Productivity vs. Presence

“Many of us have a mind that measures self-worth in terms of productivity. If I did not produce anything today, if I did not write a book, give a speech, bake bread, earn money, sell something, buy something, get a good grade on a test, or find my soul mate, then my day was wasted and I am a failure. We give ourselves no credit for taking “being” time, for just being present. “Waiting” is thus a source of frustration.

 

And yet, if you asked the people you care about what they would like most from you, their answer is likely to be some version of “your presence” or “your loving attention.” Presence has no measurable product except positive feelings, feelings of support, intimacy, and happiness. When we stop being busy and productive and switch to just being still and aware, we ourselves will also feel support, intimacy, and happiness, even if no one else is around. These positive feelings are a product that is much desired but that cannot be bought. They are the natural result of presence. They are a birthright that we have forgotten we have.”

 

― Jan Chozen Bays from How to Train a Wild Elephant

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