This week, we were inspired to write about the powerful impact of being present— in our personal lives, our careers, and in our client relationships. At a time when we are so virtually tied that we can connect with others around the world in an instant, the value of one-on-one or small group, in person presence has grown immensely. And just the same, we’ve seen that being present in our own lives and in our own activities, even when we’re alone, has a positive impact on our body, right down to the health of our skin. Here, we share our thoughts on the power of presence, the ways we practice it in our lives, and favorite tips that may inspire you to do the same.

The Power of Presence, In Our Words


For me, being present is not something that came naturally. I knew it as “pay attention,” as a kid, but always focused externally, rather than internally. Even later on, being present for others typically began with someone or something outside of myself. I first learned about the importance of being present when I became a mother. For me, that is the first time in my life where I had to 100% be there for another person, because I was the only person who could fill their needs at that time. This was presence born out of need, and it wasn’t something I cultivated from my own intention. Later on though, I began to learn that for presence to be genuine and authentic, it has to come from within, and radiate outward.

I began to focus on this aspect of presence as I studied Reiki and meditation, then yoga and aesthetics, and then plants, gemstones, and metaphysics. I realized that becoming present from within, starting with something as simple as focusing on my heartbeat or breath, is what creates the space needed to gain insight and intuition to be able to create an experience for someone else, whether in my personal life or with my clients and colleagues. When I take the time to find my breath, listen to my heart, and find the presence of my Higher Self within, the calmness that follows impacts everyone around me, regardless of the situation at hand. It’s something I have to remind myself to do often, because let’s face it, life can be chaotic–but in those moments, being present has always led to the best possible outcome.


I, like James Joyce’s Mr.Duffy, tend to “live a short distance from my body.” I admit to spending much of my time in my head, riding out a bubbling current of interpretations, imaginings, and intentions. If I am not thinking about what is happening, I am probably thinking about what I might say, do, or think about doing next. For me, cultivating more presence requires a very deliberate effort to physically inhabit or feel the now. I must bridge the gap and come back to my body.

Over the years I have tried many different things to increase presence and bridge this gap. Of course, first, I thought about it- reading books by Thich Nhat Hanh and Eckhart Tolle and listening to TED talks on presence. Then, I tried not thinking about it, trying to slow the bubbling mind current down to a slow stream via formal meditation practices. Eventually, I came to realize that I am the most successful when I keep my efforts childishly simple and focused on body sensation.

I point my toes. I ground my feet. I feel my pulse. I let out an exaggerated sigh. I massage my temples. I ask myself and my clients questions that elicit feeling vs. thinking responses. I shift my body’s position. I introduce contrast, like a warm shower, a tart lemon slice or a cool spritz of rose water and then celebrate the details of what I feel, hear, taste, hear,or smell. I pet the dog and I let my hand be moved by the gentle rise and fall of his chest as he breathes; I marvel at his superior presence in this moment, and in doing so, I increase my own.


Confession: I’ve been a multitasker for as long as I can remember. I have been known to execute one task while planning a second and brainstorming a third (fourth, fifth, etc.) But too much multitasking and and a constant to-do list has led me lose touch with the present moment more than a few times. And that’s just not sustainable—or healthy. I’ve worked hard to turn some of the big catalysts that took my multitasking into overdrive (think: starting a business, becoming a mother) into inspiration to be more present. I divide my week between full work days and full mom days, rather than divide my mind, trying to do both at once. I practice this, aiming not to feel guilt about setting these boundaries, and I’m absolutely a better mom and a better coach for it.

In my coaching practice, I ask each of my clients to create a ritual that they will make time for before each session that we have together— and I do the same. A simple act like brewing a cup of tea, lighting a candle, inhaling essential oils, or practicing a breathing exercise brings each of us more fully to the present moment. And on my own time, I find that I’m always more present when I’m using my senses. That’s one of the reasons that I love to cook, to take walks, and travel. It’s hard not to be present when you’re discovering or experimenting with something new.

Finally, I’ve found that my body digests and receives food better (which has a big impact on my skin!) when I practice presence at mealtime. In my book of daily inspiration, Eat Pretty Every Day, I created recurring entries called Mealtime Mantras that are meant to bring more presence to meals, by encouraging my readers (and myself) to take a moment to breathe, reflect, and think of or recite one of these mantras. You might also say a prayer, bless your food, or simply engage your senses with the sights and scents of the food in front of you. That’s the best thing about presence: it’s just a chance to slow down, connect, and feel. It’s a gift that you can give and take as often as you need.

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How do you create presence in your own life, or your practice?

How have you seen the power of presence affect your client relationships?