It may seem impossible that there could actually be one thing, just ONE THING, that all of us, regardless of our relationship status, our gender, the color of our skin or our age, are deeply desiring above all else.
How could we be so similar when we seem so different?
How could it be so simple when we’ve been told it’s so hard?
In my work as a somatic sex and intimacy coach and in my own relational life, I’ve amassed enough evidence at this point to feel supremely confident in saying WE ARE so similar and IT IS so simple. I give you my word. I stake my name on this.
That yearning to lose yourself amidst a swirl of passionate sexual chemistry with another? It’s a hunger for presence.
That frustration when your partner doesn’t seem to understand you when you speak? Yup, you want presence.
That sense of time standing still and wanting a moment to go on forever when in the company of someone who really sees you? You’re taken by the promise of presence.
You see, in the fast pace of our modern lives, where interpersonal interactions are more likely to happen via Facebook post engagement then face-to-face contact and where we’re fed a steady diet of highly stimulating distractions that leave us starving for the nutrient density of true connection, the thing we hunger for most of all is for someone to show up and truly be with us. That, and to allow us to show up and truly be with them.
Wondering what I mean by this “be with” business? Curious how something as seemingly simply as presence can be such a rare and scarce commodity these days?
Case in point: I’m writing this on a park bench in the middle of a major city. There are more people on their phones than in conversation with the ones they are with. I’ve attempted eye contact with a woman next to me multiple times and she never once looked my way, before having just stood up and walked away. Aside from a breastfeeding mother a few benches over no one is touching anyone else in my line of sight.
This is a microcosm of the macrocosm, a glimpse into the underlying ache that we all feel. We’ve forgotten how to be with each other. We look past tens of hundreds of thousands of people on a regular basis. Far too many go for days, weeks, months without the warmth of a hug that lasts more than 3 seconds or eye contact that endures beyond a blink. Too many have lost the ability to really feel their heart’s desires and impulses.
The one place we have the greatest chance for presence is in our intimate relationships. That’s the reality for most. Yet even there, it’s not so simple. Being single is still seen as a curse in many regards. Those in partnership often feel like they speak a different language than their significant other. Mismatched libidos and turn-ons abound. Our voices become diminished as the prospect of truly meeting, and being met by, another in deep presence seems to grow further and further away.
But that, blessedly, is just an illusion.
Presence, while a gift that some innately embody with great ease, is a practice that anyone can take on. It’s a skill that can be taught and refined. I teach it all the time. Perhaps the biggest common denominator in all my work is helping my clients learn to practice presence. I teach them how to feel themselves more, identify their desires, communicate and connect from a place of deep presence so that when they do engage, they actually come away nourished rather than depleted.
We all want to be fed by our relationships. There’s nothing more natural to desire.
If you’re feeling the resonance and know deep down it’s presence that is calling to you, presence that can breathe new life into your relationship, presence that will help you open up to the abundant opportunities for connection that are all around you, then answer the call.
Presence is the foundation of intimacy, and intimacy the foundation for all the hot, juicy, soul-stirring goodness we want from our relationships. It’s a foundation that can be built by choice, but just as you wouldn’t necessarily lay the foundation for your house on your own (unless that’s your particular gift!) seeking support from someone whose gift is teaching presence is the best way to lay the foundation for a new quality of relationship.
When you're ready to build, you'll know. And when you're ready to call in your team of expert contractors and designers to craft the foundation for the relationships you most deeply desire, take the time to consider who you feel resonance with and who can hold the big vision with you. You'll be so glad you did.