Cultivate a Calm and Healing Presence

I know people who can walk into a room and bring a sense of calm. Others might be nervous or upset, but these people seem to bring a peaceful presence just by showing up. 

I want to be more like them.

If I’m agitated, other people pick can up on my emotions and become agitated too. We humans tend to do that because we are socially attuned to each other’s moods. Likewise, if I can center myself, others can sense that and become more grounded.

When I’m open enough to listen deeply to someone without agenda or needing to counterpoint or defend, I create a space where they can feel heard, and they are more able to release their need for agenda or counterpoint or defense. Creating a space of deep listening brings the healing quality of connection, but it is not easy to do in stressful conversations.

You can practice becoming a calm presence by starting with your internal sensations. All emotions register in the body, so look for the somatic signals. Do you feel tension, or pressure, or heat? Is it in your shoulders, your stomach, your throat? Breathe into those areas and see if they change. Let your sense of internal space ground itself. Allow your weight to drop so that you feel the ground with your feet or the weight of your body in the chair.

Invite your higher self into your inner space. If you feel nervous or fearful, let those feelings remain. It may be helpful to remember that it is your ego self that is nervous or afraid, doing what it does well, striving to protect you. Your higher self can hold your feelings easily, giving comfort to your ego self. 

You can expand your sense of internal space to the area around you, including whoever else is in the room. Consider the whole space to be “yours.” This does not mean that you take on the emotions of another. As the “owner” of the space, you can be the witness, the one holding the field of awareness surrounding you. Even if strong emotions are present, even when they are directed at you, they are never as strong as the field of awareness that holds them. Your higher self can be caretaker of this space, allowing energies to arise or fade as they will.

This is not an exercise in manipulation or suppression of discomfort. Calm presence is a quality of authentic embrace of whatever energies are present, comfortable and uncomfortable. When you are fully present with others, you are not modeling control of emotions, you are modeling openness and authenticity. And when others sense your openness and authenticity, they are more able to accept the invitation to enter the space with you. They become more spacious themselves, giving rise to fresh directions in the conversation that would not have been possible otherwise.

When I am able to do this, I sense these healing aspects of presence:  being heard, being seen, feeling acceptance, experiencing connection, realizing we can be with emotions without being ruled by them. It’s not always easy, but the more I practice, the more I can access the quality of a calm and healing presence.

Photo by Katherine Hanlon on Unsplash

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