Being Seen

Walking the streets in Mumbai on a recent trip to India gave me the opportunity to have one of those experiences where my senses were evoked and awakened. 

Passing through one of the bustling intersections I slowed my gaze, really observing the posture and expressions of other westerners as they took in the theatre of colors, activities, noise and smells. I observed the locals attempting eye contact with the tourists as they passed, only to be met with dulled facial expressions and avoidance of eye contact.

A wave of insight and perspective engulfed me as I recognized the virus that infects most of us, where we don’t see or don’t recognize our humanity in each other. 

I subtly shifted in that moment and smiled to an Indian couple that I noticed looking at me. Their faces lit up with delight, beaming smiles appeared and their demeanor relaxed as we really saw each other. I was filled with a profound level of energy, humility, confidence and clarity about what it means to be present.
Most of us, particularly in the western world, navigate our daily lives in an over-mediated, filtered and disconnected state from the real-ness of the world around us. We end up seeing people and events as meaningless objects and transactions. Instead, we have the opportunity to create a level of connection with our amazing humanity and that kind of presence is real power. 

Action: Take the time today to make intentional eye contact with someone. See how your connection with that person deepens.