They say the eyes are the windows to the Soul. If this is true, why don’t we gaze into each other more often?
It’s a little scary and vulnerable to have someone look into your eyes.
Culture has written a rule for how much eye contact is too much. You know when it’s too much by that funny feeling you get and the automatic instinct to look away. The rule keeps us feeling safe and out of the awkward zone. And disconnected.
Lovers often look into each other’s eyes for the very purpose of finding intimacy and connection there. Out of that context, however, the intimacy may seem too intense or even inappropriate.
Yet there are many contexts in which we can have eye contact with people. Recently, I took an Improv theater class that used the Meisner technique. One of the main components of this technique is called the repetition exercise. The intent of the exercise is to get out of your head and connect to your partner. Maintaining eye contact is essential as you go back and forth repeating and making observations regarding each other’s responses and emotions. It can get real and deep – real deep – if both parties are willing. I was always willing.
The technique is meant to help actors get real in their roles and connect to their stage partners. I found it to have the added bonus of seeing another human and being seen in a profound way. Totally worth the fee I paid for the class.
A few years ago, I had a therapist who suggested we just look at each other in silence for a bit. Was it awkward? Yes. But only for a minute. Then it moved past that and what unfolded was mind-blowing.
Through the held eye contact, we both tapped into Universal connection, love without boundaries and eternity. We saw the WHO in the other’s soul and it reflected our own.
Powerful and transformative. I was changed when I walked out that day. I had experienced oneness and the limitlessness of unconditional Love.
Since then I’ve found out that there is actually an ancient spiritual practice called ‘eye gazing’ and it has the express purpose of looking past the ego and into the soul. How beautiful.
What if we could consciously choose to look people in the eye with the intention of really seeing them, seeing their soul? Not to have staring contests or creep people out with our intense laser beams, but just lovingly look in rather than looking away.
Give it a gentle try and see what happens. I dare you.