Get present anytime

from the old blog Oct 27, 2016

Do you struggle with being present? Do you wish you could learn be present more often?

What if I told you that you are completely in control of your presence, and you can get present anytime?

You can. And guess what… I’ll explain to you how to do it in the next few minutes. Keep reading.

There’s a simple and brilliant system for understanding presence, and I teach it to every single one of my clients. It’s called the “The Second Circle,” or as I like to refer to it “The Three Circles of Energy.” The system was created by Patsy Rodenburg, a British voice teacher who has probably trained thousands of actors, singers, public speakers, and voice teachers over the course of her career. I’ve read all of Patsy’s books and profoundly admire her work, and I especially love these three circles of energy. The idea behind the circles is that at any moment, we are in one of these three states of presence. Let me break them down for you:

The First Circle:

  • This is the circle of withdrawing or withholding.
  • When we are in first circle, our awareness is more engaged with ourself than the outside world.
  • In first circle our energy tends to stay inward.
  • An example of someone in first circle is a person on the New York City subway minding their own business and not making eye contact with anyone else. (The socially acceptable way to behave on the subway, right?)

The Second Circle:

  • This is the circle of presence and connection.
  • When we are in second circle, our awareness is engaged with both with ourself and the outside world.
  • In second circle there is a flow of energy; we give energy and we receive it.
  • An example of a person in second circle is someone having a genuine, connected conversation with another person (who is very likely also in second circle)

The Third Circle:

  • This is the circle of pushing, forcing, or bluffing.
  • When we are in third circle, our awareness is more engaged with the outside world than ourself.
  • In third circle our energy projects outward, or even sprays outward in no particular direction.
  • An example of a person in third circle is a person working in a customer service job who asks “Hi, how are you?” with no real interest in your answer.

From your personal experience do these circles of energy make sense? I’ll bet they do. In fact, based on my empirical research sharing this with hundreds (maybe thousands!) of people and witnessing their reactions, I wouldn’t be surprised if your brain is exploding a little bit right now. I get it… mine did too.The three circles of energy are an incredible way of describing what we already know.

So back to the question:

Can you be present anytime?

Yes! Here’s how:

Bring your awareness to yourself and the outside world all at the same time. Allow energy to flow from you and to you. Give and receive. Look and see what you are seeing. Listen and hear what you are hearing.

Now I get that this is easier said than done, and of course there’s tons more to say about all this. But suffice it to say:

You are in control of your own energy.

So begin simply by noticing the circles of energy. Notice them in yourself, and notice them in others. When do you tend to be in first circle? When are you in second or third? Do you have a circle you prefer? Can you spend more time fully present in second circle?

Check out this great video of Patsy Rodenburg explaining the second circle herself:


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