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One of the ways in which people miss out on the joy in relationship is by not being present. It is possible to spend a lot of time with someone without really experiencing them because we are not fully aware of them. Being present means keeping our focus on the present moment, instead of on our thoughts, remembering the past, or imagining the future.

If you find you are spending a lot of time thinking about your thoughts instead of the other person, you are actually in relationship with yourself and your mind, instead of the other person. Naturally, this person will sense that you are absent from them and not really interested in them. When you stay present, other people feel warmth and interest coming from you, and it increases the sense of connection and aliveness in the relationship.

Here are some pointers to staying present as you relate to others:

  • Give the other person your complete attention so that you can notice and enjoy every aspect of your interaction.
  • Use all five of your senses to experience the fullness of the moment, not just what they are saying.
  • If you find your mind drifting off, you can bring yourself back by noticing your breathing, or feeling the energy in your body.
  • Allow “what is” to be and practice accepting whatever is presented to you as current reality. When we judge or form opinions about the other person, we have stepped back into our own thoughts and how we feel, instead of experiencing the moment.
  • Notice that everything that happens is in the current moment. Even when we talk about the past or the future, the only time we have real power is in the present.

Being present is a tremendous gift that heightens the joy of relationship for both people. The only time to experience it is NOW.