Questions For the Resilient – How seasoned is my presence?

We all hold a presence about us, and others tend to feel it too. When we are with people, on the one side of the continuum, our presence could be almost energy draining and on the other end, our presence can uplifting and revitalising.

The presence of giving is one that is seasoned with grace, hope and a forward and upward approach. This is the essence of our question. Are our presences seasoned with goodness and light? Or, are they heavy with taking?
Another way to look at this is to ask, how seasoned are my stories? Because we all tell stories in the way that we show up; with our bosses, our colleagues, even the stranger in the supermarket line. They can read our stories without us having to utter a word.


In Rosamund and Benjamin Stone Zanders book The Art of Possibility, they speak of a story which is written on one of the 6 pillars that are standing in the Boston holocaust memorial. In this story, you learn of two little girls living in the oppression of the holocaust, who have become friends. As you read, Gerda Seifer says that once her friend found a single raspberry in the camp. She carried it all day in her pocket. In the evening, eyes shining with happiness, she presented the raspberry to Gerda, on a leaf. Gerda then describes the most beautiful of thoughts:



Imagine a world in which your entire possession is one raspberry. And you give it to your friend.

This priceless gift demonstrates that even in the middle of the most extreme anguish, one can find hope and people can stand up in the most remarkable of ways. Her friends presence brought a gift. It didn’t take anything away – instead, it added light to the darkest of situations.

How seasoned is my presence?
The seasoned presence tends to move us forward and create motion into open spaces. It can be like fresh oxygen.

 Seasoned presence can build:

–   Accountability: What are you going to bring to   the table here?
–   Perspective
–   A hunger for truth
–   Hope 

 Toxic presence can build:

–   defensiveness or blame
–   A closed off posture
–   continual barrage of complaints without     influence or substance
–   Increased sense of hopelessness 

In the bible Jesus says to his disciples, “ You are the light, you are the salt of the earth”. Both salt and light are used in very positive imagery here. People in that time probably had a richer meaning of salt too. Back then, salt was an agent of preservation, and without it you could not keep meat. It also brings out the textures and flavours of the meat most.

This is also a most accurate example of leadership.

leaders bring out the much-ness of their people. They are the salt that enhances the flavours of their team.There is a strong link from this to the organizational world. You could look at this by asking how seasoned is the work culture. Does our culture bring people together or divide? Does it honour and raise others? Or does everyone feel like it’s survival of the fittest here? 

If we aren’t aware of our presence regularly, it can become toxic very quickly. There are a few signs that appear when a toxic thinking or presence is near:

Toxic presences take no thinking and little effort. But seasoned presence takes intentional, conscious efforts. Before you enter a room, decide upon your intentions of what your presence is going to be. We’re not living in a mask of positivity, but rather recognizing that even in hard times we can bring light.
Show up to preserve good will, hope, resourcefulness and authenticity. Just as one little girl showed us, even in the most awful of times one can find and create a raspberry moment.





Gabriella Ivey 

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