A Nickel For Your Presence

As part of my healing process when my marriage of twenty years suddenly ended, I set out on long motorcycle rides that provided an excellent way of helping me transition to life as a single man. For me, motorcycling offered a sense of freedom that was truly magical in nature. On one of the first of several such trips, when I was a relative newbie to long rides and many days on the road, I ended up stopping briefly in a small village named Radium Hot Springs, in British Columbia, Canada.

Within about twenty minutes or so, a middle-aged woman who had just exited a nearby post office, stepped toward me and engaged me in conversation. I was scanning an unfolded map at the time, and waiting for the feel of the destination that would next call to me. “Can I help?” she asked, perhaps sensing a lost look on my face. That question was a doorway that I willingly stepped through; and it led to a rich and interesting conversation that lasted for the next half hour.

It turned out that the woman owned and operated a small wellness centre and was very knowledgeable about spirituality and our essential nature. Part of her life “story” had included going through a major health challenge; now healed, she shared what she had learned from the experience with persons who came to stay for one of her programs. At the time, she definitely knew life on a much deeper level than I.

I was about to ready myself and my motorcycle to depart for the next destination when the lady asked if I could wait a few minutes before leaving. I said that I could, and with that she hurried back into the post office and soon returned. It was at that point that she handed me the nickel to which I refer in the title of this article.

As I looked at the nickel, she explained that she had written the number 5 in the center with “whiteout” to serve as reminder of the importance of remaining present, and safely aware in the moment. The number five stood for our five senses. If I found myself mentally drifting as I rode, she offered that I might be wise to run a mental checklist. What was I seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, and smelling? In motorcycle riding, which is such a living-in-the-moment experience, there is no shortage of stimuli. This technique, by the fact that I am writing of it ten years later, obviously made quite an impression on me. I hope that the technique will resonate with you, to draw you back into the transcendent beauty of the NOW.

The point of this article is, of course, not just to relate the story of this dear soul who gave so generously of her time and spirit to share with me, a stranger. The point is related to the value of what she taught me, through the illustration of a nickel marked with whiteout. The real value of a nickel, at least when it stands as a reminder to be Present—here and now—is invaluable. When we claim Awareness as That which we truly Are, the quality of our apparent life improves dramatically.

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,


Copyright © – 2022 – R. Arthur Russell

P.S. Please share this article if you enjoyed it. If you’d like to view my latest book (This Taste of Flesh and Bones–released September 8, 2020), press here. My YouTube videos may be found via this link; and my Linkedin profile via this link. May the content help you along your spiritual journey. 

Thank You” & “Note to Publishers

22 thoughts on “A Nickel For Your Presence

  1. If someone had given me such a gift I might not have broken a kneecap! Thank you for the reminder of the importance of living in the moment.

    1. Hello Julia,

      Great to hear from you. I hope that you’re healing very well! I have thought of the kindness that the lady extended to me many times. The account is still very fresh in memory. Not only did she teach me about awareness, she also shined as an example of how to generously give. 🙏

    1. Hello, Parikhit, Wonderful to hear from you! Thank you very much for your kind words. You know what? The generous and kind lady in the account would smile. 🙏

  2. What a beautiful story. I will try to remember when my mind wanders to places I don’t want to go. I love that this conversation was unexpected and by chance.

    1. Hi There! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. The lady’s soul shined with such kindness; and, as you can tell, the lesson that she taught me has remained. Blessings! 🙏

    1. Thank you so much! I agree! I appreciate your taking the time to offer such a kind comment. 🙏

    1. Thank you very much, Andrew! For those who are interested in trying the technique, I hope they truly give it a chance to work for them. 🙏

    1. Hello Vic,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I appreciate your kind words. I agree with you fully, about people spending too much time locked inside their mind. This is what Eckhart Tolle wrote about in “The Power of Now.” 🙏

    1. Hi there,

      I hope that you’ll have great success with both! Thank you for taking the time to comment! 🙏

  3. That’s a lovely encounter and a lovely story. I use the five senses to help me be mindful and present. I use teh approach e.g. 5 things you can see, 4 things you can hear, 3 things you can feel, 2 things you can smell and 1 things you can taste. It helps every time! This is a great reminder.

  4. Wow – thanks for sharing that journey, Art! What a beautiful story about healing and the kindness of strangers, especially those who are aware enough to reach out with a nickel. Inspiring and lovely!

    1. Hi Wynne,

      Thank you so much for such a kind comment. It truly means a lot to me. The account is even more beautiful when I look at it in hindsight. Here I was–this alone “guy,” and a stranger just reached out and gave to me. “That’s” what I desire to do–to give purpose to my life by giving. All the getting in the world–of achievement or possessions–of what use?!

      You’ve made my day. Thank you. 🙏

  5. This is great. I’ve been finding it so tough to stay in the moment unless I’m drawing. What a way to help focus on the things around you. Love this…Now I need to find a nickel and some white out! Thank you so much for this!

    1. Hi there,

      I’m glad that the idea of the nickel for your presence resonated with you. It really worked for me, and I’m happy to be able to pass it along. 🙏

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