The ULTIMATE gift: Full presence

Dr. Gary Redfeather (Keil)
3 min readApr 18, 2020


The author: Needing to be fully present as my face was precariously close to the rocks and this was an active track of the local railroad… Oh, and you can’t be balanced if you’re not fully present.

HONEST ADMISSION: I’m feeling TORN today. My birthday was yesterday and today my post-birthday morning has ushered in feelings from both sides of the spectrum.

What am I feeling?

On the positive side: blessed. Not in an ephemeral, intangible, religious sort of way but a grounded, SOLID, real sort. Driven absolutely by the outpouring of well wishes I received to celebrate the chance I was given to enter into this world to make whatever positive difference I could. YOU, my peeps, have made me, ME.

UBUNTU — I am because we are. My entire life of wild success and happiness and wealth and breadth and depth and richness and beauty because of YOU. Our paths crossed and my life was altered, and I am now who I am because of the meeting. The unfathomable and incalculable number of meetings.

And THIS is what is driving the negative side: profound sadness.

Kind of ubuntu in reverse: I suffer because I see you suffering. Suffering is the extreme and I chose this term carefully because some of you ARE suffering horrendous lives. Unhealthy, financially destitute or close to bankruptcy, disconnected to loved ones or even society in general, and (gulp) some of you on the edge of suicide (as well as far too many in my wider network who have succeeded in the deed…).

And if you’re not suffering outright, you’re not living your highest potential. When I watch this, I cannot NOT be impacted. Some lives are ‘half-lived’ because of external circumstances — YET the majority are because of poor choices, habits, limiting belief systems or other “self-driven” reasons.

I feel I’ve been subtly putting it out there for years that I don’t just believe there are different ways to being back the LIFE into life, but to show by my own life that it is possible. I’ve subtly put it out there that I believe I can help, and many of you have stepped in to give my help a try. Regardless if there has been full and complete transformations (which there have been many!) or partial transformations, the sheer fact that those of you who have tried was celebrated because you TRIED.

Then there are the rest of you. If you are living a dream life, completely complete — complete mental and physical health, complete financial health, feeling completely connected with a global community who supports your growth in every way — I am absolutely happy for you and will continue supporting that life however I can. This doesn’t apply to you but I’d be curious if most of you who are ‘in this camp’ are actually in this camp — and even if you are, can’t your life still improve?

For those of you who are not completely complete and continue choosing not to try, know that those of us in your life (like ME) cannot not be negatively impacted by your decisions. We/I will be not just saddened but a bit cross as you suffer needlessly and will be even more so when you die prematurely.

Yesterday my wife and I were chatting and I said the most precious gift I can ever receive is to have my family and friends FULLY PRESENT with me — in person or under a global lockdown… doesn’t matter. If we are all preoccupied even in part by reliving and bemoaning a past that can’t be changed, or we’re struggling in the moment to feel secure and loved, or we’re anxious and worried about if the next paycheck will come or will we be ok or will we be able to pay for our child’s education or will we be able to see our grandchild take their first step or say their first word… or see them get married… we CAN’T be fully present.

Like the walking dead or a trapped ghost — already ‘gone’ but don’t know it.

On this day, the day after my birthday, it is NOT too late to give me the best present you can: YOUR FULL PRESENCE in this life, in my life, in your life. Let me give you a present in return: my expertise, my experience, my insight, my love, my mojo and my magic, access to my network, to hope, to support, to love…

Just reach out.

You are worth it.




Dr. Gary Redfeather (Keil)

Neuroscientist, chronic pain specialist, mental/physical resiliency training professional, ultramarathoner & triathlete, philosopher, theosopher and chocoholic.