‘Presence is the whole atmosphere of a person or thing.’*
Which underlines what I’ve discovered over the years: all people possess a presence, and, when they create something out of their presence, this work and art is imbued with their presence too.
When offered in a non-prescriptive way – suggestions to tantalise our imagination – we’re impacted in life-transforming ways.
Presence can be hidden, though.
It can be covered over from everything from not valuing who we are to new technologies which, although promising greater presence for all users, form barriers of triviality or “unreflection.”
Paradoxically, what can remove barriers and open up our lives is a fascination with others. People of presence notice others, catching glimpses of what others may not even see in themselves. So when someone explores what the person of presence has perceived, connection is possible:
‘Connection is the energy that is created between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgement.’**
Erwin McManus offers us a description of a person or presence in his friend Edward “Chip” Anderson: ‘One of [Chip’s] extraordinary talents was seeing the best in people. He spent his whole life calling out greatness in others and applauding it, even he saw it expressed in the smallest of ways.’^
I had the privilege of meeting Chip for one day almost ten years ago. His presence changed my life dramatically and there would be no Thin|Silence or Go Live Your Strengths without him.
As I mentioned at the beginning, all people possess a presence.
(*From John O’Donohue’s Eternal Echoes.)
(**From Brené Brown’s Daring Greatly.)
(From Erwin McManus’s Soul Cravings.)
(My challenge for 2014 has been to blog everyday, as long as I can create a cartoon for each post. Today’s ends the challenge and begins a new one. More of this to come, but I want to thank Seth Godin for his daily blogs which turn into books and amazing projects, and to Hugh MacLeod for the encouragement to begin cartooning – something I’d not have imagined myself doing before reading his three amazing books, and, he also has a really neat five cartoons a week site to subscribe to. Thank you to you for being amongst the 6,800 views in 2014.)