Presence Offerings

Scarborough Counselling and Psychotherapy Institute

In January of 2022 the Relational Gestalt trainees spent a weekend immersing themselves in “The paradoxical intentionality of presence”. In the training, we mindfully explored our own presence and were given space and time to express, write, and feel into when we are ‘called into our presence’.

The exercise was personally incredibly moving. The words and experiences our group shared took a shape and a form that could be felt in the room. The beauty of presence in our gestalt work felt alive.

The attached poems and writings are only some of this beautiful work.  I believe they capture in some way the intentionality and way of being that embraces the ineffable quality of being with our ‘authentic selves’ so strongly and at the same time so loosely that we are there for another. And in so doing may allow what needs to emerge to unfurl.

  Photo credit: [email protected]

* * *

When I am called into my Presence

When I am called into my presence I rumble 

Stumble, stamp and stomp. Presence Offerings

Tramping and circling to touch 

My centre. 

When I reach my presence

I am tree 

Rooted yet flexible 

Connected and me

Sensing and feeling 

Through all my being 

My rainbow colours come alive

Undulate and shape responding to

Moment by moment contact

A northern lights swirl 

Of stardust and gases

Grounded, dancing, meeting. 

Berni Mudi

* * *

When I come into my presence,

I see beyond my head, When I am called into my presence I am light.

I am with my dog Jessie

Watching every move she makes

Every twitch and sniff,

Listening to the trees in the wind

And the sound of buzzard and crow.

I am at one

Not judgemental,

Honouring and accepting the moment in its uniqueness 

Were it the first time I had ever seen this sight

In childlike wonder.

I have let go.

I am aware and connected, 

At peace with myself and other. 

Paul. (B) 

* * *

Feeling the spaciousness of the whole universe.

I am built open for the other.

Knowing that this is my true nature, I expand outwards.

Stretching into unboundedness, I am the still point.


* * *


* * *

Who am I?

I hear you say

Deep within your soul.

I am the essence of you that radiates

Beyond who you physically are.

Be with me, stay with me,

If only for a while,

Only then you will know who you have become

And who you really are.

Sarah Walker

* * *

I commit to You

In the face of all the noise

amongst the din and the commotion

I will heed my call to presence

In the face of all the silence

with loneliness and yearning

I will heed my call to presence

In the face of resistance

in the novel and the unknown

I will heed my call to presence

In the face of oppression

under gods and their acolytes

I will heed my call to presence

In the face of birth

with pain and potential

I will heed my call to presence

In the face of death

breathing decay and emptiness

I will heed my call to presence

by Nicole Jacob

* * *

When I look out of my window at the green velvet of summer

I sometimes wonder if I should bank the scene for a rainy day.

Yet when I peer out onto the bleak grey sheet of skeletal skies

I don’t bring back the plushness of bloom stored in memory.

Instead, I remind myself that this scene too won’t last forever;

I am the same person who looks out in all seasons. Sometimes 

this idea defrosts deep the grief of winter, other times not.

I try to withstand any strong hopes for sunnier climes because 

regardless of season, in the here and now, I am underneath it all.

When summer comes, although I will still soak up its genius,

I also remind myself that this too is a framed picture behind glass

and that in the here and now, I am underneath it all in this scene too. 

Neither lasts forever. If I view all seasons in this manner I will

rise and greet whatever appears through the looking glass.


* * *

When I am called into my presence ….

I feel my breath enter and leave my body

I become attuned to how the energy is moving within me

I have a somatic awareness of my emotions before I can name them

I have a sense of coming back into myself, of bringing my attention to me

And when I am more in me, I can be more with you.

I weave in and out of awareness and presence with myself and presence with you in the ebb and flow – in the dance between us

The love of myself equal and available as much to you in these moments as to myself.

I know I cannot overextend myself or loose myself as long as I stay present to my needs too in our shared space.

In this space I can notice what is in me and whether that is in you too, to enquire. I can have a sense of when to move forward, when to be in stillness, when to move away and broaden the space we share.

and it was great to meet you a little more this weekend. 


* * *

When I am called into my presence

I throw my anchor deep

I see the hazy horizon

And I exhale into my soul

When I am called into my presence

I hear the watery melodies

I say hello to all who are there and all that is

And I wonder

When I am called into my presence

I see the boat 

And from my watery depth

I am tethered strong for you

When I am called into my presence

My anchor is heavy 

And I am lifted easily, effortlessly from the depths

I break the waves and soar high

Or sink deeper

I’m here with me

And I’m with you wherever you are


* * *

When present I clear my clutter to make immediate space in mind, body and soul to meet my client. Mindful the space needs to be big enough, clear enough for my client to enter with me in the fullness of what is offered. Clear of predilections for assumptions and bias. Endeavour to see each new moment with fresh eyes and unspoiled focus in the offer of now. To be open to all possibilities and yet mindful of my own boundary, so my client may have theirs in our shared meeting place. Shall we dance? Is this your need right now? To engage with each other naturally, unhurriedly and lovingly. Allowing our relational process to unfold.

I start with the intentionality to be of service. Then to know my body space, really feel this as situated in the environment in which I am located.  How might I create the physical space to welcome my client into engaging with me? So preparation feels important to indicate my care for my client. Sometimes the physical space is not possible, so intentional openness and receptivity become primary.

~ Susan Rousell ~