Presence

Being Present = paying attention until my attention catches a flowing stride within the moment.

It is tough to stay stride for stride with the present. Sometimes it can get boring…or painful. My mind wanders…trying to find more exhilarating or comfortable things to occupy it.

Wandering off to find constant stimulation is like trying to live life like a movie. Movies typically only show the exciting parts of the character’s life. They don’t show that character trying to fall asleep for 10 minutes, eating their dinner from start to finish, or crying in a full hour-long scene when mourning the loss of someone they love. As impossible and unfulfilling the pursuit of perfection is…my mind is still looking to live without the deleted scenes.

I mean, look. I live in this technology driven society and I have one of the most stimulating devices ever invented just sitting in my pocket, always on, and waiting for me to fall into its spiraling pits of distractions. I have been given the chance to try packing my day with more stimulating activity than reality can offer…and (unfortunately for a self that gets stifled and pushed out of the present experience), I have been trying to load my days like this for a very long time.

But, finding a more reality-based pace can offer so much more than what short-term stimulation and distraction can (even if reality seems boring or painful at that particular moment). If I have to choose between “highly stimulating activities” and “being present,” then I have much more evidence that “being present” has exponentially more long-term benefits between the two.

I just think about a conversation where I am more naturally able to pay attention to the other person the entire time…and just how beautiful of a connection we can make together because of that.

I just think about laying by myself where I am more naturally able to listen to my needs…my drive. And, because of that quiet and connecting time, I jump up with a reinvigorated motivation to pursue my passions like never before.

I just think of a mind where I don’t get lost as easily. I don’t get swept, dragged, choked, and deactivated as easily. But, how do I get there? I can barely stay steady and attentive when something is not yelling colors and brilliantly crafted narratives at me.

Well, I abandoned porn for many, many reasons. And, all of those reasons have proved incredibly beneficial. One of the benefits that stands out…is this ability to maintain a slower pace…enough so that I can be more stimulated by the steadiness and lulls of the present pace.

My attention-span has so much more to offer though. I will need to give up more than just one particular dopamine binge.

So, throughout this never-ending journey with my imperfect human growth, I will practice being present; I will practice self-care; and, I will slowly replace this over-stimulating, screen-time binging…so that I can more naturally maintain my presence here with me…and, you.

About Kevin Carlstead

I graduated as a hospitality and psychology student at University of Denver. I spent most of my teenage and young adult years in the hospitality industry. I am still searching for what industry suits my personality and talents so that I can feel more meaning throughout my days. My current career pursuit has me enrolled in a graduate program to become a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. I was born and raised in San Diego, CA. I love music with something to it. I love life with something to it. I have made it one of my purposes in this life to integrate both of these things that I love. This blog and my own songwriting has given me the platforms to do that very thing. Thank you for reading.
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2 Responses to Presence

  1. Pingback: A Series of Journeys | satisfiedmusic

  2. Eugenie Carlstead says:

    Thank you for the close-in experience of the ever more distracting opportunities that pull us away from being present with anything other than our machines. Our humanity can take a hit, along with the competencies that come from self knowledge and deep connections with others. Just like in meditation, the fact that you are aware of the distractions and come back to the present is the key. This practice helps US to direct our attention instead of being dragged around by any technological bird that flies by. This is such a great post and great reminder. Thank you Kevin!

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