Look Into My Eyes To Search My Soul…
How one simple exercise helped me love myself
They say if you want to search someone’s soul, you should look into their eyes and that’s exactly what I did to a stranger for TWENTY-FIVE whole minutes.
It was intense to say the least, but absolutely fascinating and incredibly rewarding for both of us.
I should probably rewind a little and at least give you some context.
I’ve just returned from Baja, California Sur, in Mexico, where I spent a week at the Modern Elder Academy. The school is the brainchild of Chip Connelly and it’s dedicated to helping people navigate midlife and beyond. You see, even us coaches sometimes need coaching.
I was there attending a workshop called Leading from your Essence with Chip Conley and Vanessa Inn, but I came away with more than I bargained for; a lot of love for myself. Yes, I fell in love with who I am and what I stand for and it felt and feels incredible.
The week was filled with deep questions and great answers. Life’s challenges were tackled one by one in workshops, with poetry, music, eagle dancing (more of that later) and even surfing.
In one session, which focused on non-verbal communication, Vanessa told us to turn to the person next to us and stare, and I mean really stare, into their eyes. Initially this was as uncomfortable as its sounds and I was desperate to look away, but I focused, and I settled in. We were asked to think of our childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, and the challenges we encountered at each stage. We were asked to think of the challenges of the person whose eyes we were looking into.
I’d met Alan, an American consultant and father of three, a few times, but I didn’t really know him. And yet, it only took a few minutes of eye-gazing for me to feel an intense connection to him. I started welling up, tears staining my eyes and I had no idea why. I wasn’t feeling any pain myself and so I concluded I must be feeling his.
Towards the end of the experience, which I was shocked to learn lasted twenty-five minutes (it felt more like five), we were asked to send love to our partner. I summoned all my strength and, without showing it, physically pushed as much love as I could over to Alan. I felt he needed it. I was aghast when he told me later that he’d felt like he’d been hit by a tidal wave of emotion from me at that point. It was concrete proof in my mind, that humans can and do transfer emotional energy to one another and the first time in my life I’d received confirmation that a gift of love could really be received.
I’d practised eye gazing once before with my wife, but because this experience was a guided one, it was even more intense. I don’t really know why, but those twenty-five minutes changed me and the way I see the world. I’ve always given love – paying compliments, sharing, and caring, and now I know that people can receive it, I’m going to do it a whole lot more.
There may be fierce debate about who coined the phrase, ‘the eyes are the window to the soul,’ but one thing is certain, whoever they were and however they came to that conclusion, in my eyes, they were right.
- Three fundamental ways our lives change in retirement - October 14, 2019
- A retirement that’s more like winning a lottery?Three ways to help make that happen - September 16, 2019
- My American dream - September 15, 2019