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Updated: Feb 5, 2023

Presence matters. My first experience in seeing someone with presence was when I was in the hospital recovering from brain surgery for a fractured skull. The nurses were coming in to take care of me and they were doing their business professionally. Then one woman walked in and I saw her light. She was grounded and it was almost like I rose out of the bed, looked at her and said, “If I’m around that, I will get better. I want her around me.” That was the first time I saw light as light. I’d looked at a person before and wouldn’t think that about them, even if they were charismatic, or even if they were lit-up, I would not see that in them. But that—seeing that in her - that was the first time.

Presence is important. It’s not far removed from being present. Having presence is no different than being present. You have to be here in order to be that. In order to have an effect on somebody. In order to matter. It’s profound. I don’t think it’s something that one has and one doesn’t have. I do think it’s something that’s in all of us and needs to be turned on in some way. My experience with that is—I mean I had seen that nurse as that - but I don’t think I quite knew what it was. Then I had an experience with a yoga teacher where I literally felt an opening in me. At the end of class I saw all of this energy pouring out of her. And like with the nurse, I floated up and said to myself, “I want that. She’s doing what I’m trying to express in my writing.” At that moment. I accepted that as something that was external to me and something that I was supposed to attain. I saw it as power that was external to me. I put myself through this process of doing in order to attain that power. It was only recently that I realized that the only reason that I saw what I saw pouring out of her was because it was pouring at me at the same time. It’s just at that time I couldn’t understand that and probably at that time I wouldn’t have been able to handle it. So, because of that, I think presence is in all of us. We have to be opened. It needs to be turned on. Once that happens, we also need to accept it. I think that’s probably the major fear of a lot of people; that they know that it’s there consciously or unconsciously. If it’s turned on there’s a certain responsibility that goes with it. Responsibility not necessarily in the negative sense, or the hard work sort of sense, but there is this waking up. Once you’ve woken up you can’t go back to sleep because of that. You have to accept what you walk with and you have to know what you walk with.

Presence is integrity — erase that, presence has integrity, It is power and we have a choice to use that presence to influence with integrity. In my experience, the people who had very profound influences in my life were men who were grounded, who were present, and who had suffered loss in their past. They were able just to stand there, not say anything, and not push their presence onto me. It was just there.

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