You know what moments I’m talking about. The ones that make your eyes sweaty. You feel like a sap so you try to cover up your joyful tears with a cough. It’s those memories where you felt so unapologetically yourself, so free and happy, that when you find the space to remember them, they hit you like a freight train.
I forget about being human sometimes. I lose track of the Being.
I move through life with such little attachment to what it means to exist. I misplace that feeling that comes with knowing that existence is all we have.
It’s as if I’m a bot, just going through my protocols, not really aware of what presence even is. I’m focused on the goals, the bottom line. The things I think I need to do to constantly move forward. More system than human really.
Time feels off. I forget to eat. It feels like a part of me is locked away as the bot takes control of the monotonous movement through life.
And then I see something that shocks me back into my body. I see a star figurine from my childhood that you wind up on the back and when you flick the switch it plays a piano rendition of joy to the world. It rips me out of my non-existence and I’m thrown into a memory I had nearly burned completely. I relive the moments that I sat there fiddling with the contraption, completely enamored with the piano, humming along, nearly crying from how much music soothed me.
And I’m given back my beingness. As if I had just forgotten it on the nightstand at home and someone was bringing it for me.
Why is it always something so stupidly simple that brings me back to presence? It’s never the big things. It’s always the piano song looping from the little star figurine or the memories echoing from my family’s old rocking chair, or a certain meal I used to have or a hair clip I always wore.
You never find that beingness in the massive house, or the job promotions or the long list of achievements. You find it in the cracks and crevices of the experiences you leave behind. The corners of your childhood. The spaces you never even realized you could remember. They live within you, never imposing, always waiting, when you need to find that self again.
Most of my day is spent on this; why we forget the beingness. Why we lose the knowing that our only job is to exist, that existence itself is a gift.
Maybe that’s why we ended up where we are. We evolved into constantly avoiding the fact of presence, to focus on logic and achievement.
There is a point to this presence rant I promise.
One of the reasons I think we avoid presence is because we started telling ourselves that we can never relive a moment. To “cherish things while they last because you’ll never experience them again.” We are constantly stuck in this space that we are losing something important to use. Our happy experiences, that loving relationship, our parents, our memories, our jobs etc.
But, I adamantly disagree. You will always have those with you. That energy isn’t going anywhere. It deeply affected you, so it is with you forever. You can tap back into that at any moment. We go into that survival bot mode because we are afraid of losing those moments, so we would rather avoid having them at all. But, when we shift our perspective to knowing that those moments are always with us then we can detach from our feeble attempts at avoiding life.
The other reason I think we avoid it, is because we believe logic is outside of us, and that it is more important than existence. Logic shows us how to live and is unbiased. If we can logic our way through life, than we won’t experience sadness. But, logic is just a human process. Philosophers tried to ”step outside” of human-ness to explain what it means to be human through logic, but it’s impossible. Logic is a response to stimuli, just like every other human emotion. This attachment to logic puts us in a position to avoid being and focus on achieving.
Now my point.
I think resolutions are so frustrating and difficult to keep because we set them as if they are outside of us. We set them using logic and pretending to encode them into our software so that we achieve something. So focused on an outcome or end goal, and so avoidant of our emotions to that experience or the embodiment of that experience.
And when I’m in my bot mode and am reminded of a moment from when I was younger and short circuit and start crying, I remember that what’s important is getting back to those moments. I fully believe that I can have that feeling again. So when I create these new year’s intentions, I focus on what I want to feel in my experience that year and the character that I am to embody that feeling.
To find those feelings I’m seeking, I go through my journals from the past year and look for those moments that really made me feel something. I look at old photos to find an energy I am looking for. I might even find those memories in an item like that star figurine.
Like, that star figurine showed me how important music was to me. How I wanted to experience music with more people this year. It even helped me realize that the songs that get stuck in my head are important for me and my insights.
Intentions don’t have to be huge grand things. It’s those little moments that matter. The moments where you can feel yourself experiencing a future memory.
I noticed when I get nostalgic I get extremely philosophical and introspective. Which is another feeling that brings me back to presence. That might seem counterintuitive because I think we view introspection as outside of us as well. Our “head in the clouds.” Which is so funny now that I think about it because introspection is to go inward, but we view it as a detaching action.
Anyway, my intention for this year is to find more presence. I even wrote a whole thing on how much I loved moss as a child, so I see a lot more green in my future.
How does the phrase “you can never have the same experience twice,” make you feel? Do you feel anxious about loss? Do you feel grateful for the scarcity? Do you fear regret?
Are you focused on experiences or achievements? How would you feel if you were seen to never achieve anything?
Do you have anxiety towards resolutions? Do you feel like a failure if you don’t follow through? Do you become obsessed with the goal?
What is one feeling you hope to experience this year? Write 5 events that that feeling might show up.
Is there an object around you that brings up a good feeling from your past? What emotions come up from that memory? What were you doing? What did you embody?
Is there a way to bring that feeling into your day? What other things light you up in a similar way?
Getting back to presence is always my goal in the new year. I write out every feeling I am seeking and aligned ways that would bring about that feeling. If there are objects that offer a feeling I bring them into my room. For me, it’s candles and dried flowers. I write out a character that experiences these feelings. I write what they wear, how they act what they experience. This might sound like getting out of presence, but for me, building narratives around what essence I’m actually seeking, helps generate more of that in my life.
When we focus more on the being, we may find that those achievements we were so sure we needed, were just us reaching for the feelings we all deserve.
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