A Time for Presence

Wherever you are, be there. If you can be fully present now, you’ll know what it means to live. 

~ Steve Goodier

The process of healing and self-realization requires a tremendous amount of balance. Maintaining balance is simple, conceptually, and challenging practically.

Even after we accept that our thoughts are things (with a force and power that is our privilege and responsibility to regulate), there is still much for us to learn. We must learn to harmonize our thoughts and feelings in a way that creates balance – within us and in our lives. And it is not always easy to maintain that kind of harmony and balance. It can be challenging to know exactly when is the right time to go deep within and address unresolved emotional pain . . . when to be completely present in the moment that is unfolding before us . . . and when to turn our attention to the future we choose to create. With experience, trial, and a significant amount of error, we do reach a point where we can usually sense what is right for us, in the moment.

Margaret YoungHowever, there are certain occasions that make it much more challenging for us to maintain the kind of balance we know we need. This can be especially true during the holiday season. The holidays are meant to be a time of gratitude, joy, and love – a season of hope and promise.

Nonetheless, this time of year seems to have a unique gravitational pull for memories of the past. It is a very real fact of which we must be mindful.

Perhaps, we find ourselves thinking of the loved ones who are no longer with us and lamenting their absence. Perhaps, we are tempted to linger in the happy moments of the past and compare them begrudgingly to what is happening in our lives now. Or, maybe, we find ourselves dwelling on thoughts of deeply painful events that occurred during this time of year, long ago. If we are not mindful and conscious of where this line of thinking might take us, we can easily find ourselves unable to enjoy the good that is in our lives now. We might distance ourselves from the very peace and hope to which this season is dedicated.

Fortunately, we can put a stop to that line of thinking before it pulls us in. We do it by simply being aware – aware of our thoughts, aware of our feelings, and aware of our choices. We can acknowledge that the ghosts of Christmases past are hovering around us, waiting to take us into that place of darkness we’ve worked so hard to walk out of. We can acknowledge it and refuse to fall prey to it.

We have a choice in these matters. We have the power to manage our thoughts and the ability to buffer the affects of unresolved emotional pain, while we are still in the process of healing. By staying present, focusing our attention on what exists for us right now, we make the choice to be happy today  – regardless of what happened in the past.

There is a great sense of comfort that accompanies presence. It shrinks the whole of our existence to a size that is much more manageable and much more enjoyable. It gives us room to breathe and space to heal. It allows us to soak in all that we have to be grateful for and to rest in peace while remaining very much alive.

Today, I want to encourage you to consider making as much effort as possible to focus your attention on this holiday season, this month, this day, this moment. Set aside thoughts of the past until you are ready to face, to feel, and to heal what remains there for you in positive and constructive ways. Remember that you are capable, you are powerful, and you do have a choice.

Happy Holidays to each and every one of you! May peace and joy be with you, today and always.


© 12/06/2013

All rights reserved.

Photo by Margaret Young

Leave a comment


  1. Hey Sloan! Thanks for your post ! It’s quite helpful. I wrote my feelings about this in my last post. It’s hard this time of year but I always make it through! God Bless!

  2. Beautiful post! This year is much different for my family and we are all adjusting the way we can. Thank you for your words. Smiles & Sunshine! Namaste!

  3. Stephanie

     /  December 8, 2013

    Awesome post Sloan. I agree it’s best to be present now and leave the past in the past until one can deal with it. I find being Grateful really helps in getting thru the tough times. Smiles and Hugs

    • Absolutely, Stephanie. As you know from my book, I believe Gratitude is one of the cornerstones of personal and spiritual transformation. And it definitely helps us get through the tough times. Have a beautiful week; and Happy Holidays! Love & Light, S

  4. Thank you so much for this reminder to stay present. In the recent passing of a dear friend, it has been all-too-easy to think of how I could have changed things, what I could have done differently to fix the outcome. I know that every year around this time – as well as throughout the year randomly – these feelings of regret may come flying back to me. But I also appreciate the time we had with him, the things that his life and death have taught me, and love life and those in my life even more. I need to return to the present more and more, and this is a wonderful passage to bring me back to it. Thank you!

    • Blessings to you, Erin. May you enjoy peace . . . and presence, today and always. Wishing you the happiest of holidays this season! Love & Light, Sloan

  5. Nadine

     /  December 15, 2013

    A bright, beautiful, and blessed holiday season to you and yours, dearest Sloan.

  6. Even in mental health, presence, alone, is often an intervention.


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