power of presence lesson two CE professional learning guide

Power of Presence Series

CE Professional Group Track Learning Guide

Lesson Two: Grounding


-The first step is ACT ONE. This interactive form section will give you an opportunity to delve deeply into the concepts behind our lesson and reflect on how they connect to your life and your role as caregiver. A critical element for the success of an ACT Learning Group is to provide some time and space for personal reflection and journaling.

-After completing this step, ACT TWO is a period of group discussion and reflection. All participants must be given a safe space to express themselves during this time. This portion of the interactive form is filled out with insights gained from your community exploration.

-Next, your group will move on to ACT THREE, the Best Practicesreal-world habits, ways of thinking, or behaving that can increase personal well-being. Goals to incorporate best practice suggestions can be made on the group or individual level and support systems can be developed during this time.

ACT Step One: Individual Reflection

Completed forms may be printed out by pressing CTRL button + P (Windows) or CMD button + P (Mac).

By submitting this form you are agreeing to contribute to our national research project. All information will be used anonymously.

ACT Step Two: Group Discussion

1.“Therapeutic presence involves being there openly and fully in the moment, in our bodies, with this other person who is seeking help. Taking the other person and all their nuances into our being while maintaining a sense of grounding and centeredness within ourselves. Presence calls on us to trust the knowledge and body wisdom in ourselves and in our patients.” - Shari M. Geller, MD

2.  “When physicians and staff are mindful with patients and families, they notice cues and gain invaluable information that helps them to address concerns and provide safe and effective care. They feel more compassion and communicate with greater empathy. They ease patient and family anxieties, because patients and families feel their caring. They encourage patients and families to open up, to trust and to partner in their care.” - (The One Skill That Can Transform Health Care 2014)

3. Wendy, the Soul & Science presenter, was able to use conscious breathing to provide her client comfort. “Together we were able to connect by grounding ourselves and sensing our breath was a friend.” - Soul & Science Lesson

4. “As humans our bodies are the lens through which we experience life. But a lot of the time, we manage to ignore the bodily sensations of experience because our minds are off wandering somewhere else . . . Neurobiologically, our feelings and thoughts are embodied in bodily sensations brought about by external and internal events. Neurobiological presence involves becoming consciously connected to the human system that is experiencing reality.” - (Being There: Implications of Neuroscience and Meditation for Self-Presence in Virtual Worlds 2015)

Completed forms may be printed out by pressing CTRL button + P (Windows) or CMD button + P (Mac).

By submitting this form you are agreeing to contribute to our national research project. All information will be used anonymously.

ACT Step Three: Best Practices – (Choose at Least One)

1) “Breathe deeply to bring your mind home to your body.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

The following are two breathing exercises taken from the article “6 Breathing Exercises to Relax in 10 Minutes or Less” by Jordan Shakeshaft, Time Magazine 2012. (http://healthland.time.com/2012/10/08/6-breathing-exercises-to-relax-in-10-minutes-or-less/) In this article the author interviews breathing expert Dr. Alison McConnell, yoga instructor Rebecca Pacheco and psychologist Dr. Ellen Langer. This excerpt describes two beginning exercises; choose one and try it for a week.

  1. Sama Vritti or “Equal Breathing”

How it’s done: Balance can do a body good, beginning with the breath. To start, inhale for a count of four, then exhale for a count of four — all through the nose, which adds a natural resistance to the breath. Got the basic pranayama down? More advanced yogis can aim for six to eight counts per breath with the same goal in mind: calm the nervous system, increase focus and reduce stress, Pacheco says.

When it works best: Anytime, anyplace — but this is one technique that’s especially effective before bed. “Similar to counting sheep,” Pacheco says, “if you’re having trouble falling asleep, this breath can help take your mind off the racing thoughts, or whatever might be distracting you from sleep.”

Level of difficulty: Beginner

  1. Abdominal Breathing Technique

How it’s done: With one hand on the chest and the other on the belly, take a deep breath in through the nose, ensuring the diaphragm (not the chest) inflates with enough air to create a stretch in the lungs. The goal: Six to 10 deep, slow breaths per minute for 10 minutes each day to experience immediate reductions to heart rate and blood pressure, McConnell says. Keep at it for six to eight weeks, and those benefits might stick around even longer.

Level of difficulty: Beginner

2) “Research indicates that meditation may elicit positive emotions, minimize negative affect and rumination, and enable effective emotion regulation.” – (What Are the Benefits of Mindfulness? A Practice Review of Psychotherapy-Related Research 2011)


These questions are examples of Mindfulness-Based Interventions taken from the article “What Are the Benefits of Mindfulness? A Practice Review of Psychotherapy-Related Research.”

Emotion regulation questions:

“Can you stay with what is happening right now? . . . Can you breathe with what is happening right now?”

“What can you tell me about your experience right now? Notice any changes in your feeling, however subtle.”

Decreased reactivity & increased response flexibility questions:

“Slowly scan your entire body starting at your toes. Notice any sensations in your body without trying to change them.”

“Can you allow and accept this feeling and stay in touch with it without reacting to it? If not, what is happening in your experience that’s reacting to this feeling?”

For one week try to use these questions and record your experiences.

3) “The senses are like a mirror. Turned outward, they reflect the outside; turned inward, they reflect pure light. By themselves the senses are innocent, but when allowed to turn outside they attract everything and transfer those messages to the mind, making it restless. Turned inward, they find peace by taking the form of the mind itself.” -Sri Swami Satchidananda


Try the “54321 Game” at least once this week when you find yourself distracted and need to bring yourself into the present moment and increase mindful presence.

54321 Game

Name 5 things you can see in the room with you

Name 4 things you can feel right now

Name 3 things you can hear right now

Name 2 things you can smell right now

Name 1 good thing about yourself

(Source: www.ibiblio.org/rcip//copingskills.html)

Closing Thought

        “Presence is simply to have our heart be where our feet are. “ – Omid Safi

Additional Resources