What does being 'present' really mean? Really...

IMG_0881A friend of mine lost her father this weekend.

It was not expected. At least not for me. If it were, the family did a good job at not letting it be known. As a matter of fact, her mother has been ill and going through treatments – that much I did know.

Anyway, it does not matter. The loss is complete. Deep. Real. Forever. And my heart is feeling broken for her and her entire family. I do not know this pain, as I have not been through it. I do not want to know. But someday, I likely will. After all, saying goodbye to a parent (or parents) is a part of life. And, a difficult part, no doubt.

When I asked her. “What can I do?”, “What do you need?, she replied “Cherish your dad”.

This rocked me. Not because I don’t cherish my dad. But because I knew what she meant.

It got me to thinking of a conversation I often have with my husband and my mother. They are always (seemingly) after me for being on my smartphone or ipad or computer … and often while a conversation is going on around me. Or, when a conversation is happening WITH me. I hate to admit this. I resisted the technology for so long. I think it is just so rude…but yet, I do it. I figure since it’s family and since I have ‘work’ to do or an email to respond to or maybe … maybe my phone made a SOUND (gasp!) – god forbid I don’t get to it right away. Right? I mean, I’m so important…right?

I know this is the message I send to others when I do this. That I am more important than they are, in this moment, and that whatever, or, whomever is on the other end of that message – is more important than them.

When the fact is, NOTHING is more important than them. Nothing.

And so, I am really going to make a change. Make a new effort to put the damn devices down when I’m around people I love and am thankful to be with. There is nothing that needs your attention more than being PRESENT in the moment you’re in. TODAY is a gift, for we don’t know what will happen tomorrow – prepared for it or not.

Look people in the eye. Be engaged. Take a walk. Look at the sky. Hear the sounds. Respect the earth and simplicity of life. Make others feel like there is nothing more important than them. That’s what “presence” means to me.

Presently yours … kylie