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Updated: Aug 11, 2020

By Andrea Seydel

STOP MISSING YOUR LIFE: How to be Deeply Present in an Un-Present World


Do you notice you live your life on autopilot? Often we are so distracted that we don't experience the richness that life has to offer.

We often find it hard to find happiness amid the chaos's and then wen reach the end of our life feeling like we missed it.

In STOP MISSING YOUR LIFE, mindfulness teacher Cory Muscara takes us on a journey into the heart of what is required for real change, growth, and happiness. This book is not just simple advice "Be present", but it teaches us how to achieve true presence- the quality of being... that is unmistakably attractive, rich, honest and peaceful. If you are going to learn in about mindfulness and presence, Cory spent six months in silence living as a monk and he is am instructor of positive psychology at Penn State University.

We will one learning about a "Pain Box" and the four-part FACE model (Focus, Allow, Curiosity, and Embodiment). We will chip away those walls we've built and increase our capacity to experience the richness in our lives.

Are you ready to learn how to find peace in the chaos and become better people for our families, our communities and our world. This book helps us to savour the good in our lives and helps us live a more satisfying life. It will help us develop the mental fitness to step outside of our comfort zone and into our best lives.


WHAT WE WILL GET OUT OF THIS BOOK: This book is a journey towards presence and living our lives more fully. It's about 1. Softening the walls that cause us to shut down to life. 2. Building the resources to stay open to life so we don't shut down and miss it.



Cultivate an awareness that our past can inform our present. Acknowledge that the past often leaves wounds, big and small, that when unhealed, continue to bleed in the present. Micro and macro traumas of life create walls that keep us stuck in a pain box- a zone of comfort that prevents us from living freely and connecting deeply.

Trauma isn't just a serious psychological and emotional event- however, trauma is not defined by the experience itself, rather, by how the experience impacts us. Trauma can be anything that causes us to feel less whole, less safe to be ourselves, and less able to experience the fulness of life. What have you simply tried to .... Grin and bear it?

QUESTION: Can you think of something that has left you wounded? Something that has made you shut down or mask deeper experiences? WHAT IS LINGERING BENEATH THE SURFACE? Deeper needs, shames, and pain. BE HONEST.. acknowledge life can be tough!!!

When Trauma is too much, too soon, too fast... we are taking in too much stimulation without enough time or ability to process, integrate, and/or relate the excess energy from the experience.

Developing presence enables us to stay connected with ourselves, manage the ruminations from our minds, and release the stuck energy from these experiences so that we can live at their fullest. Simply being "Positive" or trying to bypass these pains will further disconnect us and numb us to the fullness of life.


THE PAIN BOX: There is risk to being you. Risk in... expressing needs, love, to be seen, to let down your guard, to care deeply, to love. RISK BECAUSE WE DON'T KNOW WHAT SORT OF PAIN WE MIGHT HAVE TO FEEL IF WE SHOW UP FULLY. Trauma of life impacts us, creates walls between who we are, the rest of ourselves, and the world around us.

Walls prevent us from the fullness of our lives. We have to get through potential rejection, shame, vulnerability, and instability to experience (PAIN) in order to experience CONNECTION, AUTHENTICITY, LOVE, FREEDOM

QUESTION: Take a few moments to evaluate what some of your pain walls might be. What do you wish you could express about yourself? What conversations do you wish you could have? Is there a part of you that you wish you could share with others? What do you wish you could accept in your life? WHAT DO I NEED TO FEEL AND EXPERIENCE TO MOVE TOWARDS THIS?

FIRST STEP WITH A PAIN WALL. IS to ACKNOWLEDGE and FEEL IT... Since we often try to avoid our pain. We must feel safe. We need internal safety (or inner okayness) to help us move trough our pain walls and make contact with life. In order to develop this internal safety we must rely on the building blocks of PRESENCE.

Mind Map and Book Highlight by Live Life Happy The Unconventional Bookclub with Andrea Seydel



BEST WAY TO BUILD PRESENCE-- Mindfulness mediation is foundational practice and skill set for our journey towards presence. It illuminates inner workings of the mind. Train our nervous system to feel calm and safe. Intentionally move closer to your human experience, learning how to dance with it, to be at peace with it and enjoy it.

MINDFULNESS: the practice of being with our experience rather than in our experience. Spacious, curious and heartfelt. Mental fitness. PRACTICE FACE are the pillars of presence: Focus-Allowing-Curiousity-Embodiment


Focus helps stabilize our attention in the present, grounding us, and enabling us to more clearly see the differnet layers of our experience- (awareness, story) Like a magnifying glass for our mind. Capacity to be attuned to, steady, clarity into the present moment. Stability of the mind. Focus one pillar of presence.

TIPS: 1. Shift out of autopilot. Monitor yourself. Focus becomes freedom, Focus stops thoughts, story and stress. Meta cognition- think about our thoughts. Drop out of story of how things SHOULD go, we get to respond in real time, inspired by what feels true and right in the moment, allowing us to adapt, grow and move graciously through our moments. LIKE WATER. 2. Meditations to cultivate focus. Walking mediation... Feel and be present to sensations and breath. 3. Try take five: Finger breath slide fingers. 4. Shift "what if" to" what is" 5. FULL CUP focus. 5. Focus on one task- Pick one task each week when you will make extra effort to be deeply present (gratitude tea).


Allowing gives us the the ability to meet the moment as it is, without grasping or pushing, helping us move fluidly through our moments and embrace the unknown. The paradox of invincibility. But it's important to understand how to be with difficult moments and develop our confidence that we can be with those moments, we need to be vulnerable and courageous enough to stay present.

There is value in staying open to more moments in our lives, good and bad. Often we find happiness by pushing away bad experiences and grasping for good ones. We need to be present with painful experience opens us up to parts of us that have been shut down.

We need to allow the full experience of life. TIPS: Befriend your experiences. "Nice to meet you pain. Settle nervous system when experiencing pain. BREATHE. Pendulum your experiences- go into and out of painful experiences.


Curiosity brings us closer to our life, in all its many forms, facilitating the deeper wisdom for how to live well. It allows us to experience life with ease and gentle wonder. Fear sometimes pulls us away from our life in a negative way. Presence is about stepping into our life more deeply. Experiencing more of what it can offer. Your mind wants to be happy...Bringing a gently curiosity to your life deepens presence. It is also inherently nonjudgmental. Curiosity don't have a fix agenda. it embraces learning, wisdom and life experiences.

TIPS: 1. Look at mediation as a curious process of exploration. 2. Ask questions. What is it like to experience the breath? What is it like to observe the miracle of being able to think? What is it like to feel, hear, see, smell? ETC. .. 3. "IF you are bored you are not paying enough attention" 4. TRAIN YOUR MIND TO FIND FRESHNESS AND JOY IN SOMETHING. 5. Remain curious and appreciate in new ways. 6. Interview your experience- Deeply curious about the person you are with. 7. Listen to understand not to respond. 8. Find extraordinary in the ordinary. 9. Train your mind to appreciate goodness.


Embodiment reminds us that we cannot access the present moment without connect to the very bodies we live in. It's about learning how to feel, listen to, and trust the innate winsome of our bodies. Attunment as to where you are right now can happen in every moment. "Where are you right now in your day? High Energy? Low energy? Are you focuses outwardly or inwardly? What emotions do you feel? Where? Body scan to learn how to feel. Where are you tense? Relaxed? Where are you holding trauma?

TIPS: Ground your body. Name emotions and sensations. Movement awareness. Relax your body. Check in with yourself. HALT Hungry, Angry, lonely, tired?


HOW TO CHANGE AND GROW: The best approach to presence is to integrate all the pillars of FACE: Focus, Allowing, Curiosity, and Embodiment. As we deepen our presence we deepen our capacity to meet whatever the moment brings. BY STAYING OPEN TO LIFE. Presence brings a sense of being whole. at ease and fulfilled. HOW TO CHANGE AND GROW- EG WALKING A COW PATH example of why we do what we do, letting go becomes essential in order to create new pattern of behaviour. 1. Learn why you're holding onto something and how it's still serving you. 2. Creating a compelling future that is only available when you do let go.

BECOME YORU OWN BEST FRIEND: Self-acceptance comes from presence. Mediation and mindfulness promotes self-appreciation and builds our capacity to experience more of life. It softens our walls that keep us stuck in our usual ways of being. 1. RECLAIM YOUR SHADOWS- there are always parts of ourselves we don't like (grief, pain, trauma, depression, anxiety, fear, deep anger, shame) anything that we think drains our energy. Typically we try to suppress, push down or ignore. But these shadow parts of us. Feeding your demons mediation. Find shadow, give it form, create trust, become curious, find the positive intention, show appreciation, make a connection Make an offering (what do you need?) Invite the shadow into the light, Integration/wholeness. 2. Nurture the positive. Instead of focusing on what goes wrong, (negativity bias) cultivate positive emotions. Shift focus on what's good. Savouring, Focus on your strengths, Loving kindness mediation, (May I be happy. May I be safe. May I be healthy. May I live with ease). 3. Live in alignment with values and personal ethics.,

MORE TIPS: COMMITMENT TO CONNECTION- let yourself be seen and accepted. Show up fully as yourself. Journal- Wha parts of yourself do you hold back from other people? What do you fear would happen if you brought more of yourself? TRY: Circling- relational mediation that brings focus & curiosity to another person. Focus on the experience of another person.

TIME, TECHNOLOGY, AND DAY TO DAY PRESENCE: Tips- the magic of one minute mediation Start with one minute. Meditatie more than you think you can. Practice. Technology-meditate with your device.Scrollercoaster, Stop drop and be. Tidy up your phone Minimze. Turn off notifications. Social media to enhance your life. Use phone to make you happy. Positive restraint. Ask yourself do i feel more energized or depleted in my relationship with my phone? What needs to change? Does this increase or decrease my mental health? What needs to change? Do I feel more or less stressed? What needs to change?


This book started with one concept- presence. But to have presence is to soften the walls that keep us from fully connecting with ourselves, others and the world., It's about being able to experience and stay present to more of who we are and more of our life.

To have presence we become more aware of some suppressing parts of who we are making way for wholeness.

This book and presence shows us that it is more than just being aware ... it's bringing o9ru full selves into the moment and the fullness of the moment to others as well.

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