Once Upon a Present Moment

Once upon a present moment, an old queen looked into her mirror and asked, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, whose the fairest of them all?”

The mirror answered back, “I am the fairest, reflecting only what I see.”

Enraged by the mirror’s answer she exclaimed, “That’s not what I meant. Who is the most beautiful?”

“Still it is I,” said the mirror, “reflecting only what I see. What could be more beautiful than that?

The queen, angered by the mirror’s answer, threw it on the ground, breaking it into a thousand pieces screaming, “Now what do you have to say for yourself?

The thousand broken pieces answered back in a thousand tiny voices, “I am still the fairest, reflecting only what I see.”

Refusing to listen to the mirror’s many voices, the queen ordered all the mirrors in her kingdom to be destroyed and buried far, far away.

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I realize that this may seem like a simple play on words, but it’s not. To see things as they truly are is a beautiful thing. And as easy as it seems, it’s not, and we humans rarely do it.

A Mirroring Exercise

1. Go to a busy place you feel comfortable, like a café, and write in your journal everything you see in the most descriptive way you know how. Describe what others are doing around you. What you think they do for a living? How do you feel about them? Describe the environment and setting in great detail. (Do this for about fifteen minutes.)

2. Now I want you to do the exact opposite and write in your journal what is going on in front of you in its purest and most generic sense. Avoid using adjectives and adverbs or anything descriptive. Use only rudimentary nouns and verbs. Simply record what is in front of you without any imagining, discerning, judging or evaluating. To simply describe someone as male or female is too descriptive for this exercise. i.e., person walking, man standing, couple holding hands, machine making noise, wind blowing, door moving, sign flashing. (Do this for about fifteen minutes.)

The second part of this exercise may seem odd or difficult at first, but with some practice, you may find it quite liberating or even peaceful to see things as they simply are.

“All of life is within a stone’s throw.” gruberism

Copyright 2008 Rob Gruber Life Coach

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Awaken Your Very Essence from the Outside In

On a recent trip to the theater, I had the pleasure to see a production called The Rat Pack. The show transported me back in time to a night at the Sands Hotel in Vegas with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. at their very best.

Watching the confidence of Frank, the charm of Dean and the poise of Sammy filled my very being. In their presence I began to assume their essence. I was profoundly changed, not only during the show, but for many days after.

Over the next week, I noticed that my profound change was starting to wane, and I wanted it back, but how? And as sure as I asked the question, the answer arrived, in the form of a question? “What would Frank do? Or Dean? Or Sammy? And as I asked these questions, I began to experience once again the essence I attributed to each of them.

Frank, Dean and Sammy didn’t give me anything I didn’t already have, but awoke in me, an essence I attributed to each of them. And when I asked the question, “What would ______do in this situation?” I was able to re-awake the very essence I attributed to them.

As I ask the question, What would Frank do? I begin to smile, walk taller, and know that “I have the world on a string…What a world, what a life – I’m in love.”

An Awakening Essence Exercise for Determining Action

1. Choose someone or something in your life that you attribute a certain essence, quality or characteristic you wish to experience more of. This can be a hero, an actor, a religious figure or a natural wonder. It really doesn’t matter what it is as long as you attribute a quality or essence to it that you wish to possess.

2. Ask the question.
What would ____________ do (in this situation)?

3. Allow the answer to flow from your sense of the essence you have given that person or thing.

4. Experience the fullness of the answer and determine if it is the right course of action. If it is not, enlist another hero, person or thing into the process and ask again?

Copyright 2008 Rob Gruber Life Coach

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Listen and You Shall Hear

While waiting in line at a local coffee shop, I overheard the young woman in front of me order “a medium coffee with room for cream.” The barista, not listening, quickly handed her a medium coffee filled to the rim.

Seeing the full cup, she replied, “Excuse me, but I asked for room for cream. Could you…”

The barista, annoyed at her request, replied back. “Just pour what you don’t want in the garbage can behind you. Can I help the next person?”

Despirited, the young woman attempted to pour out the excess coffee only to spill a good deal of it on herself and the floor.

I ran over to her with a pile of napkins and asked if she was OK. Attempting to keep her composure, she simply nodded in appreciation as she confessed, “All I wanted was a little room for cream.”

I sincerely replied. “I know…I heard you.”

Realizing she had been heard, her whole demeanor changed as she replied gratefully, “Thank you. Its nice to be heard.”

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To speak and be heard, to listen and truly hear, those are truly precious, present moments.

A Present Moment Listening Exercise

Throughout your day today, allow yourself to realize that every conversation or exchange you have with another human being is a request to be heard and connect, and a wonderful gift and opportunity for you to connect and be present.

Or you can turn it into a mantra

Every conversation or exchange I have with another human being is a request to be heard and connect, and a wonderful gift and opportunity for me to connect and be present.

Copyright 2007 Rob Gruber  Life Coach

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