Sunday, August 4, 2013

Be Present

I don't watch a bunch of television but there are days when it feels good to just surf. I tend to head to the networks that show movies. I am sucker for watching the Harry Potter marathons featured on ABC Family.

This summer I was surfing and came across the OWN network. I began watching Oprah's Master Class which happened to be featuring Cindy Crawford.  She was sharing her story and life mantras.  I was enamored as she shared about the loss of her brother, her everyday struggles as a mother and her message.  She ended with Be Present.

I started thinking about the importance of these two words and what they mean to me.  I thought about how to me being present really meant listening, wholeheartedly.

So this summer, I decided to practice presence.  I began to catch myself when I began drifting from it in  conversations with my sons, friends and husband.  I tried to stay focused to what another person was sharing, even if they need to talk longer than I would like to listen.  I practiced keeping my interest in what another was saying even if I felt uninterested.  It has been hard to stay focused without changing the subject right away or trying to relate everything back to me (I can over do this).  But I feel better, I feel patient and more present than I would have been.

Last night I talked at my husband for ten minutes about my classroom plans, my worries about the middle son's golf try out, my annoyance with the kids picking up after themselves, the list goes on...What I noticed was that he let me talk without interrupting for ten minutes.  I think he could tell I just needed to get it out. He didn't jump in and try to relate to something (like I always do) and he didn't stop and answer or even look down at his phone when he received a text (like I often do).  He helped me think even more about what I need to pay attention to to really be present.

With school starting, I am conscious about how this practice will translate in the classroom.  How will I become present for my students? How will I make time to be present for each of them? How will I put aside my own stress to really be there for them? How will I show them and give them time to practice presence for one another?


jcolando said...

Thank you for this.

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

I need to practice this. I need to live this.

Mary Lee said...

Good reminder...wise words.

Teachers for Teachers said...

Great way to begin the year --we too will try your mantra!

Julie Johnson said...

I remind myself of this all the time. Thank you for this post, especially as the school year begins.

Miss Trayers said...

A really great thing to think about. I read a quote once that said most people don't really listen, they are just waiting for their turn to speak. Definitely something that we can fix if we are conscious of it.


Loralee Landers Druart said...

A good reminder! Thank you!