Let them relax into you

patti digh

How do we hold presence for others? How do we hold love for others, with no agenda? I can’t help but wonder what the world would be like if we all gave unconditionally and held presence for others, even strangers. Squeeze in beside someone so you are arm-to-arm. Stop moving away. Be fully present; listen to their story without being tempted to respond by recounting your own. be there, with words or not. Don’t check email, withdraw, or cook dinner as you listen. Recognize and own how your presence ‘changes the experiment,’ changes others. Show them that you truly care whether you see them or not. Lend them your strong, warm arm. Let them relax into you.”

~ Patti Digh

Patti Digh is a writer, a speaker, a teacher – – and she describes her most significant job being a mother to her two daughters.  She was born in a small Southern town in North Carolina. She went to a small Quaker college (Guilford College) and then to graduate school in English and Art History at the University of Virginia.  She landed a job in Washington, DC, as a receptionist for a nonprofit organization–and worked in nonprofit organizations for years.  She’s written six books including her best seller “Life is a Verb.”  She describes her work as opening space for people to say a big “YES” to their lives–before it’s too late.  “I’m about living like you’re dying–because you are. Each moment is precious, and magic. It’s hard to remember that when the laundry piles up and the dishes need washing, I know. My job is to remind you that those “ordinary” things are your life–and to see what is extraordinary in them. To help you tell a story with your life that you’ll love and be proud of at the end of it.”  She turned 50 and got a tattoo to mark that passage and to remind me always of three core questions from Buddha that guide her:

  1. How well did you love?
  2. How fully did you live?
  3. How deeply did you let go?
  4. Did you make a difference?

Source: Patti Digh Website:  37days.com

Credits: Quote – Thank you makebelieveboutique.com. Image & Bio Background: 37days.com


  1. Being reminded of the important things in life by Patty puts it all in perspective–now I just have to keep it there and remember that all those little things she mentioned do make up our life–in fact I am going to my library site right now and look up “Life is a Verb”. You provide the most wonderful and inspiring posts David!


  2. ‘Let them relax into you’ – if that doesn’t describe the most comforting and affirming of friendships, love, etc..Being open enough to be open to others without pretense. Love this.


  3. “Be fully present.” That’s the sentence that pinned me to the metaphorical wall. We spend so much of our time these days “multitasking” that I oftentimes feel like I’ve lost the ability to just do one thing fully and completely. And surely giving your time and full attention to another, letting that person know that he/she is seen, heard, recognized, valued…that is such a wonderful gift. Ahhhh, another piercing post, pal. Thank you for giving us this gift in a Sunday morning. I’m going to spend the day with my husband–no iPad or cellphone required…. 😉


  4. I love this reminder to let others tell their story……I tend to interject my own story thinking, incorrectly, that I am relating to theirs. When in fact, I’m diminishing it.


  5. Sounds like a good book to add to my library..thanks David!


  6. Another great post! That is something I tried to instill into my three children…I don’t know how many times they heard as they were growing up “be fully present in the presence of another human being. Look them in the eye, let them know that you are truly there, and listen.” I really like this post, thanks again David.


  7. Great advice. Listening is not always easy. I mean “really listening.”


  8. Yes, lovely and important. Guilty here of flirting with listening, not always absorbing what I’m hearing, but rather looking to hear what I want to hear.


  9. Peggy Farrell Schroeder says:

    We can’t be reminded enough, to stop the constant chatter that goes through your mind (or at least through my mind), and minimizes the importance of staying in the moment.


  10. LaDona's Music Studio says:

    Ouch. Straight to the heart. Thanks. My family (were I to show this to them) would say this was written especially for me!


  11. In process of learning how to be truly and deeply present in the present moment for people around. Besides, thought provoking questions from Budha – I am saving them.


  12. I’ve been the recipient of someone’s full attention–its a wonderful feeling. Great message, thank you!


  13. I love this– thank you for sharing. As I’m transitioning from where I have been living to where I will be very soon, I have been searching for the words to express my need to let people say their goodbyes. This post has the words I’ve been seeking.


  14. Reblogged this on Clear Stream of Reason.


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