Be Present. This is the fourth of the six core GSD Factor attributes.
Here’s a quick recap:
The GSD Factor life consists of six attributes: Be Confident, Be Inquisitive, Be Imaginative, Be Present, Be Resilient, and Be Influential.
What does it mean when we say, “Be Present? The definition that we have framed around this is:
“The ability and willingness to keep showing up, even if for a moment; it’s the art of starting to do something, anything and trusting that process even when it seems that there are more pivots than plans. It’s also living with the attitude of progress not perfection.”
Now before we can dive into Be Present, let’s spend a few moments on the topic of being versus doing. Depending on your personality type, you may tend to lean one way versus the other, but here at GSD Factor, we believe that there is a place and purpose for both. We must find that work-life-family integration with being AND doing, with ying and yang. Why is this? Balance. Harmony. Just like every instrument has their notes and chords to play individually, when you bring it together within an orchestra, it is a beautiful tapestry of music that elevates your mind, soul, and emotions.
With life comes seasons, and with seasons comes change. Maybe you are in a season of growth, stretching and scaling. Those are examples of seasons of doing, but even during those doing seasons, you must be mindful of burnout and ensure there are moments of being present and resting. Perhaps you are in a season of reflection, retrospect, nesting; that’s a season of being. We need to flow in and out of being and doing. Your season of being may be preparing you for a season of doing. That rest and recharge that you experience in that being season will be your gas tank that sustains you in your doing season.
Recently (Jan 2023) Jacinda Arden, resigned as prime minister of New Zealand. She said:
“I’m leaving, because with such a privileged role comes responsibility – the responsibility to know when you are the right person to lead and also when you are not. I know what this job takes, and I know that I no longer have enough in the tank to do it justice. It’s that simple,” she said. Arden went on to say, “I am human; politicians are human. We give all that we can for as long as we can, and then it’s time. For me, it’s time,” she said.
Jacinda broke many glass ceilings including becoming the world’s youngest female head of government in 2017, giving birth to her daughter while in office, and navigating some of the toughest times for New Zealand. She was in a doing season. She took her summer break to be, reflect and retrospect and realized it was time to step down. She is now entering her season of being.
Now that we have an introduction to what it means to be versus do, let’s dive into Being Present. To be present, you have to slow down, and one of the tools to do this is through meditation and breathing. Now as someone who is a natural type A doer but also a survivor of many burnouts, my first thought has not traditionally been meditation. My first interpretation of meditation was spending an hour on the yoga mat breathing, my mind racing with all the to-do lists that are calling my name, and I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.
Then, I met Antonio Javar who made meditation simple to understand and empowered me to feel confident to adopt it into my life in small bite-sized nuggets. He taught this really simple breathing method of 7/6/5 that will stay with me for the rest of my life. You breathe in for seven seconds. Hold for six seconds, and breathe out for five seconds. That’s it. You breathe. You can repeat as many times as you like or don’t.
Antonio is the author of his most recent book Awaken, 5 Ways to Calm Your Mind for Meditation. Throughout his book, he provides amazing insights and exercises that simplify meditation into smaller seeds that can be planted and grown over time.
He says, “Starting your meditation with deep, intentional breathing is the key for staying present during your experience. Breathing creates awareness that says…I AM HERE. It allows you to move in your body and out of your head.”
So, GSDers intentional breathing is key to meditation, which is key to living a life of being present. Whether you are in your being season or doing season, being present is a constant. Breathing is a constant. Intentional breathing and meditation can be life changing.
Be sure to check out the other books and resources that Antonio Javar has available here.