The Intention of Now
In each moment that unfolds before you, all that you will ever have is that moment – this moment – this very segment of time in which the past has gone and the future has yet to appear – and what remains is – the Now. The Now is that moment when you fully recognize an experience that will never happen again quite like it just did – when you become aware of the illusive nature of this sliver of time that allows no attachment as it easily glides into its next phase of development – the past. Being able to recognize and participate regularly in this exquisite expression of consciousness suggests a power of presence so transformational that it will shape all else that awaits you in the next moment – and the next.
This is the realm of the Mystic – the keen mind that seeks learning above all else. Inspired by intrigue and inquisitiveness, this child-like consciousness investigates, inquires, and entertains all possibilities and embraces wonder and awe as way of showing up, paying attention and focusing on what is true in the Now. This is your guide for the next three practices and serves as the energy for the power of true presence.
The Eskimo culture practices showing up with the Intention of Now. As they enter another’s home for a visit, they announce: “I am here.” The host responds: “I am here too.” Rather than the trivial niceties that most usually exchange that includes telling you to come in, fix yourself a drink or have a seat, this tribal practice is profoundly different. To be able to say, “I am here,” is a guide for all who seek to “show up.”
To Show up requires intention – being intentional about the quality of presence you bring to your encounters with people, places, and circumstances. Showing up is not concerned with the amount of time but instead, the quality of the time spent. Ten minutes of intentional presence has more impact than thirty minutes of mediocre attention with distracted behavior. Be clear about this when others ask for your time and say no if you are not able to show up fully. When you do agree to show up – even briefly, it becomes an opportunity to sit quietly with the quality of intention.
You can begin the practice of showing up as soon as the intention is made. When you commit to lunch, you have picked up the fork of willingness and a spoonful of caring. When asked to attend a meeting, your intention means that quality will precede you through the door. When delivering a presentation, the audience is looking for all of you to “show up” – not just the physical presence of your body or the accumulated facts of your mind – they also hunger for the depth of your passionate soul and the animation of your lively spirit.
As quality parenting requires showing up, “you are there” when needed. If you are a working parent, when you show up at the door and walk into a waiting household with a phone in your ear, you may miss the moment of Now. Instead, if you use the time going home to prepare for being home, you will reap the rewards of this difference. And if you are a single parent raising children on your own and working full time, quality is essential over quantity.
Living life on purpose helps clarify your intention of why you show up. If your purposeful life is to make a difference, you can only do that by being fully present to the task, the concept or the relationship. If your purpose is to build, navigate, heal or help, your ability to be present in the moment allows you to build without error, navigate even the most dangerous waterways and help heal those who will respond to the quality of your presence. Helping those in need may be determined by your ability to see the real source of their dilemma. That can only be discerned if you Show Up.
How can you show up within the multiple demands of your everyday? If you commute to your work, you could turn off the radio – finish all the calls and allow at least ten minutes of time for you to prepare – to let go – to sit quietly – so that you can show up fully. Commit to having dinner at the table with the family without the distraction of technology.
To return again and again to “digital connectivity” suggests you didn’t accomplish enough in a normal time commitment. Showing up does require time and space – enough time to be fully focused on that or who asks for your attention and space that is free from the clutter of distraction.
First responders are professionals who show up when called in time of trouble. Yet, aren’t you an emergency responder in some way – able to go to a place of “wounding or crisis?” Aren’t you also like the public servant called to be present, able, responsive, caring, healing and in service to others?
When another asks you to Show Up, it is because they honor what you may bring – they respect who you are – and they care about what difference you will make. You have the same expectation when you invite into your life those you want to be there – and you are pleased when they – Show Up.
What are the barriers to this practice that should become easier if you practice the first tenant of Sit Quietly?
Is the barrier the energy of shame because you don’t feel worthy to be invited? Or is it guilt because you really don’t want to visit your aged parent and only do it because you feel guilty if you don’t? Are you just “too busy” – the current status symbol of a society that defines success by being busy? Could it be inhibition –the discomfort of being your true self and being able to relax into authenticity? Is it a mild narcissism which suggests that if it’s not about you, why should you show up? Is your barrier the fear of exposure about what you don’t know, the fear of being judged by others, the fear of failure – or is it a fear of life itself?
How easily you can be diverted or consumed by the energies of distraction and disintegration that attempt to keep you from the celebration of the Intention of Now.
In conclusion, ponder this question: Do you allow others to SHOW UP for you? Unlike the family dog, are you are hard to pet?” Will you let others care for you – be present for you – or does a deep seated feeling of unworthiness stand in the way of that too?
Showing up with intention requires a giver and a receiver if the formula is to be complete.
Your host is here – are you here too?