“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.