Each week of the Forty Day Yoga Challenge has a theme. This first week's theme was Presence: we were to start tuning into what is going on in our bodies, with our diet, with ourselves in the world around us. A week of Paying Attention, not zoning out. We kept track of our meals, noting when, what, and why we ate, and how it affected us. (Turns out I usually eat when I'm hungry, and feel more energized afterwards. That suggests that my diet's in pretty good shape, I think.)
The synchronicities of the week were rather amazing. At work yesterday, a colleague spoke about her grown daughter's presence as someone close to them died. During a lengthy period of decline of this loved one, the daughter stayed nearby, unwaveringly observing the present moment and witnessing the decline without flinching or turning away, promising to stay nearby, even though she lived across the country, until recovery was achieved (which turned out not to be possible). My colleague said that while others were undone by the death, the daughter remained calm, though sad, because she had fully embraced every moment of the decline.
The story was an incredibly moving reminder to pay attention to the important moments that are happening all around us, everyday.
Another colleague told me that in the Tibetan language, the term "presence," especially that of a lama or enlightened being, is literally translated as "gift waves." I love the idea that our focused attention on a person or situation might be felt emanating outward as gift waves, that attention itself is a gift.