This is of course the start of Hamlet’s famous soliloquy, whether to continue to live his life or to end it. I use it in the context of To Be Present or Not to be Present.
To be, or Not to be, is the question, the position, or the mind state, in a moment of wanting to say or act out we have a choice, “to be or not to be.” To be, I see as resting in awareness, in presence, Not to be, is to give into chaos and habit mind, to react. It is of course a momentary fraction of a pause that will make the difference as to whether you respond or react in any given situation. It can be quite a challenge if you have reacted the same way to certain situations or triggers for most of your life.
In any given moment where you notice you are about to be triggered, pause. Make a conscious choice To Be with your breath. That is the point that allows you to choose how the next moment will unfold, it is such a small space but it becomes magnificent if we heed it. Mindfulness is awareness and the ability to observe experience. No one said it was easy, but with continued practice it does open a space to move away from your usual habitual reaction that is not helpful to you or others.
We can cause harm to our relationships and ourselves if we choose to not be present. Be aware of the energy that pushes you into doing or saying what you don’t want to say but you go ahead anyway because that is what your are used to.
To be (present) or not to be (present), you decide.