The Next Right Thing: How to Live from Presence

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You are a creator, free and as clear as you choose. You are innately governed by the same presence that created this world, this universe, and all the dimensions. You have forgotten who you are and are here to remember. Awakening to the reality of who you are, is the dance of life on earth.  Awareness is the key in how to move forward from presence.  Awareness is always accessible in the moment. You can breathe unconsciously or you can feel and fully inhabit the breath as it arises and falls away. One way is absent of awareness and the other, full.


From the fullness of awareness, you can create. What you focus on increases. What are you attending to? Look around you and sense all you have created – in your direct line of vision, your environment, the people in your life, etc. If you don’t like what you see or feel about your current experience, use this contrast between what you have and what you want, to create useful tension.  Like a rubber band that stretches between two poles, this tension can be useful, depending on where you place your focus.


Imagine you are holding onto the awareness of how things are and what is unsatisfying – that’s one pole for this imaginary rubber band.  Now focus on how you’d rather experience the situation, no matter how big or small. . . .allow the rubber band to stretch around that second pole (future reality). As you keep your attention on where it’s pointing, the tension will tend to resolve in favor of what you wish to create. You can verify this with an actual rubber band – place it around one finger, stretch it in front of you. If you let go of the near pole, it flies in the direction of the second pole. If you let go of the further pole, it’ll snap back and sting you.


What gets in the way of this creative process? Beliefs that interfere with your understanding of who you are! “I can’t have what I want. . . It’s selfish to focus on what I want. . . Every time I set out on a new and exciting path, something gets in the way. . .  Who am I to pursue this?” etc.

Fascinating, isn’t it? Instead of investing the power of belief in these doubts, why not simply witness them? You can use doubt to turn against itself. Doubt the doubt or at least suspend belief in the doubt.


When you are able to witness –  without attachment to whether it’s true or not – the concept loosens and gets weaker. There is less grab. Witnessing is the next right step to wriggle freer. It’s not a binary process – free or not, but more about degrees of freedom. What other way of holding the situation feels freer?


A dear friend of mine who has done a TON of self-examination and healing, was telling me, “I just started writing a book and it was flowing so well, then the basement flooded. Now I have to stop and take care of all that. It seems every time I get onto something new and good, Spirit pulls me back.”  I shared her excitement about her book project and could feel the power of her purpose in writing. So I challenged her. “What if instead of telling yourself you’re getting pulled back, what if you held it another way? What if Spirit is saying, ‘Hold on a moment, let’s rip up this foundation so you can build a new one?’”


She happens to be going through a divorce and lives in the house she shared with her husband of 35 years. That house is full of memories and things heavily connected with her married and family life. She’s been culling things out, but I suspect in order for her to really launch her new life, she needs to create larger shifts. Might Spirit recognize she’ll go further faster if she takes a few steps back to literally and energetically rip up the old carpets, purge things that got wet in the basement, and change her living space to make it her OWN? It’s hard to create a new life in an old container that holds the charge of what was.


And what is Spirit, anyway? It’s not something outside of us. It doesn’t have power over us. It’s within us and all of life. It’s consciousness itself. When we own the knowing we are consciousness, therefore conscious creators, there is no opposing force. EVERYTHING is a gift, as my friend Amy said over lunch today.


Amy was telling me a story about awakening from a nightmarish dream while on a trip with her husband, in celebration of their anniversary. It was three in the morning and she was awash with the residue of fear from her dream. In the dream, she was walking through a park in Montreal, Quebec (where they were in real life for their celebration) when she realized a man with straight blond hair and round spectacles approached her and she felt as if she was going to be raped and killed. In the dream, she was also aware that she was dreaming and that this threat actually represented the ego’s way of relating to life – through fear. Brilliant that she could see it from pure awareness while also being in the experience, which was also terrifying, in the dream.


So her husband woke up because his phone went off, from an amber alert – someone had been kidnapped regionally as Amy was having this dream. She was glad she wasn’t alone in her post-dream processing. So she asked him if he’d listen to her tell him about her disturbing dream. He was grumpy from being awakened suddenly and said, “No, I just want to go back to sleep.” She persisted and asked again, “Please, I haven’t had a dream this disturbing and frightening in a long time. I’d really like to talk with you about it.”  Again, he refused. So a third time, she said, “I really need your support right now.” He reluctantly conceded, and gave her his groggy attention. Not too far into her description, he interrupted and said something like, “Everyone has these kinds of dreams from time to time. It doesn’t mean anything.” Realizing he couldn’t be a source of support or comfort at that moment, she said, “Ok then, just be quiet.” In her mind, she dismissed him.

Then, in her solitude, as he drifted off to sleep, she realized how life itself is a dream – everything she experiences is a creation, just like the situation in her sleep – her mind generated images and her body reacted with emotions and all of it was a creation of her fears about living in a body, influenced by the ego, whose job it is to induce drama through fears – fear of death, separation, loss, humiliation, loneliness, rejection, pain, etc. In that moment, while she was telling herself she’ll divorce him when they return, she came to appreciate how she needed to simply witness and observe her fear, not push it away or analyze it, but face it and let it wash through her. In doing so, the grip of the dream faded and the terror subsided. “His inability to be present for me, allowed me to own my fear and face it alone. It was a gift.”

In the morning, when her husband awakened, he was loving and expressed his surprise that they’d already shared a full 23 years together and how grateful he was for her being in his life. And she knew that he’d played his part perfectly for her to own her experience of fear and see through it and get to the other side. The only true danger was believing and behaving as if she was unsafe, that this body IS who she is. She HAS a body but is NOT her body. She, like the rest of us, is aware. As Rupert Spira says, we are “Awareness becoming aware of itself.” This has become her full-time practice – being aware of being aware – whether she’s awake or asleep. We can all benefit from this practice – the next right step.


A client of mine has been worrying obsessively about various aspects of his health. He’s afraid he’ll be more anxious and distracted and unable to focus at work. At other times, he’s been hyper-vigilant about heart palpitations, or back pain. The egoic aspect of his identity wants to focus solely on what’s wrong, in an endless attempt to “fix” or prevent the next problem. The ego is satisfied when it has problems to attempt to resolve. It keeps itself in a job that way.

So I invited him to think about how he can use his attention differently.

First I asked him what sensations he noticed in his body when he allowed himself to dwell on the feelings of worry about his health. He noticed a tightness in his chest and a heaviness and fatigue. Then I suggested we could think of experience in three different layers – like the Russian nesting dolls. So the innermost layer consisted of his intense fears about things that might be dangerous, uncomfortable or predictors of a difficult future. (He has had a cardiac work-up that showed he’s in good physical health.) When he stayed stuck in that internal, amplified view of his distress, more anxiety ensued.

“What if you realized you can shift your focus from the fear-based view that ‘Something’s wrong; something’s wrong with me,’ to ‘I’m observing myself experiencing some intense worry about “x” right now.’ And in that state of direct observation, what sensations do you notice in your body now?” He responded, “It feels softer, lighter, not so tight – more comfortable.” A slight smile spread across his face as he experienced the shift.

Then I proposed he could telescope his awareness out even wider, to sense the beauty and goodness of other aspects of his life right now – how he’s able to run again, the love of his wife, his close relationship with his parents, their lovely home, his job, etc. As he broadened his focus to include what was uplifting, the dense, tight, anxious experience became more diffuse and over-taken by the more expansive, affirming aspects of his life. His smile widened. I could sense how his physiology was responding to the shift in his attention. I asked, “What are you aware of now, internally?” He shared he felt a warmth spreading through him and he felt relief.

Then we practiced intentionally shifting from one level to another and this allowed him to see how flexibly he could choose where and how to place his attention. Depending on where it rested, he had a different experience. The next right thing was to see how he has the power to influence his level of threat or enjoyment.

This skill is something to develop and practice over time. It’s not a once-and-done exercise. By practicing regularly, new neural connections and chemical messengers are created and liberated.  The old alarmist pathways become weakened from disuse, and the new ones solidify with practice. Practice makes permanent. A passing state of being can become a lasting trait over time, with enough repetition.


What is your next right step? Start here, now, and see, witness, then act. If I can be of assistance in helping you identify or take your next right step, reach out. I’d love to support you on your journey to awakening.




About the Author:

Lisa Love, MSN takes delight in helping smart professionals overcome anxiety via an eclectic approach to mind-body healing. Not just a nurse, therapist and coach, she is a bit of a mystic, healer, creative, intuitive, and innovator. She walks her talk and brings cutting-edge practices to her clients that weave together the fields of neuroscience, quantum physics and spirituality, in service of humanity's conscious evolution.
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