Presence With Myself

One of the best ways we can grow in noticing internal attitudes about ourselves is to say very simply “isn’t that interesting…” whenever you are confronted by a spark of joy, or conversely a hint of growing frustration…

…It was my spiritual director who encouraged me to notice myself more deeply. He’s the one who hears my stories each month we’re together, and as he listens well, he reflects back to me what he’s noticing. One time he noticed my inability to see my own internal reality. I was frustrated, had what I thought was a legitimate “gripe” to voice, but after releasing my angst I was more interested in blaming another than to acknowledge my own contribution to the situation. And it wasn’t just one such incident, but a few others too, and that’s what seemed a bit glaring. However, when I am in a better frame of heart and mind, I’m more able to smile, give voice to the emotion, name my reality, and then lean into a new way of being present, this time with myself.

Are you at home with yourself, or would you prefer to run away and not have to deal with yourself? Let me suggest a few practical handles to consider when getting to know oneself: 1. Pay attention to when you sense a tear of compassion welling up inside and don’t hold it back – release the emotional response so that you can fully feel empathy toward yourself or another; 2. Notice when you are concerned about an injustice and your natural response is to raise a fist of rage against the perpetrator and as an advocate for the victim – most likely that has something to do with your passionate and compassionate heart; 3. Affirm the delight of your heart with a shout of joy and gladness so that all who hear can rejoice with you – praise and thanksgiving can set the heart free from negativity, discouragement, and a critical/cynical spirit.

Behold the presence of yourself – believe that you are a dearly beloved child of God – belong to the fellowship of faith who know with certainty the call upon their lives – become a friend to yourself, treating others as you lovingly and graciously treat yourself…all for the glory and praise of God.

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Steve Macchia

Founder & President

The Rev. Dr. Stephen A. Macchia is founder and president of Leadership Transformations, Inc. (LTI), a ministry serving the spiritual formation, discernment, and renewal of leaders and learners since 2003. For more than 20 years he has been the Director of the Pierce Center for Disciple-Building at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Doctor of Ministry Program. From 1989-2003 he was the president of Vision New England, the largest regional church renewal association in the country. Earlier in his ministry life, Steve was a member of the pastoral staff of Grace Chapel in Lexington, Massachusetts for 11 years. He is the author or co-author of 17 books, including The Discerning Life (Zondervan Reflective), and Crafting a Rule of Life, Becoming A Healthy Church (LTI), and Broken and Whole (IVP).  He and his wife Ruth live in the Boston (MA) area and are the proud parents of two married children and grandparents to three adorable grandchildren. Steve’s personal website is

My soul comes alive singing the great hymns of the church and enjoying the beauty of God’s creation. I’m in awe of God for fulfilling the dream for LTI that he birthed in my heart, for the team he has assembled, and the transformational impact experienced in the leaders and teams we serve.

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Mitzi Mak

Selah-West Faculty

Mitzi started her professional life as a high school social studies teacher. She and her husband Jerry then served cross-culturally for ten+ years, living abroad first in India and then Kurdistan, N. Iraq. In addition to being a Spiritual Director, she now serves as a Formation and Care pastor in her local church in Houston, TX. She has graduated from LTI’s Selah Spiritual Direction training as well as LTI’s Emmaus Formational Leadership Program.

Mitzi enjoys engaging conversation, reading fiction, doing jigsaw/crossword puzzles, ocean gazing and exploring the world with Jerry through food and travel.

God has two main callings in Mitzi’s life: to care for those who care for others and to be a guide in helping others have a healthy relationship with the Trinity – recognizing God’s loving presence and activity in their lives and how to faithfully respond.

Selah was a transformative experience for me – allowing the contemplative within to emerge and to beautifully co-exist with my extraverted personality.