When I first sat down to write this piece on my participation in Being Here Present Now, I spent a lot of time wondering how I might ever be able to translate my experience into words on paper. What came up was that it felt like a futile task trying to force the boundaries of language onto an experience that seemed to transcend communication. Similarly, the programme seemed to encompass so much but at the same time very little.
I entered the programme at a very strange point in my life and career. I had found myself without a permanent job for the first time since I was seventeen. On that first evening, I realised how much of my identity I felt I had lost in the act of becoming unemployed. I declared that by participating in the course I was “responding to the call to See myself”.
As it turned out, I saw quite a lot of myself. The space provided by the programme and the challenges it put before me contrived to give me a view of my being that I have never experienced before.
A power became evident in my use of language. What started as a torrent of thought and ego-led chatter soon became enjoined to a more conscious and experience-led style of speaking. Noticing the energetic difference between beginning a statement with “I feel” in the place of “I am” landed like a ton of bricks on the second day.
The environment and the methods used by the facilitator, Evan Root, initially put me in a very uneasy space. Initially every bit of me was battling against the exercises we were asked to complete. As the day passed I felt myself moving through anger, resentment and cynicism to a place where I was still uncomfortable, but able to see these emotions for what they were rather than being embroiled and caught up in them.
Movement and energetic work magnified and gave weight to this seeing on the third day. Again, I was pushed to my limit of what I felt comfortable with and I found the amount of emotion and consciousness I was experiencing almost unbearable at times. My eyes really were opening and I could see a lot of myself that I had spent a long time masking and hiding away. I had an inescapable feeling that by shutting off my presence to these more difficult facets of myself, I was only closing the doors to a huge chunk of my relationship with the entire world.
I also saw the parts of my life that I see so much value in but take for granted. I found a new way of communicating these and, through honouring them, gave them the space they deserve in my being.
On the last evening, I experienced a moment of realisation in making my final declaration to the group. Yes I was still Maia; yes I was still without that permanent job that I had been so caught up in leaving; yes I still had moments when I was reactive; but I was seeing it from an entirely different space. I wasn’t living in the part of myself that saw from a fearful and resenting space. I was seeing from the present. And I was being in the now.