3 Ways to Cultivate Presence

Becoming present is all about cultivating awareness and becoming your own witness.

The more often you can connect to the present moment, the easier it becomes to detach from past / future thinking that can keep you stuck or create obstacles on your path forward.

#1 Way to Cultivate Presence: Yantra

A Yantra is a visual mantra. You can use symbols, images, or animals as a yantra by bringing them to mind and allowing that picture to create focus for you.

The animal totem I use to guide me into the present moment is the hummingbird. Imagine a hummingbird darting into your vision, its wings flickering and the light dancing off its feathers. Then, read these words:

As a hummingbird miraculously appears, as if from no-where, your mind is guided instantly towards the object of your soul’s desire. It’s iridescent wisdom becomes your muse. The hummingbird was created…… to drink sweet nectar from the ripest blossoms. You are created…… perfectly to have everything you need to follow your bliss and, therefore, offer your gifts to the world. Harmony in motion. When a hummingbird catches your eye, she commands all of your attention. When a person in flow, flying on the wings of their passion, crosses your path, you are likewise transfixed. Right NOW…What is your desire? BE that. Now,FLY!

#2 Way to Cultivate Presence: Witnessing Your Feelings

Choose to look at yourself, your emotions from a place of objectivity. To do this, take a deep breath and ask yourself, “What do I feel right now?”

Then take a step back and observe your present moment. Are you feeling tired, happy, hopeful, frustrated, stressed, or excited?

Now, ask yourself, “Am I this feeling? Is this who I am?”

The answer would be NO. You are the you that is experiencing that feeling—you are not your feeling. In fact, at any given point in time, your focus, and the feeling being generated, is either on, or stemming from, the past, the future, or the present.

From the past, we can learn from our mistakes, recall valuable information, memories, or facts that we have learned or experienced and access our own personal set of baggage. From the future, we get the opportunity to plan ahead, envision the future we desire, or worry about what might, possibly, maybe happen if this situation, desire, or goal of ours does not work out. I have found, personally, that it is my default, after imagining something that I want, to almost immediately start imagining all the worst case, rather than the best case, scenarios.

That awareness struck me back in January 2014. It was the launch of my new website. It had been a full year’s worth of planning and expectation and thousands of dollars invested. It felt like all my high hopes and dreams were launched alongside that site. I found myself thinking about what I wanted my biz to look like a year down the road. But then I realized that I was following that desire with all my back-up plans in case it didn’t work out! Why would I spend my time, my powerful imagination, painting the picture of what I DIDN’T want!? I decided to change that pattern. With awareness it IS possible.

#3 Way to Cultivate Presence: Distract Your Thinking Mind

I coach people how to create the energy, the emotion, they desire to feel more often at the canvas, in a painting meditation process. The painting process distracts the logical, linear, go-go-go mind that is always tapped into the past or the future.

To cultivate the energy of presence, I guide my clients into the process of painting a mandala. First, we simply cover the canvas with multicolored brushstrokes. We don’t paint any THING, we simply play with color. Next, starting at the center of the canvas, we create a circular design known as a mandala. This is an ancient and sacred symbol that has been used by every culture to center oneself, connect to higher levels of awareness and to serve as a portal to the present moment. Distracted by color and form, your awareness focuses on the present moment and everything else falls away.

Regardless of the change you desire to experience in your life, cultivating presence in your life will inevitably guide you in the right direction.

Your muse, Whitney Freya


This article is adapted from Whitney Freya’s latest book, Rise Above, Free Your Mind One Brush Stroke at a Time. It is available on Amazon. Whitney Freya is an expert in Inspired Living, providing practical tools & practices that free your mind from limitations and scarcity to create more in your life that lights you up from the inside out. Learn more at WhitneyFreya.com


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