Over the course of the years I've read quite a few books on being present and can say I've learned quite a bit. Does this make me a master at being present, no. However I do try. Being present appears to take on different definitions depending who is talking about being present. For me being present means to actually BE. If I'm in a conversation with another human being you wont find me checking my phone or my head wandering about looking everywhere else. I make it a point to be fully present with the human being in front of me by giving them eye contact, actually responding back to what they are talking about, and not letting my thoughts drift off to other places.
When you look around public places take note of how many people are on their cell phones while at lunch, dinner, breakfast, or with another human. I meet up with different people and notice how they can't put their phones down or go running to their phone if it rings. I understand people have children and need to stay in contact for their safety, for those who have adult children why are you running to your phone?
If I'm working on a project I try to put my all into it, even if it's something I don't like I will make it the best I can while doing my absolute best. I've had jobs I didn't like very much, but guarantee I performed highly being and doing the best I could. If I'm at work and a co-worker speaks to me I actually turn and face them. Not just my head, but my entire body so they know they have my full attention. I personally don't prefer to talk to people who can't even look at me, it's actually kind of annoying. Like dang, you can't put your phone down for a second to speak, or you can't spare 30 seconds out of your day to look at me. I've worked places where I would say good morning to people walking in and they would keep their heads turned away from me and just give me a wave. Wow, what you're doing is that important in life. Okay buddy. I'm going to say it, work is not that important when there is a live breathing human being. Of course you can't diddy daddle around talking forever, however there's nothing wrong with brief eye contact and a hello.
When you're present with another human you get to see their facial expressions and their body language, which at times says way more then what's coming out of their mouth audibly. You can read a lot about a person by paying attention to their body language.
Being present with children is extremely important. After all you're showing them how to be present by exampling being present and without talking about being present. You're teaching them how to communicate.
Being present in nature is so amazing to let go of your thoughts and take awareness of the sound of the wind, birds singing, dogs barking, a lizard running through the brush, the precise trail of ants, the forms of the trees, the beautiful colors. There is so much to take note of in nature that remind you of how simple and delicate life really is.
I love to be present with our pets and watch them play, they are hilarious to watch and most importantly they enjoy and love the attention of me being present with them. Have you noticed how pets will look you in the eyes?
I love being present with my baby boy in the oven and feeling his kicks and movements. What a wonderful feeling to feel his life inside of me!!! I can't help but smile.
A lot of being present for me means to turn off my thoughts and BE! Turning off your thoughts is something we can all do, just stop thinking and BE! It's so enjoyable.
Try being present with the next person you are with and instead of thinking of your agenda and the point you don't need to make, the opinion you don't need to give, the judgment you can keep to yourself, the gossip that's garbage, just be present and listen. Be present with your children, with your pets, with nature, with your co-workers, while washing dishes, while taking a bath. Throw your thoughts out and turn them off and just be. You can do it you human you, I believe in you.