Lucy Di Marino

Maintaining Presence with Others

We are wired for connection and yet we have to learn and often relearn how to relate to others, how to root ourselves in our wellness so that we are able to effectively communicate and commune with those we meet and are in relationship with. When we are relaxed during our interactions, we are able to maintain presence and remain centred. This often comes as a result of realising who we truly are and what resources exist within us so that we operate consciously, set in place new patterns of being that serve us, do not take on what is not ours to carry and are able to work through and heal what feels hurt within us, knowing that spiritually we are safe and well and able to trust in our intuition, instincts and wisdom.

Learning to consciously engage with life, to create and play, innovate, recover a sense of self able to relax into joy, expand beyond hypervigilance, reactivity and shut down, no longer resisting life, happens when we recognise, inhabit, embody the knowledge that we have the ability to imagine and explore and enjoy a different expression of self than when we feel hindered by how we are thinking and feeling and behaving. We can feel connected, centred, secure, a part of the world, transcending the beliefs and behaviour that keep us from new experiences and expressions of self. Having compassion for the coping mechanisms we have created to make it through life, allows us to reflect on them without judgement, to step back from them in order to consider another way so that we can move towards living from knowledge of our wholeness, our inner wellness and take part in life and experience ourselves and others differently.

Opening up to the possibility of new thinking, feeling, being, embracing the unknown, is our first step towards participating in life in a new way.

However we grow, allowing ourselves to consider and investigate our behaviour, alone or with support, is what leads us to be able to experience a more guided way of being, a way that is more balanced, in tune with our truth, our values, our needs and desires, that sets healthy boundaries, that sees us relating to and dealing well with others. As we grow and learn and explore, allowing ourselves to come back to presence, to learn over and again to maintain presence, is what leads us to experience a centred state of being in which we practice trust and faith in ourselves, our inner wisdom and wellness. We have the ability to process and move on from our own mistakes and those of others. Self realisation leads us to do this without expecting perfection from ourselves or other people, so that we can better connect, reflect on and learn from our interactions and how we navigate them.

We all do our best from our level of understanding and awareness in the moment. When we operate from wellbeing, we allow others to express themselves whilst maintaining our right to be respected, considered, safe and well. We learn to release ourselves and others from standards we have been conditioned to expect or achieve. When we take action that doesn’t serve us and reflect on it without criticism or judgement, we offer ourselves the space to imagine new directions we can take in future, new responses we can create to similar situations. As we imagine taking new action, thinking new thoughts, feeling differently and practise new approaches that are organic, intuitive, guided by grace, clarity and wisdom, we become reconditioned to a new way of being.

When we do the work to maintain presence, we default less and less to past states of being even when the discomfort of choosing something unfamiliar triggers them. We are able to reflect on our behaviour without identifying with it and can move beyond it. As we learn to operate this way, we discover we can do the same when we consider the behaviour of others. When we step back from what feels chaotic, confusing, urgent, overwhelming and centre ourselves in peace, connection and awareness, maintaining presence, conscious of our wholeness, we gain clarity, we experience insight, we are able to process, let go, move on. And when memories surface and past feelings with them, we know we have the grace and wisdom to navigate them, to choose a way of responding to them that does not perpetuate them, that honours our desire and ability to operate from health and wholeness, knowing that no matter how overwhelming the experience may seem, it is not all that is available to us.

When we are clear, aware of our innate worth, our truth, we act in ways that reflect this, we put practices in place that encourage us to make the choice to keep aligning with our wisdom and we do not expect perfection, operating with ease, with grace, with confidence. Knowing this is an option for us allows us to see that it is an option for others too but we cannot force change for them, only hold space for their growth when we feel able to whilst setting and maintaining boundaries created from self love and respect for our right to be happy, safe and well in the world.

Maintaining presence simplifies things, it sees us less caught up with unhelpful ideas about what we should do so that we can take action that wellbeing and wholeness guide us to. We recognise that in certain situations, we need to step back, take time, recover, recentre, choosing not to react but to respond from the harmony available within us that leads us from and in and to peace and clarity. Knowing that we are equipped to process and move beyond what we need to to be well allows us to choose forgiveness for ourselves and others, despite what we have been taught about what we should have known to do, what others should have known to do and what is deserved. We have the capacity for healthy interaction and connection. This does not mean we all enjoy or desire connection in the same way or to the same degree, however, when we feel unequipped to deal with others, considering why can lead us to breakthroughs.

How do I experience myself?
How do I relate to myself?
How do I experience others?
How do I relate to others?
How do I experience myself when I am with others?
Do I allow other people their own experiences?
Do I feel able to stay in alignment with my truth and values when I connect and interact?
How might I change this if I need to?
Am I comfortable expressing my needs and preferences?
Am I comfortable allowing other people to express their needs and preferences?
Do I expect or want other people to validate my choices, how I think and feel?
Am I kind and respectful towards myself before, during and after I spend time with others?
Do I offer other people kindness and respect?
Am I comfortable setting boundaries and respecting those set by other people?
Do I operate from limiting beliefs about myself or other people or both?

In presence, we are able to relax into the moment we are in so that we can operate from the true self. It is our reaction to our instincts and intuition and not the information from them that causes distress, shutdown, confusion, fear, hypervigilance and so maintaining presence, maintaining conscious awareness and choosing to remember our ability to default to wisdom, to allow it to override our unhelpful programming, is what allows us to come back to centre, to remember wholeness and clarity when we experience past thinking and feeling, when we are triggered, when we feel the urge to engage in conditioned survival mechanisms. We have the capacity to practise new responses, to choose new ways of being, to be very patient and kind with ourselves as we do and to know that even when we repeat past behaviour, we are able to recover our sense of sanity, truth, health in presence and be guided by them.

Maintaining presence during our interactions might see us remembering to take conscious breaths, remaining soft in our bodies, letting our voices continue in a natural rhythm, allowing ourselves to experience flow. Whatever it is we are guided to do in presence, we maintain presence by affirming our inner wellbeing, our ability to be clear minded, our adaptive nature. In the moments we do not, we can remind ourselves as soon as possible that we feel better in truth, that we have a desire to recondition ourselves to a less reactive and more conscious way of being so that we choose to return to ease and calm and peace. We cannot do this for others but doing it for ourselves can be helpful for everyone.

We are all worthy of love, respect, support, connection, safety, health and healing. There are many reasons we act in ways that are unhealthy or harmful and beneath them all is a misunderstanding of what will lead us to feeling well.

Turning to the space of health and wholeness within to guide us, allows us to know that healing and health are available to us and that when we allow them to lead us, we become ever truer expressions of who we really are as we continue to uncover the strengths and resources we hold within. It can be hard at times to connect with others, to trust that we are able to interact well, whether this is due to what we have been taught or had modelled for us or what we have been through. Knowing that healthy boundaries are a right for all, that we are all trying our best to feel well according to what we believe in the moment will lead us to an experience of wellness and having patience for ourselves and others is the result of centring ourselves in love so that we can maintain presence rather than revert to past behaviour, reflect on where we might grow and what we might need others to do differently in their treatment of us which steers us away from judgement towards conscious consideration of our needs as we deal considerately with other people.

Peace begins with us individually. This does not mean we take responsibility for anyone else’s actions, rather that we choose peace for ourselves as often as we can. In peace, we are present, in presence, we are able to recognise and meet our own needs. As we practice self awareness, self trust and self love, we allow ourselves to open up to connection, to ease and grace and we operate from a fundamental respect for life which includes ourselves and other people. This guides us to act in a way that supports the good of all whether this is accepted by others or not. In the space of respect for all, we value our wellbeing, we trust it and we are guided to support it, removing ourselves from situations we need to, acting in alignment with our truth and values, allowing others the right to their own beliefs and ideas as we maintain our right to our own.

Life is about learning, sometimes the same thing in different ways and to different degrees. Our relationships and interactions can bring up what feels hurt and harmed within us. If we can know this might be true for others too, we are able to maintain a sense of perspective, knowing that the way other people express themselves is the result of and in reaction to their interpretation and perception of the world, who they think they are and their ideas about how life works which are personal to them. This allows us to respond with balance and clarity, insight and calm when our experiences with others are challenging. It can be extremely uncomfortable to do what is not usual and may make the urges we feel to return things to normal seem like our best option. If we stick with our intentional choice, our intentional decision to do what is best even when it is something new and the outcome unknown, allowing but not encouraging, engaging with, struggling against what comes up for us, we remain committed to a new way, we keep exploring new behaviour and, in presence, in truth, in wellbeing, we do not take on other people’s reactions to it.

We will find this simpler in certain areas than others and with certain people than others. If we can be aware that when we experience another, it is through a lens, through filters, via the deep rooted beliefs we hold that are the result of our conditioning and programming, it can help us to choose to do and allow for ourselves only what resonates with our health and wholeness, regardless of what we have done or felt urged or directed to do before. Our experience of all of our interactions are born of our state of mind and belief system in the moment. We can choose to follow new thoughts and create new thinking, to see things differently and take new action that supports and is guided by our wellbeing and we have the awareness, presence, wisdom, to navigate what comes up for us as we make this our new familiar.

In wisdom, we take accountability and responsibility for our behaviour. We know that we are not responsible for how another person reacts to us and in the instances that we feel we are treated without respect, kindness, love or common sense, we get to choose how we respond so that we do not take on, carry and keep alive within us what feels heavy or would block our expansion and evolution. We give ourselves permission to process our experiences, release and reflect on our choices when we have engaged in unhelpful behaviour, practise new ways of being, reach out in resolution when we feel guided to and discover and inhabit a space of recovery and restoration within us.

We have the choice to change what we think about life, how we feel in it and how our thinking and feelings motivate us to act. If we want to feel healthy, happy, calm, at ease, joyful and graceful during our interactions and relationships, we have to begin to investigate the way we view ourselves and other people so that we are able to maintain presence during our interactions, process our experiences, remain aware of our capacity for clear mindedness, alignment, health. This has to start during our alone time. How do we think and feel when we are alone? What are experiences are we running on a loop? What are the stories we are telling ourselves, about ourselves, other people, life?

The less we invest in limited thinking, using our feelings to guide us – do we feel clear or otherwise – the less we take instruction from the limited mind and open up to something different. In a more open and connected and present state of being than operating from the limited mind allows for, we are more aware of our inner truth. This does not guarantee we will face no challenge in life, no conflict, that we will be always understood or received well, rather that we will remain aware of our wholeness, wellbeing, strength and resilience and be led by our wisdom in how we show up, engage and respond. We all exist in separate realities of our own making. Depending on our awareness in the moment, depending on the places we feel hurt or vulnerable or shut down, the result will be different. All we can do is try to maintain our own sense of spaciousness and clarity in our dealings with others so that we are able to act authentically, which we do when we trust ourselves to.

Self trust gives us the option to flow with life, learn with grace, set boundaries, make amends and not dwell in doubt, self recrimination or self judgement, grounded in our wholeness and worth, no matter what another person is doing or what past thinking tells us about our own behaviour. We are not here to get things right all of the time and we won’t. If we accept this at the same time as committing to trusting in ourselves, we will feel more relaxed in our interactions and relationships, more accepting of ourselves and others and during those times that our motivations are not in alignment with our truth, willing to reflect on and investigate our choices.

We have a great and barely tapped capacity for healing and growth which allows us to expand into ever greater expressions of truth

Experimenting with new ways of living is what allows us to evolve beyond the ways of being we have been programmed and conditioned to create, embody and inhabit that do not serve us in living whole, healthy, joyous lives. Acknowledging them as coping mechanisms, survival behaviour, thanking them and allowing them to be resolved and released means we do not judge ourselves for them, we embrace our awareness of them and do the work to move beyond them. When we do, we find it simpler to communicate authentically, letting go of concerns about how we will be perceived or understood so that we operate from knowledge of our worth, grounded in our integrity.

Communicating and connecting with others from a clear mind, allows us to notice when we are beginning to be directed by the limited to turn away from peace and the ease peace affords us. What it is right for us to express from the higher mind, from wisdom and intuition, comes to us when we remember and embody harmony. When we are at peace with ourselves, operating from self trust, we are secure, confident in our truth, uninfluenced by past states of being if they resurface, able to make our intentions known, whether someone else is able to receive them or not.

Life is an experience of constant learning. In every moment, we have access to spiritual wellbeing, to clarity of thought, peace of mind and insight. When we embody this, we liberate ourselves from the demands and concerns of the limited, we communicate authentically, we turn towards clear mindedness when past thinking is urging us to go another way and in doing so, we recondition ourselves to better express all that we are learning to be true about ourselves. If the best we can do is take a breath when things feel challenging, we will be taking conscious action to calm ourselves, to clear our minds and bodies so that we can engage our ability to be present. The more we practice doing so, the more aware we will be of our motivations during our interactions so that our behaviour is intentional, guided by awareness of and trust in our inner our truth and wisdom.

In self trust, we are in self love and in self love, when we defer to past states of being, dwelling on and reacting to what feels wounded rather than whole within us, we are patient with ourselves, gentle, we remind ourselves of our ability to return to and maintain presence so that we can process and learn from our choices and move forwards differently. To do this, we must be willing to move on, to embrace our ability to explore a new way of operating, a new way of communicating with ourselves and others, surrendering to a higher self, learning how to relate to and interact with others from an ever more peaceful and healthy state of being.

The desire for approval begins early as a survival mechanism and when we don’t feel accepted and loved as we are, we adapt in the way that makes sense to us to ensure our safety. As we grow, we get to make choices about the way we live, the thoughts we pay attention to and the feelings we energise, identify with and invest in. Whether we do this alone or need support in discovering that we are innately whole and worthy, learning that we are deserving of love and respect from ourselves and others, that we have the capacity for connection, that we are allowed to express who we truly are and able to recover from what we have been through, leads us to deal with others in presence, in truth and with courage in the moments past thinking, feeling and behaviour are triggered.

This is the work of bringing a sense of lightness to how we live and interact and relate that is the result of and allows for the expression of our wellbeing, trusting in our instincts, setting healthy boundaries that enhance and do not reduce our lives, compassion for past expressions of being, respect for our right and ability to be well and practicing the same for others. Operating from a space of curiosity about how we might live differently allows for play, joy, connection without pressure, without expectation, with clarity, wisdom, optimism and acceptance that we are all unique, with unique ways of experiencing life. We are not separate, we are interdependent and when we realise our connection with all of life, when we discover our truth, when we remember our strength and resources, we embrace our innate confidence, our natural impulse to commune and we explore interdependence from a space of self trust and self connection that allows us to recognise, seek out and enjoy connection so that we approach relationships and interactions in a way that is more wholesome and healthy than is the case when we feel separate, apart.

Our subconscious patterns lead us to operate from the known and familiar when we are not making decisions from our conscious mind and until we consciously replace them, this can result in us making choices that are not in the best interests of ourselves and others although it may feel comfortable in a way. We may realise this but until we know we can change it, we might believe that we cannot, will not and do not deserve to and from this mindset we feel we are not in control of ourselves or our experiences. When we realise that we are whole beings with access to balance, harmony, inner stability, we begin to experience the awareness that allows us to no longer align and identify with past patterns so that rather than being motivated by them, we experience the distance and space to reprogramme them.

We experience the world as we experience ourselves so when we begin to live from self love and self respect, we experience ourselves in the world in a way that is neither limited nor threatened. When we see how we are creating within us our experience of life, we realise that we have the power to choose how we experience ourselves and others. If we can become aware of the patterns of thinking, feeling and behaviour that we engage in when we operate from an unconscious investment in unhelpful beliefs and surrender to our ability to no longer default to them, we will find there is a choice for us to change our subconscious programmes so that we stop identifying as limited and expand into an experience of who we really are.

Self discovery is a limitless opening up to who we really are that sees us becoming ever freer from a limited concept of self as we reprogramme our beliefs and recondition our minds and bodies to a new way of seeing and being.

This is a choice we can make as soon as we understand that it is an option for us and when we realise it is, we become empowered to investigate our ideas about who we are, our place in the world and how these motivate and direct the way we think and feel and act. In the space of greater awareness, we feel at one with life, in joy, at peace and in peace, communication is simple. We are centred, grounded, present, whole, able to express ourselves as we are guided to, free from self doubt or the urge to take responsibility for other people’s perceptions of or reactions to us, respecting their right to wellbeing and boundaries as we respect our right to our own. And when we are not feeling at peace, at one with life, in joy, we recognise this, we do not project it onto others or judge ourselves for not being perfect, we consider and reflect with the clarity and wisdom on offer to us so that we know what action to take.

When we are triggered, we can know that we are able to support ourselves, free to choose a new way and create new behaviour, trusting in our ability to maintain presence, to decide on the direction we look in so that if we do not feel worthy, centred, whole, we turn towards wellness and the good feeling wellness offers us that we are always deserving of and that exists within us. We have the capacity to relate well, to ourselves and others. We have access to clear thinking and feeling. If we allow clarity to guide us, we will not only survive our interactions with others, we will be able to navigate them in self trust, wholeness, truth. Knowing we can feel well in our relationships and interactions changes the way we experience them, allowing for joy, health and our innate desire for connection and communion to lead us.