Presence: Stop, Look, Go

Level 39

Last month, in my post for Christmas Day, I wrote “Happiness and Gratitude“.

That post featured the beautiful TED talk of David Steindl-Rast.

Today a brief story of a moment of presence, around his use of the phrase:

Stop, Look, Go

David’s TED talk is about the secret to being happy being to be grateful. He says:

“We can be people who live gratefully. Grateful living, that is the thing. And how can we live gratefully? By experiencing, by becoming aware that every moment is a given moment, as we say. It’s a gift….

Now, we say the gift within this gift is really the opportunity. What you are really grateful for is the opportunity, not the thing that is given to you, because if that thing were somewhere else and you didn’t have the opportunity to enjoy it, to do something with it, you wouldn’t be grateful for it. Opportunity is the gift within every gift..

..we can be grateful in every given moment for the opportunity, and even when we are confronted with something that is terribly difficult, we can rise to this occasion and respond to the opportunity that is given to us. It isn’t as bad as it might seem. 

..So how can we find a method that will harness this? How can each one of us find a method for living gratefully, not just once in a while being grateful, but moment by moment to be grateful. How can we do it? It’s a very simple method. It’s so simple that it’s actually what we were told as children when we learned to cross the street. Stop. Look. Go. That’s all. But how often do we stop? We rush through life. We don’t stop. We miss the opportunity because we don’t stop. We have to stop. We have to get quiet. And we have to build stop signs into our lives.”

So, Stop. Look. Go.

I regularly visit Level 39 in Canary Wharf to meet with the inspirational Ben Brabyn. The view from their cafe is one of the most amazing anywhere in London, so I always look to arrive early before meeting Ben. I take a moment to Stop. to Look, to be grateful.

Last week the view was quite the most beautiful I had ever witnessed there, so I took a picture that is now my laptop background, one that brings me to presence each time I see it and to stop, look, be grateful.

Be present. Stop, Look, Go.

Oh, and that morning, with such a day, Ben and I did “Go”. He suggested a walking meeting and we took an hour to walk around Canary Wharf and enjoy the crisp winter day. A moment of deep gratitude.


Also published on Medium.

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