No Moment Like the Present
No Moment Like the Present
Categories: RECENT RESEARCH
Margaret Nagib, Psy.D.
An adapted excerpt from the book Souls Like Stars: Renew Your Mind, Heal Your Heart, Unveil Your Shine by Margaret Nagib, Psy.D.
Being fully present in the moment allows us to experience the life-giving presence of God. For many of us, being fully present in the moment is difficult, but we can learn through practice. Three steps can help us to be fully present: observing, describing, and participating.
Observing is sensing or experiencing without describing or labeling the experience. It is noticing or attending to something. It’s about paying attention with all five senses. As you sit with God, just notice. Turn your attention to him the way you would have a conversation with a friend.
As we practice observing, we learn to activate our spirit and quiet our mind. When our thoughts take on an obsessive quality, it’s a sign that we are getting caught up in the experience instead of moving through the experience. With practice, you will be able to “just notice” without distractions or racing thoughts.
Entering the presence of God begins with your observation skills. God will speak to you as you tune in to him with your senses— sight, smell, sound, taste, or touch. You can ask him to come and then trust that he is right beside you.
Describing: When you’re ready, you can move to the next step, which involves putting words to your experience. This step is not about judging, understanding, or explaining; it’s just about describing the experience using words.
Many of the psalms are an example of David being present with God and describing his experiences. He writes his thoughts in the form of a song (Psalm is the Hebrew word for song).
Participating: Finally, observing and describing your experience, without judgment, allows you to let go and fully engage in the present moment, experiencing it with your whole self: body, mind, and spirit. It is in this step of the process that we actively participate in true communion with God. It is what David described in the fourty-second psalm as “deep crying out to deep.”
Experientially guiding a client through these steps creates a space where they powerfully experience God in the here and now. As we sit with him we strengthen our faith and find hope because every finite moment contains God’s infinite love.
Let all that I am wait quietly before God,
for my hope is in him.
Psalm 62:5 (NLT)
Dr. Margaret Nagib, Psy.D., is a clinical psychologist specializing in Christian counseling, inner healing and treating eating disorders, trauma, addiction, self-injury and mood disorders. For 15 years, she has provided individual, family and group therapy. Today, as a key faculty member of Timberline Knolls’ Clinical Development Institute, she travels throughout the country providing clinical training and presentations to professionals. Additionally, Dr. Nagib provides individual, family, group and pastoral counseling. Her goal is to restore Timberline Knolls’ residents to wholeness through a deeper relationship with God, helping each one to find her voice, purpose, and passion.