A transformational, new year challenge

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…these are all fruit of a spirit that we would benefit from more of in our life.

One thing that all of these have in common, is that we must be present to experience them. We must also be present for others to experience these in us – and we must be present in these for people to experience the best of us.

The antonym of presence is absence. We can be absent when we are away, but we can also be absent when we are near, such as when we are distracted, numbed, depressed or fearful. Selfishness, depression, animosity, agitation, indifference, arrogance, indulgence…all serve to rob us of a fuller experience in life, and the key to transformation is presence.

The irony is that we can run into judgment (even self-loathing) when we come to be aware of our darker side through presence – which ironically can tighten the hold of darkness in our life. Present with our darker side we can come to believe that we will never change; that we are broken and beyond repair. Presence does not seem to be a gift here at all.

Judgment kills – literally.  It starts by paralyzing us from the experience of a fuller life, and leads to a self-imposed prison of hopelessness. Sounds dark? It is, and many experience it as their consistent reality.

It seems ridiculous to believe that we would choose any of this latter list in place of my opening list – and yet we do, regularly. This is the human condition. How do we free ourselves from judgment so that we walk out of our darkness into the fullness of a more life-giving spirit?


Grace allows us to be present without fear of judgement. The combination of grace with presence provides freedom from self-limiting judgment and facilitates the opportunity to  choose something better for ourselves. It further adds the compounding benefit of nurturing a better self for others to experience in us.

No one can make the choice for another. I can not force you to believe what I am suggesting about the combined power of Grace and Presence to be true – it is up to you to decide whether it has merit or not. Should you choose to believe what I have suugested, then let me challenge you to combine these as a regular practice for the coming year.

Practice: I will be present in my life and relationships, and allow myself the freedom through grace to choose the characteristics of list one in place of list two.

Amp it up by journaling  your journey for a fuller recognition of the transformation beginning in you.

Need some encouragement in your journey – send me an email: (david@davidewhite.ca) or leave a comment to this post – I’d be honoured.

Hint: WHEN you fail in this practice (not IF), use the same practice to overcome the failed practice

Happy New Year!