Thursday, November 3, 2011

Being Fully Present

As a technology facilitator of K-12 teachers I am often struck by the lack of engagement of some of our participants.  I know that teachers are swamped with so many demands that to them life feels like a juggling act on a unicycle going full-speed ahead.  I get it- I did it for fifteen years.  I remember how dog-tired I would be at the end of a long and emotional day.  Friday’s were like heaven when we could slow down a bit, watch a video- relevant of course- play some games and just work a little less.  It reflects negatively on teachers, I know, but let’s be real.  Being ON all the time is exhausting and sometimes our kiddos need a break as well. 

Having said that, I’ve experienced training session where people show up to technology training without a charged laptop, or a stack of papers to grade, or unfinished online business.  I’ve often heard negatively charged sighs of exasperation when presented with a new tool.  Or how about the ever-complaining comment of “I don’t know what my password is!”  And yes, it would be easier if everyone had a chip imbedded that would log you into every site automatically, but also a little bit scary! 

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone was fully present in the moment, whatever that moment may be?  Whether the moment is a required training, or having a conversation with a loved one, or being in a public place, being fully present enriches your personal and professional life.

I recently came across a couple of articles that struck a chord with these thoughts.  There are actually specific behaviors you can practice to increase being fully present and listening in the moment.  It kind of goes like this:
Be helpful by finding ways to participate or help out a neighbor, family member, colleague, or service provider.  You will feel good about your behavior and you will impact another life, if only for that moment.
Be curious by asking thoughtful questions.  Your questions might spur on further conversation that will increase your own learning and show that you genuinely care about the other person or the topic on which you are being trained. 
Being available is another way to say, “Hey, I am here right now.”  It shows that you are engaged in the moment.  You can show you are available by tweeting regularly, showing eye contact in person, nodding your head, or using those simple phrases like “Oh” and “Ah”.
Be respectful.  Even if you feel reluctant to learn a new tool or feel frustrated by overcoming a personal obstacle, stay positive and avoid negative comments directed at the person in your midst.  Negative comments that aren't heard by everyone delivers negative energy into the room. 
Have fun!  Life is too short to not have fun in your daily activities.  Laughter truly is the best medicine!  It is also infectious.  One of the things I love about my job is that we laugh!  A lot!!  It eases tension and gives us some perspective.

I love it when I come across a person who is present in the moment and positive about what is happening around them.  It is one of the common threads that I experience with my athlete friends.  Yes, sometime we are uncomfortable, but we get through it with a positive attitude and enjoy each moment that we are given.  Being fully present lifts your spirits and pushes you to be your best as well!  Let’s all practice being in the moment!  Who knows, you might just surprise yourself!

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