Last Saturday I experienced something beautiful. I shared eye contact at an eye contact event with 5 different people for up to 20 minutes per person. They were strangers.
We didn't talk, we didn't break the eye contact. I don't know their names or anything about them, I simply shared a moment and my respect with them and then one of us left, with a thank you and goodbye.
It's crazy how we are around people all day, yet are not fully aware of them. We know they are there and we see them, yet we don't SEE them.
The first time I did this exercise was in my dance education, where it was meant as a task to become present in this moment as well as share the moment with someone else, giving and receiving respect. Not wanting to change anything and not judging, but simply accepting. It is an amazing process and sometimes I felt like crying, tears welling up in my eyes and other times I just wanted to hug the person. By looking at a person's eyes and letting them truly look at me, I felt so at peace and calm that the rest of the world and my problems fell away. The only important thing was this moment, my focus and my partner.
While the feeling during the eye contact was beautiful, the presence I felt afterwards was magical. I felt like I was really here and could give anyone I talked to my full attention.
We did it in our dance education because stage presence and being comfortable with an audience of strangers is really important. However, I believe that this is something everyone should do in every day life. Too often we are on our phones halfway listening to others or our thoughts drift away during speeches, classes or even normal conversations. It has come to the point where I can only say that it is just sad.
Presence is something that we can all practice for ourselves and for others. It is a liberating feeling to be in a place or moment and know that you are here physically, mentally and emotionally. At the same time, you give others your attention and genuine interest, which they will be grateful for, too.
You may want to practice this with your friends, or go to an event like I did and see the amazing results from looking into someones eyes and soul bring you.
For some people it may seem scary, after all you're letting a stranger in to see you for who you are. And a lot of us tend to hind behind a veil, pretending to be someone we're not, because we are scared for being judged for our true selves. We want to fit in. Yes, this is a very vulnerable experience, yet I believe that that's what we humans are here for. We are here to trust and be united rather than live in our own little glass ball and be stuck in our own so called reality. Let's take a step forward, love and appreciate ourselves, as well as other fellow humans for who we are.
Have you ever experienced something like this? Feel free to share how you felt.