Starter Shift 1: The Presence Shift

Starter Shift 1: The Presence Shift

Starter Program Shift 1 of 4

Prologue to The Presence Shift

In case you missed it, your Shift Starter Program introduction is here.

In your first of four Starter Shifts (found below), we’ll work together to shift into peace with The Presence Shift.

You can use The Presence Shift technique to shift into a peaceful state of mind anytime.

I often use the technique to start my day in peace, and to fall back asleep anytime I wake up in the middle of the night.

In the Shift that follows, we’ll use The Presence Shift to shift out of stress after waking up from a nightmare in the middle of the night.

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It’s 3 AM here.

I’m in bed.

Shaking still.

Stress is coursing through me.

I just woke up from a recurring nightmare.

I’m not thinking clearly yet.

But I know from experience that I need to make a shift right now.

Whenever I wake up from a nightmare like this, I usually feel like a failure.

I feel lazy.

I’m feeling like a bad person.

I’m sure you’ve been here before — or somewhere in the emotional neighborhood.

We all get stressed.

We all ruminate.

But here’s what’s important.

Just as we all have those stressful moments, we can all learn to use them to shift our minds and bodies back to peace, whether in service of our purpose or to melt stress and get back to sleep.

Let’s do that now, together.

The first step of The Presence Shift is always to take long, deep breaths as you set your clear intention to shift into a better state of mind over the coming few minutes.

So breathe deeply with me.

Take your time.

You’re going to a good place.

So there’s no rush.

But setting a clear intention is vital.

It’s also vital to make sure you actually feel the intention being set inside your body.

So don’t just think about the intention.

Feel the effect of the intention inside your body as we speak our intention together.

Feel your body shift as you repeat the following with me:

“I’m going to shift into a peaceful, present state of mind over the next few minutes.”

“I’m going to shift into a peaceful, present state of mind over the next few minutes.”

Now, feel that intention lodging in your body.

Feel it?

I feel it.

When you feel your intention lodging inside your body, you’ve completed the first of three steps of The Presence Shift.

Your intention to shift into presence is now set, so we move to the second step.

The second step of The Presence Shift is to relax your body as you listen to life with ALL your attention.

With a little practice, you’ll be able to do this in your sleep, (i.e. you’ll be able to shift into presence quickly, any time you choose to).

So relax your body as you listen to life with all your attention.

Let’s allow our bodies to relax completely for a few seconds.

Allow your shoulders to relax and fall toward the ground.

I’m feeling my body pressing against the bed.

Feeling gravity.

Settle into your space too, wherever you are.

Let gravity settle you in.


Feel your entire body relaxing further.

Breathing deeply.


Now that you’re relaxed a little bit, can you feel your whole body buzzing with life?

I love the feeling of the body buzz.

When you can pick up that body buzz, you know you’re on your way to presence.

Notice your body buzz as much as you can.

Tingling buzzing of your body.

Tingling and buzzing with life.

Don’t worry if you don’t feel any buzz.

You don’t need to feel the buzz to complete a presence shift, but the body buzz feels great, so if it’s easy for you to notice it and feel it, why not feel it?

We’ll spend more time specifically connecting to your body buzz in other Shifts.

With practice, connecting to your body buzz will become second nature.

OK, for now — now that we’re a bit more relaxed — let’s finish Step 2 by listening to life with 100% of our attention, just for a few seconds.

You can close your eyes or keep them open anytime while you’re shifting, by the way.

Just do whatever works best for you in this moment.

I’m closing my eyes.

Keep breathing deeply throughout The Presence Shift.

And now listen to life with 100% of your attention.

What do you hear?

I hear my heart beating.

I hear far-away waves crashing.

Listen with all your attention.

Feel silence pulling you into presence.

When any of your attention gets distracted, as it will at times — maybe 10% or 20% of your attention might pull you into thinking about something else, even as you intend to just listen solely to life.

When that happens, remind yourself of your intention to listen to life with 100% of your attention in order to continue your presence shift.

Let all the thoughts go for now.

And re-assert your intention to listen with 100% of your attention.

Keep listening.

(Listen to life.)


Do you feel any change in how your body feels right now?

Do you feel any different from how you felt before?

Notice anything and everything.

Notice any subtle changes in how you feel.

And keep feeling.

Let’s do that until our physiology feels chill.

By the way, listening to yourself like we just did — to notice how you feel — is Step 3 of The Presence Shift.

You listen to life with all your attention, and you connect with life to drop into presence in Step 2.

And then in Step 3, you notice the changes that occur and are occurring inside you — by intentionally changing where you are placing your attention.

That’s how you feel whether you’re on the right track with your presence shift.

Whenever you start to feel at peace, you know The Presence Shift is working.

So, how do you feel?

Make a mental note.

(Has your state of mind or body shifted?)

Noticing your inner experience while you listen improves your shifting abilities.

So be sure to listen and notice.

You don’t need to do anything more than that to make a presence shift.

With practice, all three steps of The Presence Shift can happen in just a few seconds.

Eventually, you’ll make The Presence Shift on demand.

brown rock formation on blue sea water during sunset
Photo by Square Lab on Unsplash

Hopefully, you experienced the power of ‘listening’ with all your attention as we progressed — I know I did.

Listening is our most important shifting strategy.

If you’re ever so stressed that you can only remember one thing, that’s fine — don’t panic — as long as the one thing that you remember is to listen to life with all your attention.

As long as you have that, you’ll be fine.

Listening with 100% of your attention brings you into presence. Listening can immediately unlock peace for you, anytime.

So let’s listen to life together with all our attention for another 10 seconds.

Let the presence seep in.

Deepen your connection to presence.

Notice how your inner world subtly shifts as you listen to life with all your attention now.

Listen and feel.

Feel peace coming into every cell of your body.



How are you feeling?

I’m feeling so much more at peace now than I did when we started a few minutes ago.

I feel completely present and at peace now.

The nightmare, and fear, and rumination are all a distant memory.

I’m ready to fade back to sleep.

I hope you’ve shifted toward peace too.

Let’s keep diving into presence and around our inner worlds together in upcoming Shifts.

I’ll show you how to deeply feel that body buzz, and we’ll tend to our inner gardens together.

green trees near gray concrete pathway
Photo by Karen on Unsplash

I love and value Shifting, and I’m so glad you’re here doing this with me.

I’m so glad that I’m now laying at peace with a smile on my face from the idea of you reading this, listening to this — completing this Shift.

I also know we’re off to OnePerfect start with this Starter Program.

Let’s set an intention to stay present throughout the rest of your day, or your night — whatever the case may be for you.

Again, feel that intention lodging in your body.

Can you feel it?


Nice work today.

I’m going to shift back to sleep now.

Talk to you soon.


P.S. Great Shifting! The three steps of The Presence Shift are summarized below for easy access.

Shift Recap

Great Presence Shift today!

Let’s review the highlights so you’re crystal clear about what we’re doing in the Starter Program and why we started with The Presence Shift.

  • Your Starter Program intention is to learn to strategically shift your state of mind whenever you choose to.

  • Shifting into presence is the first step to shifting your mind strategically.

  • We shifted together out of my nightmare because the best way to build confidence in your ability to shift your mind on demand when you need to is to successfully practice shifting your mind when you’re experiencing emotional pain, or some other mental challenge or difficulty.

The 3 steps of The Presence Shift

Step 1 — Take deep breaths and set your intention to shift into peaceful state.

Step 2 — Relax your body and listen to life as you feel your body buzz.

Step 3 — Notice what you hear and feel shifting inside of you.

*Rinse and repeat until you’re feeling at peace in presence.

Congratulations! You’ve completed Starter Program Shift 1 of 4.

Begin Starter Program Shift 2 of 4 when you’re ready.

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OnePerfect Shift is an audio letter from a psychologist that shifts you into a better state of mind anytime. Each post gives you a fresh look at your relationship to your mind and reminds you how much control you can have over your life experience.