Two people wake up in the morning. One is in a mansion she is frantically working on to stop the foreclosure. The other steps outside the tent and sits quietly, looking at an oak leaf on the ground before the camp chair, smelling the rich aroma of camp-brewed coffee. One is present to the moment. One enjoys the now and the simple yet intricate design of a leaf. The other does not notice the seven million in carefully marbled and gilded surrounds, other than to note that the painting bill will need to be paid and cost $300,000 for the restoration.

This story illustrates the distinction between presence and enjoyment and a stressful addiction to consumption. Without discouraging beautiful mansions, one of these people is not having a good day and is spending a heck of a lot of our body's resources on all levels to feel miserable. By consciously building 
presence, it takes less time, stress and resources to increase the quality of our lives. The equation goes like this:

50% aware, present and awake = 100% more energy and resources need to be spent to create X units of pleasure.
100% aware, present and awake = 0% more energy and resources needed to create X units of pleasure.

Conclusion: When we are already living a 
six figure life and presence is free it makes no sense to spend another $100k to make life interesting when we can drop down into the flow of a moment and create joy here and now for free.

Goals:

  • To create an environment that leads to presence.
  • To measure and value the presence in others and in ourselves as a key metric.
  • To increase quality of life will reducing resource consumption, by increasing enjoyment of the moment.

Strategy:

  • By living in community the ever-changing variety needed to bypass hedonic adaptation comes from people and the trigger of community to do new things, rather than needing as many new purchases and trips to stay alert.
  • Start the morning with a variety of mindfulness rituals to get into our bodies so that it takes less energy to stimulate and bring pleasure:
  • Yoga
  • Art studio
  • Walking in silence
  • Meditation​
  • Initiate a pause three times a day for two minutes sounded by a gong in which all activity stops and presence is restored.
  • Encourage journal-writing and recording to savor and relive daily highlights.
  • Play the documentary footage weekly and monthly of what went on in the community in the movie theater.
  • Nurture a culture of presence:
  • Allowing four hours a day for personal renewal and investment.
  • Encourage deepening relationship.
  • Seven second hugs.
  • Periodic puppy piles and cuddle gatherings.
  • Create a present metric on the app and track the presence and trend of each community member.
  • Ritual is included so that the subconscious mind is engaged, along with the right brain.
  • There are places for right brain expression throughout the community:
  • Artistically created signs that anyone can make/paint.
  • Sculpture that anyone can make and can place simply by doing so for 30 days. If the community supports it and votes 70% or more then it can stay there for a year or more.
  • Place to hang paintings in the restaurant, offices, pool area, shops etc. with a minimum 30 day stay and optional voting to preserve the space.
  • Poems can be created for the yearly poetry book of the community.
  • The yearly book and documentary of the community creates perspective, purpose and also a documented process other communities can follow.
Protocol:

  • Share presence feedback on the app once a week about everyone in our life:
  • Whether it is the entire community or just the five people closest to us, we rank the presence we feel around someone 1-10.
  • We also enter a questionnaire daily that includes: "How present were you today 1-10?"
  • On a weekly basis the pods of 4-7 people in a family provide space to deal with presence.
  • On a yearly basis the community reviews presence and if it is declining, may escalate this to a focus for monthly and quarterly updates.
  • The community has at least one hour ritual every week.
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