The gifts of presence are numerous; a deeper connection to ourselves and others, to nature and to the sacredness of everyday life. Presence increases our appreciation for the richness of our lives and the ever-changing landscape of our soul's journey.

Mindfulness and presence are the fundamental elements of the Courageous Happiness process. Mindfulness provides the experience of being in the moment, appreciating the preciousness of life in the here and now. When we are more fully in the present, rather than focusing so much on the past or what will happen in the future, we experience a sense of peace and inner calm.

Being present brings greater intimacy and connection with others. When you are truly present with another person, actively listening without an agenda, without thinking ahead about how you will respond, you deepen the connection and build greater trust and intimacy.

When we breathe into the moment we become more aware of what is going on in our body, mind, heart and spirit. From this place we gain insight and wisdom about our intentions, visions and dreams.

Excerpt from a winter labyrinth walk: 

I bundle up and walk the labyrinth. Being present, fully in the moment with my senses - cold air on my cheeks and nose, the sweet smell of cedar.

I stand completely still, listening to the birds - the hummers, finches, mockingbirds, jays, crows, chickadees. I treasure my daily encounters with the hummingbirds. They are a reminder of joy, intention and presence. I feel our connection, our relatedness and it elicits pure happiness in my heart.

Bare fruit trees taking their rest. Nascent daffodil tips emerging amidst brilliant green mounds of grass on the labyrinth. 

Sometimes I walk the labyrinth, weeding as I go - weeding clutter from my mind, my spirit, my life. Today I practice not weeding, being with everything as it is, no need to weed, "improve" or change anything. I am grateful just to be with the elements, connecting with Mother Earth and my inner spirit landscape.

Practicing being fully present in the moment is a wonderful way to create more sabbath time.  Be present with your senses, feelings, thoughts, and breath.  What calls to you, what are your inclinations towards creativity, flow and restorative time? What happens if you follow the thread of your calling? 

Notice how being more present effects you, impacts how you relate to everything, and how it deepens your experience and expands your life.

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