“The Presence Process” is a self-guided procedure to put anyone seeking to reprogram their emotional responses to stressful events, firmly in the driver seat of their own life. The emotional regulation procedure revealed is an invitation to heal, by choosing to react in a different way, but also to embrace emotional awareness in the non-stressful moments as well. Brown shines a light in dark places, by explaining the childhood psychological origins of conditioned responses, so anyone can lead a calmer life.
My key Takeaways from “The Presence Process" by Michael Brown:
Take action across 10 weeks with the presence process and awaken your awareness. Learn to become more present as you consciously respond to day-to-day situations thanks to breathing and writing exercises as well as observing your experiences.
Takeaway #1 Uncomfortable Emotions Are Opportunities To Grow
Learning how to better handle negative or uncomfortable emotions isn't about hiding from them or making yourself feel better, taking yourself from sad to happy, but about getting better at feeling.
How we feel about a present experience is a result of past conditioning therefore, any discomfort we feel now is a memory of something painful that happened to us in the past. Many of our emotions get stuck in us from childhood experiences which go onto distort our view as adults, and if undealt with, can go on to cause health issues.
Knowing that our uncomfortable emotions are a reflection from the past allows us to stop identifying with them. Treat the feelings as messages from the past, temporary experiences that you usually don't allow yourself to look into but that keep reoccurring until you acknowledge the event that caused them.
Your pain and suffering will lessen every time you bring awareness to your present situation so experience the emotions simply by paying attention to them but without judgment or resistance.
Takeaway #2 You Are Responsible For Your Life Experience
Whatever has happened to you is not your fault but it is up to you to choose how you deal with the cards life has played you. Responding rather than reacting is a principle lesson to grasp in the Presence Process and will help you to stop blaming yourself and others.
Reacting means you unconsciously act out based on past patterns. We react in moments of emotional discomfort usually to defend ourselves or to attack another.
Responding means you are consciously aware (responsible) for your emotional state and chose to behave based on what is happening in the present moment instead of projecting your emotions on someone else.
The Presence Process helps you to understand that each and every person or situation that causes you to react is an opportunity to understand and heal. The people who cause us to react defensively or attack are actually showing us our hidden pain, giving us the opportunity to realize it, feel it, and ultimately heal from it.
Takeaway #3 Being Present Is The Greatest Service We Can Do For Ourselves and Humanity
With so many self-improvement products on the market, it can be hard to know where to start on the road to becoming the best version of yourself. But if you start by being present aka mindful, having an awareness of what's going on in the here and now, positive change will follow in all aspects of your life as well as in the lives of those around you.
The Presence Process Chapters
Chapter One - What is the Present Moment Awareness?
Chapter Two - The Heartbeat of Reinforcement
Chapter Three - Aligning Intent
Chapter Four - Mechanics of the Process
Chapter Five - Consciousness of Questions
Chapter Six - Movement Beyond Motion
Chapter Seven - The Pathway of Awareness and Seven-Year Cycle
Chapter Eight - Emotional Imprinting
Chapter Nine - Emotional Charge
Chapter Ten - Beyond Addiction and Affliction
Chapter Eleven - Trading Results of Consequences
Chapter Twelve - The Process Trinity
Chapter Thirteen - An Integrative Approach
Chapter Fourteen - Level of Entry
Chapter Fifteen - Navigational Guidance
Chapter Sixteen - Insight and Felt-Perception
Chapter Seventeen - Activation and Maintenance
Chapter Eighteen - The Consciously Connected Breathing Practice
Chapter Nineteen - Into Breath
Chapter Twenty - Presence and Individual Expression
Chapter Twenty-One - Onward, Inward, and Upward
Chapter Twenty-Two - Identifying Messengers
Chapter Twenty-Three - Receiving Insight
Chapter Twenty-Four - Feeling Unconditionally Integrates
Chapter Twenty-Five - Ingregrating Our Childhood
Chapter Twenty-Six - Integration of the Child Self
Chapter Twenty-Seven - Integrating Charged Emotion
Chapter Twenty-Eight - The Mechanics of Reactivity
Chapter Twenty-Nine - The Emotional Integration Procedure
Chapter Thirty - Into the Water
Chapter Thirty-One - Embracing Physical Presence
Chapter Thirty-Two - Feeling Our Way Through
Chapter Thirty-Three - Peace is a Vibration We Feel
Chapter Thirty-Four - Realizing Peace Through Forgiveness
Chapter Thirty-Five - Praying for Forgiveness
Chapter Thirty-Six - Integrating Our Unconscious Definition of Love
Chapter Thirty-Seven - Manipulation
Chapter Thirty-Eight - Giving Unconditionally Is Receiving
Chapter Thirty-Nine – Consciously Entering the Unified Field
Chapter Forty - Living on Purpose
Chapter Forty-One - Appreciating Appreciation
Chapter Forty-Two - Where There's a Gardener, There's a Garden
Chapter Forty-Three - Fruits and Flowers
Chapter Forty-Four - Radiating Present Moment Awareness Responsibly
Chapter Forty-Five - The Story of Clive and Nadine
Chapter Forty-Six - The Organic Unfolding of Present Moment Awareness
Chapter Forty-Seven - Freedom is Responsibility
Best Quotes from The Presence Process
"Though we are addicted to instant gratification, we are seldom gratified because, although we are making everything possible now, we are seldom present to enjoy it now. The moment we attain our desire, our attention jumps out of the present and into planning our next acquisition. This creates a world that's comfortable with living in debt, on borrowed time, and on somebody else's energy. We no longer own our houses, cars, and clothes - the bank does. We have robbed ourselves of the satisfaction of organic accomplishment. There's no more "rite of passage," only the fast lane. Young children want to be teenagers, teenagers want to be adults, and adults want to accomplish a lifetime's work before turning thirty. We spend each moment running ahead of ourselves, believing there's a destination we are supposed to arrive at that's saturated with endless happiness, acknowledgment, ease, and luxury. We are forever running away from something and toward something - and because everyone is behaving in this manner, we accept it as normal. We mentally leapfrog over the eternal present moment in everything we do, ignoring the flow of life. The Presence Process - including the consequences inherent in completing it - moves at a different pace. This journey isn't about getting something done "as quickly as possible." It's about the process, not instant gratification. The consequences we activate by completing this journey are made possible because of its gently unfolding integrative approach. By following the instructions carefully, taking one step at a time, being consistent and committed to completing the task at hand no matter what, we experience a rite of passage that reminds us of what "process" means. Realizing what "process" involves isn't just a mental realization, but requires an integrated emotional, mental, and physical experience. Awakening to the value of process work is rare in a world of instant gratification. It powerfully impacts the quality of our experience because life in the present is an ongoing organic process. Realizing the power within the rhythm of process work may no necessarily impact our ability to earn a living, but it enhances our ability to open ourselves to the heartbeat of life."
"We mistakenly spend our experience trying to get something instead of simply receiving that which is already and eternally given."
"A reliable indicator we have entered present moment awareness is if our experience, no matter how comfortable or uncomfortable it may feel at any given moment, is infused with gratefulness."
"This level of emotional integration is only possible when we decrease or pain and discomfort to a point where we view all emotion as "energy in motion," Instead of dealing with some emotions as threatening and to be avoided, while we find others so seductive that we are driven uncontrollably into activity because of them."
"Presence knows no order of difficulty."
"The more automated our experience becomes, the less involved we are in the art of living."
"The word "enough" has no relevance for us."
"Presence has the miraculous capacity to manifest in our daily experience the exact circumstances required to integrate the dysfunction that currently prevents us from experience present moment awareness."
"When we lack gratitude for simply being alive, it's because we have strayed from the present into an illusory mental state called "time."
Even though the past has gone and can't be altered, and the future isn't yet manifest, we choose to mentally occupy their illusory places instead of fully entering and experience the one moment we actually occupy - this moment now."
"Our current time-based experience is a perceptual hell guarded by the bars of our unintegrated fear, anger, and grief. It doesn't take us anywhere. It never did, and it never will."
"This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and attend them all: Even if they're a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still treat each guest honorable. He may be clearing you out for some new delight." - Rumi
― Michael Brown - The Presence Process
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Editor and Founder
Tal Gur is a location independent entrepreneur, author, and impact investor. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His most recent book and bestseller, The Art of Fully Living - 1 Man, 10 Years, 100 Life Goals Around the World, has set the stage for his new mission: elevating the next generation of leaders to their true potential.