For most of my life, I’ve been that guy whose leg bounces up and down beneath the table and vibrates the silverware.
It’s not that I’m always anxious. Well, at least not in a fearful way. It’s that my mind has habitually run on hyperdrive; always calculating, imagining and planning the future.
This kind of mental activity takes awareness away from what’s happening in the present moment.
There are two places in which I’ve strengthened my capacity to be present; sitting meditation and coaching. As I practice in these places, I find I develop a resource that I’m able to access elsewhere (with my wife and son for example).
Presence is obviously not about having a still body. For me, this works as a cue because my moving body is often a sign of a moving mind.
By stilling my body, I find I am able to open a gateway to stilling my mind. When my mind is still, the future fades away and I’m left with my awareness of Now.
It works kind of like an internet connection. If someone is downloading a video while you’re on a video conference, your connection to what’s being said is low quality. But when you are the only one online and your connection is ultra high speed, the clarity of connection is much higher.
With a still mind, the present moment is sensory rich and has more depth and breadth to it.
When my mind is still, I don’t need to put effort into looking for things because they appear more easily.
The less I move – as in the less I ‘think’ – the more I see.