Building a capacity to live a present lifestyle has been an ongoing focus of mine ever since I became aware of the spiritual practice. For me, being present is rooted in a kind of spirit awakening that enables me to live a more authentic life. My desire and commitment to being present is practiced in all areas of my life. My whole being desires to live in a state of being present. The features of presence can include but are not limited to: critical self-reflection, purposeful, spirit-filled, open, empathic, together-focused, self/other-accepting, love centered, relational risk taking, and imaginative relationship building. Of course, these are very lofty features that can be life transforming as well as difficult to integrate into the whole being. I seem to cycle these features throughout my personal and professional life. Sometimes I find myself easily shedding my layers that bind me and other times I need to be broken open in order to be transformed anew.
Within my profession over the past year, I feel like I have both shed and broken open new awakenings as I have ventured through my educational program. I have been so present in my classroom with my kids. I am noticing new heights of personal engagement as well as student engagement. By putting into practice new strategies that meet kids where they are at, I have been able to be more purposeful, open, and imaginative in my teaching. I feel so connected with the students. When they come into my room I look at them all and practice bringing all of my presence to them. I am engaging with them as little humans instead of just teaching them curriculum. This has been a shedding of layers for me. There are other areas in the school setting I have had to be broken open in order to even begin being present. I have really struggled with trying to be in control and making things happen instead of letting them unfold. I react to situations to quickly which gets me into trouble. By reacting, I am not being present to the situation; rather, I am trying to control it and manipulate the outcome. Nowhere in the features of being present does it mention control and manipulation; yet, one feature that is mentioned is critical self-reflection. Reflection is definitely something I am willing and open to practice. By being aware of and willing to work on the areas that reveal themselves to me throughout my life, I will continue to strive towards developing a deeper state of presence.