remembering it.
Why is the gift of presence so important?
Your presence is the greatest gift you can give to your loved ones – not jewelry or flowers or toys. When it comes to your partner, your family and your loved ones, you need to be here now. Love and connection are two of our Six Human Needs, and the gift of presence is the only thing that can fulfill them. “There’s nothing more powerful than a human soul in the present moment, free from the past or the future,” Tony says: Someone who’s wholeheartedly attentive to you right now, experiencing life with you.
Presence is how you keep the spark alive in a relationship. It’s how you show support to your partner. It’s how you build healthy, lasting relationships with your children. It’s how you bring yourself total fulfillment in life. The meaning of the gift of presence is pure light and love. It’s everything.
Learning that your presence is the greatest gift
Life is full of distractions. It isn’t always easy to uncover the gift of presence and apply it in your own life. These inspiring individuals made it happen, and you can, too.
Ken Allen’s story
For Ken Allen, life was not working. He was a successful investment banker, but felt empty inside. Divorce was on the horizon. And then everything changed: He lost 35 pounds, started a company, learned how to play the banjo, meditated daily, made giving a priority and became truly present with his kids. He talked to the Tony Robbins Podcast about what triggered him to finally find the gift of presence.
Ashley and Gary’s story
What is the real gift of presence meaning? It means you are there fully, completely, 100%. It means “meeting in the middle” is not an option. It means accepting your partner for who they are in that moment. Seeing life from their perspective. It’s what happens when two people have the courage to take responsibility for their own presence, and also recognize it in each other. Ashley and Gary learned how to show up to their relationship at Date With Destiny, and you can bring the same energy to your partnership.
Byron Katie’s story
Author and speaker Byron Katie has dedicated her life to showing others how to live with the gift of presence. She’s most well known for an inquiry process called The Work: four questions to ask that change your perceptions and accept reality for what it is. But she wasn’t always an expert. She struggled with depression and alcohol issues until she had one life-changing realization: you can’t change reality, but you can change the way you experience reality.
“The miracle of love comes to you in the presence of the uninterpreted moment. If you are mentally somewhere else, you miss real life,” says Katie. In the clip below, she’ll take you on a peaceful morning walk and help you practice presence as the world reveals itself to you.
How will you begin to be more present for your loved ones and yourself? Are you ready to embrace the true meaning of the gift of presence?
What’s your top need that drives your life?
In order to fully use and share our gifts, we must understand how our human needs shape our thoughts, behaviors and actions. Take this free quiz to discover your top human need and how it shapes you.