Client-centered Therapy Psychology

Your Presence Is Requested

Your presence is requested. Photo from Pixabay free images.


Your presence is requested. 

Actually, your presence is needed.

As one person recently stated, there are many situations you may find yourself which fall in the category of, “Things you can’t half-ass.” * Here are  a few examples of things you can’t half-ass:

  • skiing down a steep slope
  • baking a meringue pie
  • operating and steering a ship
  • learning a new dance step or choreography
  • practicing a new language
  • initiating a difficult conversation with someone you love
  • maintaining a good friendship

Truly, you can try any of these activities without putting in much effort. But if you do that, you should also prepare for potential disaster or unexpected results. Can a young person drive for the first time and move the car down the street with no training or driver’s education? Yes, of course! But that person might not have the same outcome as someone who prepared, practiced, or applied full presence to the activity. 

Even the simplest act of breathing in and out during meditation bears a different quality over time when practiced with one’s full attention and presence. If your mind is wandering the Universe, does it not take you away from the moment that is happening, right here, and right now?

For this final blog post for 2018, I invite you to bring your presence — as much as it is possible for you — to whatever you put your hand, or your words or your eyes, or your senses.

If the moment calls for you to listen, then listen. Stop talking. When it’s your turn to talk, reflect what you’ve heard, check in, and ask if you heard everything correctly. Create space for listening. Let the other person know you are listening on purpose.

If the moment calls for you to learn a new skill, throw all your attention into learning. Open yourself up to new ways of seeing, communicating, and processing the new skill. Try the new skill out to see if you learned it.

If the moment calls for you talk to someone and the subject matter is a difficult one, bring your presence, check your defensiveness or aggression, ask for permission to speak candidly, and honor the courage  it takes in both parties to come together and talk.

Whatever the situation, resist the urge to half-ass it. And if you’re wondering if you can tell if you are about to half-ass something,  take a moment to consider if you’ve taken time to be curious, ask questions, to reasonably prepare yourself, or to pay attention. If you find yourself just wanting to “get it over with”, chances are, you are about to half-ass it. The results might not be so bad, and then congratulations, you got away with it, you saved yourself some time and stress, and there was no loss, right?

Or, you could be horribly wrong. What if most of your life feels like a series of moments where you are just getting by, just getting away with the bare minimum of your attention, and events feel lifeless? Or, what if you spend so much time trying to get everything “right” to the point that you cannot be present with what you are experiencing?

Your presence is requested.

Actually, your presence is needed. 

Let’s begin with NOW.  Who needs to wait until New Year’s Day?


*  I use cheeky or strong language when needed, as words such as bad ass, dumb ass,  and smart ass have become part of accepted pop culture.  However, I did want to point out to readers and future readers of this blog that swearing happens, inside and outside of the virtual therapy session.

By Imei Hsu

Imei Hsu is a mental health counselor, active retired RN, AIP Coach and PN1-NC, writer, triathlete and arts promoter in the Seattle area and through online services. With 30+ years in healthcare (22+ years in mental health), Imei has a commitment to helping people discover insight into their health, relationships, and connecting. She is the owner of Seattle Direct Counseling and the blog, a presenter and speaker on a variety of psychological topics, and a positive force on the Internet. She launched her personal project, My Allergy Advocate, in 2018. Imei is a two-time Ironman Finisher (Mont-Tremblant 2016, Ironman Canada 2018); she also finished her first ultramarathon in 2017 and has gone on to race the 100K distance while preparing for 100 Mile trail races and a backyard ultra. You can find her running everywhere and eating all the thingz, watching movies, camping under the stars, and cooking real food.

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