Be Present Where You're At


“I don’t mind the thought of dying; I just don’t want to be there when it happens.”

–Woody Allen

A physician friend of mine is brilliant. He’s a very sharp guy and a great doctor. Some say he has a photographic mind.

One of the handicaps of an acute intellect is a brain that rapidly moves on to the next information byte.

He’s always thinking a step ahead of the rest of us.

He has a packed schedule, tons of documentation, and a hard time being present in the moment.

Some patients find him “distracted,” that is, he’s often not all here. He’s with them in the treatment room, but he’s not paying attention.

His thoughts are somewhere else, and it feels like he’s somewhere else too.

When his wife feels frustrated at his lack of presence, she tells him, “Be where you are at.”

Being Present Living

Our healthcare culture puts a premium on performance, productivity, and busyness.

We esteem a packed schedule even though it chokes off meaningful human connection and fulfillment.

Rushing robs us from being present to each patient encounter and ourselves.

A contemplative way of living is a way to combat our fast-paced world of constant distractions and pressure.

Be Where You’re At

There are many times in my life when inner anxiety provokes me to lose my presence. This anxiety expresses itself as inner talk that is usually hurt from the past or a worry about the future. Rarely is it about the task at hand or something I can control.

I’ve found that contemplative or mindfulness practices such as centering prayer have slowed my pace and help me live in the present.

Contemplation has been aptly described as “a long, loving look at the Real.”

In my next posts, I’ll share some practical suggestions to help you slow down and take a long, loving gaze at your Real.

  1. Slow Down and Be Still
  2. Be Silent and Pay Attention
  3. Stay In The Now
  4. Play and Have Fun