Powerful Pause Meditation with Bea Grist: 'Presence'

This is the third of our guided meditations from our Powerful Pause series. If you're feeling like you need to take some time out to pause and reset, Bea (Spotlight's Mental Health and Wellbeing Manager) has recorded this 20 minute meditation for you to listen to at your own leisure.

In this meditation we explore the feeling of presence and the impact it can have on our bodies and our minds. When we feel present we also feel more grounded joyful. We are most ourselves when we are in the present moment. So the aim of this meditation is simply to invite you to get curious about what it feels like to live in the present moment. We recommend listening to this meditation with headphones.

This guided meditation was written for one of our new Powerful Pause meditation sessions, where we come together to meditate every week. If you're a Performer member you can take advantage of these free sessions (please ensure you're opted in to receive our emails). Below you can listen to previous 'Powerful Pause' Meditations.

Other meditations in this series:

Powerful Pause: Home
Powerful Pause: Reignite
Powerful Pause: Pre-Audition Meditation
Powerful Pause: Silence

Meditation Transcript

Bea Grist, Health and Wellbeing Manager:

So welcome to this meditation on presence

And there are many ways to describe the feeling of presence
It is the openness and the stillness that exists within you

When we feel present we also feel more grounded and joyful
There is an ease

When we are present we are most ourselves

So before we begin our meditation today
I’d like to invite you to just take a moment to consider what presence means for you.

And wherever you are

Just getting comfortable now

So making any adjustments that are needed

Ensuring that you’ve got a nice straight spine

And before you begin

Let’s take a big inhale here

And just hunch your shoulders forwards and up towards your ears

And breathe out and roll your shoulders away from your ears

Pressing gently backwards

so that your shoulder blades move towards each other

Like a big shoulder roll

And feel your chest open forward

Open your mouth in a big yawning motion

Feel the tension in your jaw starting to release

When you close your mouth

Let you tongue rest at the bottom of your mouth

And feel a soft openness in your jaw muscles

And if you’ve not already done so

Just closing your eyes now

Or softening or lowering your gaze if that’s more comfortable

You have chosen to take this time for yourself

That’s a wonderful thing to do
So maybe take a moment

to give yourself some gratitude for showing up today

And as you sit there

Just take a couple of nice deep breaths

Breathing in through the nose

And breathing slowly out through the mouth

And the next time when you breathe out if it feels comfortable

You can just gently close your eyes

As you breathe in through the nose

Feel a sense of taking in fresh air

The lungs expanding

The body expanding

Breathing in positive, radiant energy

Allowing it to nourish every part of your body

Following the flow of air
As it goes in
and comes out

And now just imagine the warm tropical rain
Showering the body and the mind

Washing away any tension or tightness

Feeling the body get heavier and heavier
as it relaxes and melts into the ground

And the next time as you breathe out
Feel a sense of letting go

Letting go any feelings of uncertainty, fear or perhaps doubts

Letting go of whatever has been going on for you today or this morning

Inviting a gentle current of softness into the body

Releasing any negative energy out of your body

Welcome any sensations of peace and heaviness that may be in your body

Breathing in

And taking a long deep exhale out

This is your time

To be with yourself

Deep breath in
Exhale out

Just a couple more times

Taking deep breaths in through the nose

And out through the mouth

And as you sit there just enjoy that initial sense

Of putting everything down

Having left everything behind

And just that feeling of being present again

Noticing the sensation of the body pressing down

Into the seat or the chair beneath you

That feeling of being grounded

The feet may be on the floor

The hands and the arms on the legs

And as you sit there

Starting to notice how the body feels

And allowing any tension or emotions to come to the surface

Knowing that’s a good thing

Let yourself really welcome

Whatever it is that you’re feeling

And just starting to notice the breath now as well

The breath is also a good indication of how we’re feeling

In both body and mind

And without trying to change the breath in any way

Just noticing if the breath is long, short, deep or shallow

You can just gently place your hand on your stomach

If you find that more comfortable

Or perhaps easier to feel that movement

And even though thoughts may continue to pop in

Perhaps about what’s happened during the day

Where you’ve just come from

Or maybe even jumping ahead about what’s to come

Each time you see the mind wander off

Just letting go of that

And coming back to the present

That feeling

That sensation

The  movement of the breath

Remember that mindfulness is not about having a blank mind

It’s normal to think

So don’t judge yourself for thinking

Simply allow any thoughts to come and go

Just like the clouds in the sky

So in meditating we’re changing our relationship with the passing thoughts and feelings

We learn how to view them with a little more perspective

And when we do this we naturally find a place of calm

We will sometimes become distracted

And that’s ok

But as soon as we remember

We’re back watching the clouds again

Knowing they will pass through

Perfectly at ease

In both body and mind


Thinking is not important here

Realise that you are

More fully yourself
when you’re not thinking

And when you’re not thinking

You can realise what being is

What it means ‘to be’
And you can sense the being that you are

Feeling that sense of presence in your whole body now

Feeling the aliveness inside the body
Being present with every cell of the body

When we sit in this presence

We are in our natural state

This is where we are most ourselves

This is the place where we belong

In presence

In peace

Actual presence is when there is no background commentary
We are just simply being

In the moment

So just notice the impact

When you’re in this place

What is it like to be here?

If you lived your life from this place what might the impact be?

Just notice what comes up for you

There are no right or wrong answers

Only what is true for you

So give yourself permission to let go of any expectations that might be there

And just lovingly accept whatever comes up

All we’re doing is realising presence

We’re just noticing what it means to be present in our lives

There’s no time here

Past and future become irrelevant in presence

You are already complete

You don’t need the past to realise you who are

You don’t need the future to to be more fully yourself

You are already enough

Presence is already complete

You are complete in presence

Just like with each breath

It’s an opportunity to bring yourself into the present moment

When you focus on your breath

You are always focused on the present moment

You cannot get back a past breath

You cannot breathe in a future breath

You can only breathe this breath

Right now.

So just breathing into the present moment
And welcoming it

And if thoughts come in or your mind wanders

That’s ok

That’s normal

Don’t judge yourself for that

Shortly we’ll bring this meditation to a close

So let’s take a deep breath here

In through the nose

And let’s sigh it out through the mouth

Let’s take another of those cleansing breaths

Breathing in through the nose

And sighing out through the mouth

Breathing in this experience

Whatever came up for you

Breathing in life and vitality

Letting the body know it’s time to wake up

Another deep breath now
returning to this time
and this space

Another breath
Becoming aware of where you are

Maybe feeling the chair or whatever is underneath you

Feeling that sense of support and rootedness

Noticing any sounds that might be around you

And just moving your body in any way that is needed
to come back to your present state

take a stretch and move your body a little if that feels good

And when you’re ready
If you haven’t already, slowly open your eyes.


Main photo by Toni Reed on Unsplash