Inside The Path Of Presence
The first thing I turned to in Synthia Andrews’s new book, The Path of Presence, was the heart-stopping story of her daughter Erin’s accident. As a parent, I read Synthia’s words as if they were my own, and what she was experiencing was so vividly told that it felt like my own story with my daughter. I was immediately invested in this story and the book.
I wondered what would follow the telling of the various episodes of Erin’s experience. I soon discovered, as I turned the pages, that Synthia was taking us along a powerful heart-centered path into the very essence of presence by demonstrating the attributes of presence through each of the eight pillars. Each pillar came to life for me as I realized she was teaching what she had come to use and understand through her experiences with Erin but also from her many years as a healer and teacher.
In Chapter 2, for example, Synthia follows the telling of Erin’s accident and the call in the night with meaningful and practical understandings of how to survive such an experience mentally, emotionally, and spiritually and what to learn to navigate the treacherous waters of any challenging life experiences. While Synthia was forced to draw on inner strength and knowing from the experience with her daughter, still this book is for all of us in any circumstance in which we seek to manage life in a better way.
She teaches us about “awareness of present time,” for example, and the challenge of holding our attention in the present. She offers us an explanation of how staying in awareness of present time sharpens our senses and wakes us up to opportunity.
There is a deeper level of reality that is accessible when you are awake in the present moment.
Your presence dynamically interacts with this level of reality to work for the higher good in concert with your inner truth.
You have inner resources and abilities that can only be accessed in present time.
Your attention is a force that can be turned into a laser beam of perception that takes you below the surface and beyond the obvious.
This is no abstract discussion of presence, but a profound journey into the depths of what is needed when the extraordinary and the ordinary hit our lives and we struggle to find meaning, support, grace, and endurance.
Presence is difficult to grasp because it is a way of being that defies description. Yet Synthia does a masterful job of guiding us through the varied ways we can understand presence and live in that sacred space.
From the very first chapter, I found myself reading slowly and carefully, not wanting to miss any of her finely crafted phrases or thoughts. As I read the various chapters dealing with being, connecting, grounding, centering, balancing, aligning, clearing, and honoring, I found a renewed appreciation for presence and her gentle but on-point discussion of how to recognize presence and claim it within our own hearts.
In today’s world, in times of stress and in times of joy, we look for ways to find that special inner space from which to manage our emotions, to find balance when there is only challenge, and to discover love and caring for ourselves when others are too busy surviving their own lives. As I explored the various pillars in Synthia’s book, I quickly realized that Erin’s story was but one story of the many we each have in our lives when we need to have something within our own mind and heart to rely on—and that something is the connection to spirit.
Spirituality isn’t about understanding the power of love in an abstract way, but where the rubber meets the road and we need to have guideposts to mark our way through uncertainty into a place of peace, joy, and acceptance.
I’ve known Synthia for a number of years and have enjoyed her books. But I felt such a strong resonance with this book because I recognized the truth of her elegant words and her genuine awareness of presence. She was writing from knowing presence rather than just speculating about it—and that makes all the difference.
This is a book I knew immediately that I would return to over and over to rediscover its wisdom and practical tools for staying steady in presence. The Path of Presence is a gift to all of us, and I know it will travel through many hands, helping, healing, and teaching the real way to experience presence. Well done, Synthia!
Meredith Young-Sowers, DDiv
Author of Agartha: A Journey to the Stars, The Angelic Messenger Cards, Wisdom Bowls and Spirit Heals. Founder and Director, Stillpoint School of Integrative Life Healing
There are two sides to me: the side that is curious about the nature and mechanisms of life and studies physiology and medicine and the side that connects with and perceives subtle energy. For me, they are different sides of the same. My path has been to explore life while looking through both lenses.
As a result, I have done a lot of apologizing. Half my time seems spent apologizing to my science-based family and naturopathic colleagues for my “woo-woo” eccentricity. The other half of my time seems occupied apologizing to those who also perceive subtle energy for my desire for the underpinnings of science in the discussion, and my compulsion to create discernable steps to achieve awareness.
Perhaps apologizing has helped me find balance between science and mysticism, but at this time, apologizing for being different is finished. Now each of us is asked to embrace our truest expression of self and together create a new relationship with reality.
The way through events in the world today is to show up as all of who we are. This may not be comfortable or popular, but it is necessary. In this book, I have tried to find my authentic expression on topics that can be demanding to describe. Sometimes I have been successful and other times, not so much.
I started thinking about presence and the energy elements that uphold presence around the time my friend Richard, a Native American from the Osage lineage, died in 2013. In my mind’s eye I saw an image of a sacred lodge supported by the eight lodge poles, two in each direction. Each lodge pole became the pillar of an energetic practice that upheld presence. My undertaking has been to understand and convey clearly the pillars and the energy practices that maintain them without falling into jargon and cliché. No small task, at least for me.
I write what has meaning to me and do not assume it has meaning for anyone else. If it does, I am honored. Finding my voice in this book has been challenging. To speak from the perspective of “I” and own the practices feels egocentric and self-important. To speak from the universal “we” sounds presumptive. To speak directly to you sounds like lecturing. There is no perfect voice. In the end, I chose to make this a conversation and speak directly to you. My hope is to validate your internal truth. If this feels overbearing, forgive me. In truth, I am teaching myself.
I have authored two other books with New Page Books: The Path of Energy (2011) and The Path of Emotions (2013). During the writing of both books, synchronistic life experiences required that I live the truth of the principles discussed. While writing The Path of Energy, my husband and I were subject to intense, soul-level interference whose energetic elements were objectively verified. As I wrote The Path of Emotion, my mother died. My writing did not cause these events; however, everything I was writing about was tested. In those two books, I chose to leave out the personal side-story.
Once again, during the writing of The Path of Presence, life demanded I live through and verify the book’s principles when my older daughter was in a near-fatal car accident. Because each of the pillars is so perfectly encapsulated within my daughter’s story, with her permission I have included details of the accident and subsequent events at the beginning of each pillar chapter. I hope by doing so the truth and utility of the energy practices described within the chapter are made evident.
Finally, words mean different things to different people. It is challenging to find words that express deeper concepts. If I have used words that stiffen your resistance, it is unintentional. Try to look beyond to the heart of what I seek to convey and let the word dissipate in the ethers. Thank you.
My lifelong journey into subtle energy and emotions has been passionate, joyful, and wildly fulfilling. I offer this book in support of each reader’s expanding awareness of his or her energy path.
Foreword: The Path of Presence 11
Part I: Journey Into the Eight Pillars
Chapter 1: In the Light of Presence 21
Chapter 2: The Pillar of Being 33
Chapter 3: The Pillar of Connecting 53
Chapter 4: The Pillar of Grounding 75
Chapter 5: The Pillar of Centering 97
Chapter 6: The Pillar of Balancing 117
Chapter 7: The Pillar of Aligning.139
Chapter 8: The Pillar of Clearing.159
Chapter 9: The Pillar of Honoring 181
Part II: Stepping Into Presence
Chapter 10: The Eight Pillar Process 203
Chapter 11: Being Me 213
Chapter 12: Foundations of Creating Your Vision 223
Chapter 13: Opening to Nature’s Design 237
Chapter 14: Presence in Conflict Resolution 249
Chapter 15: Walking a Path With Heart 257
Appendix: Emotional Meaning Chart 269
Table Of Contents