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How To Be Present

June  15th,  2019
Ally Klekas
By Ally Klekas read
Posted in Culture

A few weeks ago, some friends and I went out to get a drink and some appetizers. It was the last time we would all be together for a while and wanted to make the most of it. We did not want to make this a typical night out, so we decided to put a unique twist on it. What we came up with was fun, intentional, and beneficial in three specific ways.    

First, we decided that phones had to be placed entirely away. Not even on the table. If a person were caught on their phone, then they would have to buy the person who caught them a drink. This was not only a fun challenge but a meaningful one. To be fully present with one another. To look at the person in front of us in the eyes and not worry about answering a text or snapping a picture with them. Doing this led to more in-depth conversations. Personally, I knew I could open up to my friends knowing that they wouldn’t be half in the conversation by being distracted by their phone.

Second, we made it a challenge to learn something new about one another. Sometimes when we are with our friends, we believe we know everything about them, and maybe in some ways that’s true. However, a human person has many layers that friends can slowly dive deeper into. Humans are also going through new experiences. Whether it is in their jobs, family dynamics,  or own convictions, a friend knows things about one another, but a good friend is continually learning and supporting the changes he or she is going through.

Finally, we learned how to affirm one another. Not just giving a kind but a standard complement of, “Your blouse is so cute” actually reading the person and saying something like, “Your talent to bring a group together in a not demanding way is inspiring.” When things are pointed out and complemented at a deeper level, it has the potential to be so uplifting! Often times these more profound compliments are things that the person receiving does even notice in themselves.

These three challenges that we posed was not only fun and had everyone engaged, but it also let in for one more grace to be seen and received. That was allowing us to be free from time. This event time was from 7-9. However, when 9 o’clock rolled around no one was closing out their tab or putting on their coat. We were free to enter all the way into conversations and not be distracted by the time of night. We didn’t have to check our phones to rush off from one event to another but merely enjoying the present one in front of us. It wasn’t until 10:30 when someone looked at the time. Whoa.

I do not have pictures on my Instagram of this night, or a Snapchat story saved of us all together laughing and cheering with our drinks. What I do have is a special memory to hold on to. A memory that can only be replayed in my heart and that is more than OKAY.

I’ll leave you with a challenge, and yes, you can guess what it is. Go out with your friends, put your phones entirely away, learn more about the person in front of you, and then affirm their goodness. Trust me, you will leave with a higher spirit than what you walked in with.

Ally Klekas
Ally Klekas

About the Author

Ally Klekas is from a small Northeastern Nevada town. Ally is the only sister of a family of ten children. She loves exploring the outdoors with her nine brothers, baking with her nieces, and having early morning coffee with her parents. Ally has her degree in Early Childhood Education. The past four years she has been teaching in Nevada and in Spain. Ally discovered The Culture Project while at World Youth Day in Poland. The message of living authentically for true freedom through human dignity and sexual integrity profoundly spoke to Ally. After discerning what God was calling her to do, she answered His call by applying to be a CP missionary. “I want to help others understand that they are wonderfully and beautifully made. Once they realize their greatness, they can embrace their gifts and live in fullness for our Lord and experience true love and happiness”

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