Setting Intentions: Be Present

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Photo by Michael Edwards

I thought our intention for the coming week would be centered on meal planning or cooking with healthier ingredients.  Those types of goals are important, but through our intention to celebrate during our family meals, it became clear that presence is at the heart of the party. Showing up, staying engaged, and being real.

Maybe you’ve been at a party, and even though the celebration part is happening, you don’t feel a sense of engagement or truthfulness, from yourself or the people around you. I have to confess that I’ve been both disengaged and disingenuous way too often, particularly during the past year. Instead of facing uncomfortable realities or situations, I tend toward denial and avoidance.

Everything is fine. Where’s my iPhone?

I’ll give myself a little credit: I believe that I’m getting better at being present. I’m getting better at it because I have the chance to practice every day, particularly when I’m with my family. I’m learning that presence doesn’t mean presenting a perfect facade. And I’m learning to give myself a break when I fall short.

At dinner tonight, we were all present. We brought silliness, impatience, laughter, spilled water glasses, complaints about beef ravioli, fights over seating arrangements, scatological humor, and a lot of love. Everything wasn’t fine, but I didn’t retreat to my iPhone. We all showed up to the party, and it was a come as you are event.

What does being present mean to you? How does being present affect your family meals? 

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One thought on “Setting Intentions: Be Present

  1. I remember the moment he took that picture in our backyard in Boise. It’s my favorite of his pics (except for ones of you and the kids).
    I’ve been slowly feeling more comfortable with discomfort. I feel like I’m letting go of aiming to be positive and happy and perfect and good. Self improvement is overrated. I’m less emotional about both ups and downs which really opens up space for clarity.
    I’m very blessed to have a partner who is calm, funny, intellectually interesting and interested in listening to me anytime I want to share or opinionate. (The computer doesn’t think that’s a word, but I like it.) Not that we always have smooth sailing. Our disagreements are generally about miniscule things which seem to loom large. We have a good time preparing meals together and eating them too. We do watch DVDs a lot while we eat dinner, so maybe we’re not as present as if we were sitting face to face. During the day, we have a lot of opportunities to have long conversations so I guess video watching is a break in a way. Good food for thought, Elise

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