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“Just sit on your chair and wait. Don't even wait, just listen. Don't even listen, just be still and open and the world will come in to you and unfold itself in its glory.”

(source unknown)

Practise Presence

Every month I’ll offer a practice on this page which you can try out in your everyday life. Each practice will encourage you to be more present through awakening your senses and quietening your mind. You can practise being more present at any time, walking to work, on the bus, when you’re washing up………………….Practising for a short time, say 5 minutes each day, can encourage a sense of connectedness to your self and others and a sense of wonder and appreciation of the beauty within and around you.

People often talk about performers having ‘presence’ as if they have an innate charm that the rest of us are born without. For me, presence is about being aware: of myself – how I move, my feeling state, thoughts which come and go, and my environment – the people and the space around me.

As an improvisor how I carry out an action is more important than what the action is. By being in the here and now I realise there is nothing I have to do. I follow my curiosity which can lead to the unfolding of many possibilities: the telling of a story, the singing of a melody, a dance or the emerging of a character.

If you have a presence practice you’d like to share send it to me at info@katehilder.com and, if appropriate, I’ll post it on this page.

Practise Presence 15

Inhabiting Habits
As you go through your day, notice your habits.  How do you get out of bed in the morning?  When you shower do you always start with washing the same body part first?  When you choose your seat on a train or bus, do you always sit on the same side?  When you come home at night, when do you reach for your keys – when you’re at the door or when you’re walking along the street?
Get curious about the things you do which you didn’t realise you were doing, and then explore doing these things differently.  For example, try texting with your other hand, or both hands.
Does acting in a non-familiar way (even if its a tiny change) affect how you feel about yourself and the world around you?

Practise Presence 14

The Thought Procession

Our thoughts are like a strangely assorted procession constantly going by.

Close your eyes and take a minute to notice your thoughts.  Name each thought by saying to yourself: “I am thinking about ………….”

e.g. “I’m thinking about George / what i’m going to have for dinner / the email I need to send to Jill

Practise this for a short time (no more than a minute) 3 or 4 times during the day.  Notice whether you repeat similar thoughts and if there are associations between one thought and the next.

Do you see images when you are thinking or feel physical sensations?  Are you aware of how your thoughts affect your emotions?  Do you have any new thoughts?