What does it mean to be fully and happily present in our lives? We’re figuring that out just as much as the next person, so talking with human connection specialist Mark Groves and hearing his stories about his journey to being present was seriously inspiring. He totally blew us away!
So, what has Mark learned about taking steps toward showing up fully present? The first thing was to open up: sharing his change was a bridge to others, and he realized it’s better to share than hide. Next, he learned that being present and fully alive is better than what he had achieved through drinks or marijuana. But at the same time, being fully present is a double-edged experience — it can definitely be overwhelming to be fully present to everything that is happening all around us today.
There’s such a fine line to being present — we want to allow ourselves to feel and have compassion and empathy, but we also don’t want to be in the vibration of pain all the time. If we’re open and alive and awake and noticing, then we can start to feel a deep sense of pain, and there’s no doubt that it’s hard to be present for this. When we do something to numb our state so we don’t feel the sadness — whether it’s drinking or relying on our phones — then we’re not actually changing anything. It’s easy to expect to feel different, but if we don’t, we can feel like there’s something wrong with us. It doesn’t work unless we actually change.
When it feels like this world is becoming too overwhelming for us, we ask ourselves: “What can I do to change this?”
For us and Mark, we like to turn to spiritual practices, meditation, being intentional with our diets, intuitive movement, and being in nature to help us discover a sense of peace and home within ourselves. This allows us to create presence.
One brilliant reminder from Mark was to keep EVERYTHING in moderation — even meditation! He meditates in moderation, uses his phone in moderation, reads the news in moderation. Without setting those boundaries, it’s so easy to create a negative relational experience surrounded by a negative system, and we can’t expect ourselves to be in a positive state.
What society has taught us about emotion is that if we feel negative emotion then something is wrong, while positive emotion means we’re doing something right. Mark believes that emotion shouldn’t be coded as positive or negative, but instead we should see that emotions are pieces of information inviting us to do something about how we feel and allowing our bodies to react. So, it’s okay not to feel positive all the time! Feeling negativity, anger, sadness combined with happiness and positivity IS your humanness.
Mark’s journey totally inspired us to work toward being more fully and happily present in our lives, and hopefully it does the same for you! It can be tough, but being present and allowing yourself to really feel your emotions is so worth it in the end.
Hear more of Mark’s grounded, no BS advice on boundaries, relationships, codependency, and more in our episode here!