Presence 26: I am Knowing What Is 

Astonishingly, another week has passed since I’ve been here. It’s been busy, and also, I’ve been sleeping so well (thanks to meditating – or reading – with the Sensate device in bed) that I’ve been getting up later than usual.

But I’ve been working with ‘speaking my truth’… under the surface mainly. It came to the surface at last, yesterday, for a talk on mental health I was doing for a big multinational engineering company, for their World Mental Health Day event. I haven’t done such a talk for a few months, and got a bit nervous and frozen on it in the prep stage. Eventually, it dawned on me that, instead of trying to scrape dry ‘tips and hints’ off the internet… I really needed to centre my words on ‘Keeping Well Whilst Working in Challenging Times’ around my own story – which I can now look back on as ‘4 years before I could get back to supporting myself in work’, with the trajectory of understanding my mental health through the lens of my autism diagnosis… and becoming a poster girl for social prescribing. I’ve done this somewhat in the past, but never weaving my own self-care patterns through the whole talk. Even so, I got stuck in bed the day before…. and decided to finish the talk on the morning of the talk…. when we then had a morning power cut for over an hour! So it was up to the wire getting the talk ready. However, it went really well. Probably my best talk to date. To some 90 people online. The Q&A session was incredibly rich, with colleagues stepping forward to ask questions but also share their own very personal experiences. I felt authentic and honest, where before I’ve felt like I was sharing others’ advice that I didn’t truly believe in.

I described my becoming a poster girl for Soc Pres, and all the press/media attention, as pertinent not because of me, but because I feel it pointed to the fact that we at last are on the cusp of a revolution in mental health, with the social model finally evidencing itself and coming to join the medical (and pharmaceutical) model of mental health, as an equal partner.

You should write that down… 🙂 

Ha. Well here’s the talk’s slides… I’m really pleased with it. I’m feeling that in having the courage to own the events of my life, I am (again) making meaning of those events.

The Presence Process Week 3 has been beautiful too. Really good work on Responding to triggers/emotions by ‘Getting the Message’ eg here p154:

“By inwardly asking the series of questions below whenever we are emotionally triggered, instead of reactively projecting our attention outward, we gain profound insight into the source of our repetitive emotional behavior.

1. “How does this triggering event impact me on the level of felt-perception?” We answer this by engaging in the arising discomfort through felt-perception.

2. “When, prior to this present setup, did I experience the same uncomfortable felt-resonance?”

3. “When, prior to this earlier setup, did I experience the same uncomfortable felt-resonance?” We keep asking this over and over until, to the best of our ability, we approach causality.

Throughout The Presence Process, accessing information from the messenger by using the above questions is called “getting the message.” We may also regard it as opening ourselves to receive insight. By choosing to take our focus off the physically upsetting event, which is the reflection of our emotional charge in the form of the messenger, and instead placing it on the felt-resonance of the emotional reaction we are experiencing, we get the message and thereby take a perceptual leap away from a victim or victor mentality.

Our choice to respond instead of react gradually neutralizes our unconscious automatic impulse to react. Also, what we initially perceived as events that happen randomly and chaotically become gems of insight into our behavioral patterns. These insights are the raw material for our emotional development.” The Presence Process by Michael Brown, p154

Honestly, this book is a work of genius. I feel I could share every paragraph. It’s so lucid and laden with deeply understood wisdom.

I am getting better at applying this notion of separating the Messenger from the Message. For me, it’s less likely these days that another person will trigger me in general (my having done many years of work on softening that previously acute mechanism in me), but circumstances can still be triggering for me. I’ve been plumptoning a lot this week – though admittedly the content of my week, from suicide prevention training to tough conflict resolution, has been intense. Nonetheless if I could release and say farewell to my plumptons over time, that would be a sign of real deep inner work.

I’m on to Week 4 of The Presence Process next:


Our Conscious Response for the Next Seven Days is:


An initial teaching in Week 4 of the book is:

The Presence Process invites us to respond to our experiences of pain and discomfort by listening to them instead of running from or attacking them. We are asked to consider the possibility that any experience of pain and discomfort is purposeful – that it’s occurring intentionally. In other words, when pain and discomfort arise, it’s because they are required. They are valid because they are forms of communication that have a necessary and valuable function. (TPP p158)

Good. I will be happy spending a week ‘feeling unconditionally’. However, I am bowling along so contently in life most of the time, with a satisfying workload and a wonderful companion in life…. that my negative feelings are rare or subtle.

‘Negative’ feelings?

Ah, ok, my feelings of ‘pain and discomfort’. Partly I’ve trained myself to be in a positive frame of mind… I don’t want to miss any insights by getting stuck in ‘jolly’ gear. What do you think?

Your yearning is felt. 

Oh man, yes, I am still a yearner… for the other side, for contact, for connection, for the HS, for communion… Like I’m ever curious for the Homeland. Like my Home-sickness never wore off.

This is why The Presence Process is so wholesome for you. Only in the single-pointed heart of the present moment are the glimpses of Home to be found.

You tease me with offers of glimpses of Home…

You know it to be true, for you have been there. 

But often, it was gifted upon me, as I fell asleep, or in my sleep. I was gifted sights that left me eternally longing for more.

Because you asked – begged – prayed for them. 

The innocence of youth…

And now with the wisdom of maturity, what would you tell yourself? 

G brought up the word ‘second-guessing’ yesterday. We talked about how in our youth we wouldn’t second-guess anything, but later in life we bring in all sorts of considerations based on past challenges – ‘will it work?’, ‘what will others say/think?’ Judgements, really.

So, what would I tell myself? Maybe it is that word… Stop ‘second-guessing’.


Stop second-guessing because… you knew before you thought about it. It’s to do with our perfect inner knowing, vs our so-called reasoned, mental body reaction. Instinct, intuition.

And to access your intuition, you need to…?

Feel. Unconditionally.

What would it look like if you looked into your yearning? 

I’m happy to try it.

Go ahead.

…There’s heartache there.

At this very moment, a thorn is scrape-scraping on the window of the sitting room here, making the highest pitched little scratchy-squarks as the wind agitates the bush. It’s really discomforting. I want to move rooms, or go out in to the garden and cut the bush back.

That’s not so different to my experience of that background heartache. I want to leave it behind, or cut it out.

And what Message does this heartache have for you? Ask yourself when you first felt this scratchy-squarky, discomforting heartache, agitating at you. 

It’s a kind of broken-heartedness. I guess recognise it as a feature of my childhood. I worked on this with my therapist of earlier this year. The original heartbreak… I don’t know. Can you talk to me directly?

You think your original heartbreak was to do with a loved one. It was actually to do with your ‘betrayal’ of yourself, at the point when you abandoned your own Knowing. 

I was a child!!!

Exactly. Remember, in this work, there is no judgment. There is only reading of past events. So your betrayal was not a fault, error or sin. But it was what we call a ‘boomerang’ event, in that it would call you back to it in the future, for a tremendous boost of understanding. 

Like karma?

Karma involves our debt to each other, and as you rightly point out, to ourselves. So the highest wisdom of later life is to go back down the path of your life, and collect the scattered remnants of your essential self. 

Like soul retrieval?

Yes, dear soul. Like your soul retrieval process in many ways. 

Your work at this stage is to recoup lost fragments of your being. That is what you are yearning for; not some access to an external world you are hidden from by an unbudging veil. You are yearning for the completeness of your own self, which is creation made manifest – without any ‘second-guessing’ to fog it up. 

And this recouping lost fragments; this collecting scattered remnants… I’d be interested to know how. (The thorn on the window is insufferable, and I’m feeling a bit testy.)

The fragments you gave away were like battery packs. You – like most other children – diminished your power until you glowed at an acceptable and respectable brightness. You were told that glowing brightly was childish, or egotistical, or impolite, or bragging, or unseemly. Until you restore yourself to your natural, original order, you will feel that sense of yearning. 

Well, shucks, man. The yearning has been with me for years. I remember exactly the first time I felt it, almost overpoweringly. Sitting on my parents bed, aged 8, 9 or 10? I eventually took it as a sign that I was thirsty – and went and downed a glass of orange juice. (The self-medication ran deep even then!!!)

I’m daunted by this notion of shining brightly, or reclaiming my power…

Only because your framework is worldly. Look at G who has found a new path of interest with his observational IG account. It is empowering him by stimulating his brain, and tickling his imagination, and making him want to jump out of bed in the morning, and spurring him to explore new places. He is working through his inner power compass to channel his personal creative vision. Not his worldly power compass – though he notices that he is often tempted to appeal to an audience, and must bring consciousness to keep to his inner compass of what pleases him alone. 

When I am here, I am working with what pleases me alone. My qigong is in that field too, I believe.

The path of interest we are referring to is your Knowing. You got stuck with your Cassandra syndrome, because you wanted external recognition and validation for your Knowing. That’s not how it works. The Knowing is for you. 

Your body, your emotions, your impulses – they are all messengers of your Knowing. Your qigong is helping you hear your body better. 

What shall I do with this Knowing?

Listen to it. As you are doing now. Ask it better questions. Ask it bigger, bolder questions. You have a cart house at hand, which you are treating like a shetland pony. The cart house feels… y e a r n i n g. 


The cart horse yearns to cart horse. It is not satisfied with shetland ponying. Get it? 

I think I do. My Knowing wants to be stretched.

Exactly. Stretched, challenged, developed. 

I see.

I just got one of those automatons.

Yes, Knowing has not always been welcomed. Previous lifetimes saw you experiencing challenges to your Knowing. Welcome to the moment to bring that particular insight to the surface, and release it, so that present development may take place You are safe to Know in this era. 

Are you kidding? Have you seen what’s going on with censorship at the moment???

Again, separate worldly Knowing (predictions, revelations, truth-speaking, tea-spilling) from personal Knowing. The latter is about your experience of life. 

And how do I test and stretch and develop my personal Knowing?

By gamifying it. 

Is this about predictions?

It’s about Knowing What Is. 

For example…

Ask yourself what you feel yourself to Know. Then discover if what you Knew was True. 

Just play with Knowing What Is. Use your body, your ‘gut instinct’. Claim your certitude. 

Ah… that Napolean Hill book.

Know what you Know. And ‘cart horse’ your Knowing; stop shetland ponying it. And definitely stop ‘second-guessing’ it. And ‘feel unconditionally’ to access your Knowing. 

Got it. Tysm. I am as ever moved by this blessed process of discerning via dialogue with you. Amen.

I am Knowing What Is