The opposite of dissociation is presence. Presence is not just one thing going on, it's a collection of subtle arts including being mindful, anchored in the Here & Now, calm or serene, and being aware of one's surroundings.
It was during a daily course in self-improvement that we discovered the passage "Serenity" from James Allen's As a Man Thinketh (1903), made a personal recording of it, and for a period of time we listened to it daily. Between the words and our own voice reading it calmly, it instilled in us a sense of safety. Listening mindfully, while breathing and calming down, became one of the ways we reminded ourselves to remain in the Here & Now, and to exercise our presence muscles.
At the end of the episode we read the original 1903 "Serenity" passage including it's either (hu)man or male-centric verbiage and pronouns. At the time, it was popular to use "he" as a generic third party singular pronoun, and "man" could well mean "mankind" or any one person on the planet. When we read at the beginning of the episode, we read a version we modified. Both versions are available in prose (linked below) so you may record your own if you like.
You do not need to listen to Serenity as your daily reminder to calm yourselves, or to have an anchor within your system who remains a point of serenity inside the system. You may use any other recording you'd like, or a painting on the wall, or look outside at nature, or play with a zen garden, etc. The point of the episode is to find this calmness inside, any one of you or more than one, and build your skill in finding it frequently.
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Music and intro vocals by The Crisses, created in Garageband. All contents © Criss Ittermann. Permission to share. And share again.
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