“Eyes are the windows of the soul” – whatever the true origin: Shakespeare; da Vinci; or ancient proverb – the meaning and intent really resonates with me. As I am becoming more aware of my own being and coming from a place of Essence, I can’t help but relate that quote to some of my personal experiences.
Let me take a minute to define Essence. When I say Essence, I mean those natural God-given “things” or traits that make you You – a wonderfully unique human being. When you are in Essence you are at your best. In that place of Essence you do your best work, you fire on all cylinders and you’re the most connected to others.
Have you ever made eye contact with someone and just smiled? You know that sincere, full-smile that only comes when you’re really happy – authentically, genuinely happy. Maybe in the time it takes to make eye contact it is possible to share you Essence with another person? And coming from that place – that most vulnerable and precious place – you can’t help but smile at the glimpse into someone else’s true self – their soul – their being – their Essence.
I really rather enjoy that concept. So much of it makes sense to me. Given that same example – have you ever questioned why someone smiled after making eye contact with you – even after “accidental eye contact”? What is their intention? What are they thinking? What do they want? Are they flirting? Or were they even looking at you? All these questions have come to me at one point or another when faced with this particular situation. Clearly, my automatic way of being – my self-defense - was in full effect.
And at other times it seems as if people simply never look me directly in the eyes. Again, it is easy to question their reasons for hiding from direct eye contact with another – maybe their automatic ways of being, self-defenses, are in full effect?
For me, the answer all comes back to Essence. When you share yourself from Essence – even when you’re unaware that you’re doing so – people respond in kind. Essence begets Essence. And Essence will always reveal itself regardless of mental or physical state.
Have you ever noticed how some people are great with babies? You know those people that can pick up a crying baby and the crying stops almost immediately. Or those people that can approach an upset five year-old and somehow turn things into a game. Again, I suggest that those people are coming from a place of true Essence and the babies or that five year-old is just responding from their Essence. The same can be seen in the elderly that can no longer hold a conversation or even remember that they were part of a conversation. The “out of the blue” smile or laugh is simply a response to Essence.
And perhaps we can see the opposite, too? You know those people that pick up a happy baby and the baby starts crying? Or they sit down with an elderly person and get an ear full of random rants? If Essence begets Essence, is it not also possible that the opposite of Essence begets the opposite of Essence – whatever that may be called?
I bring all this up to point to a simple question that occurred to me while on the L Train in Chicago – specifically the Blue Line. How many opportunities to make eye contact have I missed or intentionally avoided? In the context that the eyes are the widows to the soul – how many opportunities have I missed to connect with someone on a higher level? It’s so easy to do – so natural to look down or look away or look through someone else, isn’t it?
I have decided that these interactions, no matter how brief, are gifts. I plan on accepting as many of these gifts as I can – and more so, I plan on giving as many of these gifts as I can. And my invitation to you – no, my CHALLENGE to you is to share your Essence. Make eye contact with someone and take a look into their soul.