Being Present: Can Childhood Trauma Make It Hard For Someone To Be Present?

One thing that is often spoken about in self-development is the importance of being present. In some cases, this is seen as the answer to every problem and, in others, it is just seen as something that will allow someone to function better.
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So when someone is present, they won’t be caught up in what happened in the past and they won’t be caught up in what might happen in the future either. Their attention will be in the now.

An Illusion

It has been said that there is no such thing as the past or the future and that there is only an ever-present now moment. Even so, someone’s mind will create the impression that there is a past and a future.

Therefore, while there will only be the present, someone will have a mind that won’t be able to accept this. One way of looking at this would be to say that their mind has to be this way or else it wouldn’t have a reason to exist.

Embracing Life

When one is able to live a life where they generally live in the present moment, they won’t be weighed down by what has happened in the past or caught up in what they think might happen in the future. They will be in the now, which is the only place where they will have any power.

Also, through being in the moment, they will be able to focus and to fully show up. Their awareness is then not going to be in their head, focusing on something else – it will be in their body, in the present moment.

Another Benefit

What they are also likely to find, as a result of living in this way, is that it is a lot easier for them to respond to life. Being in their body and in the now moment will mean that they won’t be caught up in something that took place last week or last year, for instance.

If they were, not only would it stop them from being able to be present, but it could also cause them to overreact to something. Another person could politely ask them something and they could end up losing it.

A Pleasant Experience

Being this way, then, will stop them from getting worked up and having a go at someone for no reason. This is naturally going to have a positive effect on their relationships, with the people in their life knowing that one typically won’t get worked up over nothing.

These people can feel comfortable around them and know that it is safe for them to talk to them about most things. One is not going to be seen as someone who is unstable and expects other people to walk on eggs shells around them.

Staying Centred

If they did have the tendency to get worked up, it probably wouldn’t do their health any good in the long run. Thus, being present is going to make it easier for them to make good decisions and it will be easier for them to stay calm and relaxed.

Another part of this is that when there is unrest around them, they won’t need to get pulled into what is taking place. Once again, this will be good for their health and their ability to think rationally in such moments.

A Very Different Reality

Although this is how some people will experience life, there are going to be plenty of others that have a very different experience. For someone like this, they may rarely be in the present moment.

Most of their time could be spent thinking about what took place in the past and what might happen in the future. This will show that they find it hard to be in their body and to be in the now moment.

Unaware

Nonetheless, it doesn’t mean that one will realise that this is what is taking place. Instead, they may typically believe that what is taking place in their mind is a reflection of what is taking place externally.

What this means is that one is going to be projecting what is taking place in their mind onto the external world without even being aware of it. Living in this way is likely to take a lot out of them, with them spending a lot of time feeling exhausted.

A Closer Look

It could be normal for them to overreact and to create unnecessary drama, to feel fearful and scared when they are completely safe, and to think irrationally and to make poor decisions. It could seem that they just need to learn how to observe their mind and to not get caught up in what is taking place inside them.

This could be it, or what it may show is that they are carrying a fair amount of trauma. If one has been this way for as long as they can remember, it may show is that their early years were anything but nurturing.

A Rough Time

During this stage of their life, they may have experienced some kind of abuse and/or neglect. The view that they have of the world and the people in it as an adult will be a reflection of what it was like for them as a child.

It won’t matter how many years have passed since this time in their life as they will still be carrying the trauma that they experienced. Until this is dealt with, it will be more or less impossible for them to embrace the present moment.

Awareness

If one can relate to this, and they want to transform their life, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided by the assistance of a therapist or a healer.

Business Coaching Tip – Dare to Be PRESENT – Or What’s the Point?

As a business coach, I ask my clients, “Have you ever had any of these experiences?”

~ You drive home from work and then don’t remember how you got there.

~ You sit through a meeting or business coaching session and can’t account for what happened in the meeting, the outcome or the details.

~ You read a book to your child or grandchild and can’t recall what the book was about.

~ You work out and have so much mind chatter that you’re not even sure what muscles you were working.

~ You have a conversation with a colleague and miss the important undercurrents of that discussion because your mind was elsewhere.

~ You give a presentation and miss the impact you’re having on the audience because you’re too busy wondering, “How am I doing as a public speaker?”

~ You have an argument, and you’re so busy proving your point, you miss the others’ points completely AND any opportunity for alignment.

~ You go home at night and spend time with your family, only to think about everything that happened at work today and what’s about to happen tomorrow.

Sound familiar? Perhaps the better business coaching question, instead of “Have you ever experienced any of these?” is: “Have you experienced any of these things today?”

We’re talking about presence. Being PRESENT is defined as “existing or being in the time occurring NOW.”

I work with business coaching clients on several kinds of presence: “Leader’s Presence”, “Emotional and Mental Presence” and “Physical Presence.” It’s essential to pay attention to all three in order to be aware of your impact, create intentional impact and be present to your life. Because if you’re not present to your life, what is the point? Truly. Think about that. IF YOU ARE NOT PRESENT TO YOUR LIFE – WHAT IS THE POINT?

We’re given the beautiful gift of life, relationships, family, work we can love, health, emotions, the ability to make an impact, gain work/life balance and so much more. We could go through our days with our minds in other places, missing all the beautiful gifts of the moment, wishing we were an hour, a day or a week ahead. We could yearn to be somewhere other than where we are NOW. Or we can go through our lives, each day, conscious of each moment – easy or hard, stressful or peaceful, mundane or exhilarating.

When we are fully present, we experience LIFE. We can see more clearly what has to happen. We can see the truth about the moment. We can see the truth about our impact. We can fully feel our feelings: joy, anger, sadness or excitement. We are present.

It is from this place that life happens. It is in this place we actually can find authentic emotions, and ultimately peace, in the moment. It is in this place that we can better identify, as leaders in our own lives, what needs to happen next.

Field Work Challenge: This month, notice when you’re present in the moment and when you’re not. Do you find it challenging to stay present 100% of the time? Most of us do. So, no big deal, just notice the impact.

What do you miss out on when your mind is multi-tasking? On what relationships and connections do you miss out? What opportunities are lost? What shifts for you when you are present to your life? What do you realize needs to be ‘cleaned up’ when you are present? What shifts when you walk through your day fully awake? Fully engaged?

When you notice you’ve lost presence, ‘recover’ and come back to the moment. It’s actually that simple. Enjoy your month. Savor your life. DARE to fully engage.

Ebook Presented Digitally

The ebook is a digitally presented format of any printed conventional book which can be read through a personal computer or through a hardware device called a book reader. The inception of such an innovative idea dates back to 1971 when the pioneer Michael Hart, in U.S.A., decided to create through computers storage, retrieval and scanning of texts available in libraries. This resulted in the origin of the first ebook, a copy of the `Declaration of Independence` which later evolved into `Project Gutenberg`. Today it contains over 20,000 free texts and over 100,000 books.

Every month over 3,000,000 books are downloaded. Ultimately this reached mammoth proportions with ebooks flooding the web because of its easy storage on hard drive or disk. Production of ebooks is carried out generally by document scanning or by using robotic book scanners.

Initially the ebooks were confined to specialty topics which were documents, technical manuals or articles on manufacturing techniques with cutting edge hardware. Such ebooks did not create much impact in the market as there was no consensus on packaging, selling or reading. A number of diverse specifications, supported by leading software companies or by independent programmers, proliferated which catered to readers following multiple formats resulted in further fragmentation of the market. At this stage ebook was not a mainstream item.

This, however, did not stop ebook from spreading its domain. It surfaced in the underground markets wherein the ebook publishers distributed those books which were not readily available in the market. Similarly, authors whose books did not find any publishers started offering their books on-line so that viewers were exposed to the literature. Even unauthorized and unofficial catalogues were available in various web sites. And in this manner ebooks began to circulate on-line. Romantic novels were the first successful ebooks as they catered to a large clientele who bought them on-line and enjoyed reading them in privacy.

These incidents caught the attention of major publishers. Around mid June 2001, the acclaimed publishers started delving into this medium and tried to gain from the ebook formats. This led the publishers to establish on-line stores and partnerships with e-reader manufacturers. Today, the electronic hardware manufacturers are also working in tandem with ebook readers to capitalize on the on-line ebook market.

This upsurge of activity by the reputed publishers, electronic companies and independent operators resulted in the development of new selling models. Simultaneously, a more simple and homogeneous format with better reading hardware was created to achieve a global distribution for ebooks. This has unleashed an array of new publishing houses. Today, electronic manufacturers are wooing the ebook readers through new designs while software engineers are developing new reader application for portable electronic gear ranging from hand held computers, smart phones and game consoles.

The twentieth century readers, unaware of the concept of ebook, are now being gradually exposed to this electronic phenomenon. Commuters read ebooks on laptops, hand held computers or on cell phones. Such is the craze of ebooks in Japan that mobile phone novels have evolved where books could be downloaded and read on the cell screen. Sales which were negligible a few years back has crossed 10 billion yens annually (The Economist). At present, consumers can easily access books of their choice ranging from best sellers to new authors or which ever type suiting their reading pattern.

Ebooks reading are advantageous as it is a space saving device of book storage. One CD / DVD can, approximately, store 500 ebooks and are never out of print, which is a common occurrence in conventional books. For researchers such digitized versions are ideal as they display excellent choice of formats enabling speedy cross references. Readers can adjust their reading convenience by adjusting fonts and text sizes and use back lit facility which allows adequate visibility in low light. Unlike traditional books and paperbacks, ebooks need not be hand held, can be reproduced cheaply and are generally inexpensive as it does not consume paper, ink and other resources used in conventional printing.

The basic disadvantage of ebook is that it requires electronic devices for display. The software may not be readily available or free or compatible with the existing computer configuration. Sudden hard disk drive failure or power disruption causes disturbing interruptions. eBook storage mediums are fragile, the devices are costly and replacement charges could be prohibitive. Finally, and particularly for some publishers, hacking is a perennial danger.