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Cultivating Presence: Finding the gifts within our past and bringing them into the present

Find a quiet place where you can be uninterrupted for about 30 minutes. Collect a sheet of paper and a writing instrument. Center your thoughts and imagine yourself as an outside observer of your past. Reflect on the following from this observer perspective.

1. Draw a horizontal line across a piece of paper. This line represents your life line from birth to the present moment.

2. Quiet your mind and beginning at birth, gently recall the pivotal moments in your life —those that you experienced as good or happy. Draw a dot above the line that coordinates with your timeline and a word next to the dot to remind you what it represents.

3. Do the same below your timeline, only this time recall the pivotal moments in your life that you experienced as challenging, hurtful, or traumatic. Draw a dot below the line that coordinates with your timeline and a word next to the dot to remind you what it represents.

4. After completing your timeline of pivotal moments, reflect on each event with openhearted curiosity. Write your answers to the following questions:

  • 1. What gifts can I take from this experience, looking back on it now?
  • 2. What capability or internal resources did I learn or develop from this experience that are serving me now?
  • 3. What values and empowering beliefs did I develop from this experience that are serving me now?
  • 4. How does owning this gift change how you identify yourself now?

5. After answering these questions for each event take a moment to write about your experience of claiming these gifts. What’s your first step in integrating this awareness into your life now.

“Live life as if everything is rigged in your favor.” -Rumi

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