“The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence.” Thich Nhat Hanh
Not many things motivate me to reach into a toilet. Through a series of mishaps involving my potty training three-year-old, his blankie, and my phone, my most prized electronic device took the plunge. My floating phone was enough to make me reach in the germ infested water without so much as an, “Ew, gross!”
After the reflexive rescue mission, I powered down the phone, cleaned it off (because, ew, gross!), and buried it in rice. It only took a few minutes for me to miss it. I tried to keep myself busy, but my mind wondered if my phone would emerge from the rice fully restored.
The quiet hours that followed revealed something about my soul: I am not accustomed to an unplugged life. Even with self-imposed boundaries in place, I stay distracted by so many things. Podcasts and audiobooks play in the background. A rotation of messages to and from friends keep me connected. I scan Twitter for headlines and Instagram for photos.
In the meantime, life happens all around me. While I stay entertained, informed, and socially connected, I miss the people right in front of me—my husband, my children, a mom at the park, the stranger in line. With the world at my fingertips, I miss the world I live in.
Do you find it difficult to be fully present? Do dings and flashing messages draw you away from your people? Or maybe it is a lengthy to-do list or demands from your job that distract you.
Read more about being present in The Gift of Presence at The Glorious Table.
Photo courtesy of The Glorious Table (Adriano de Gironimo).