To see a World in a grain of sand, And a Heaven in a wild flower…
— William Blake
LOOKING AND SEEING
The first step in creating miracles is “looking and seeing,” which contrasts with “ignoring.” By not ignoring the obvious, you put yourself squarely in touch with another’s reality and with reality itself. When you do this, others see you as safe; the person who is in touch with reality is always much more safe than the person who is not. For many of you, childhood was a time of “feeling denial” and “reality twisting,” when adults told you that you didn’t feel what you knew you felt and when you were sometimes shamed for your honest, heartfelt way of experiencing life.
Once at a scary movie, I squirmed with discomfort, but not because of what was on the screen. A father behind me was telling his scared little boy, “You’re not afraid, you’re not afraid.” The father said, “Just hold your breath and you’ll be okay.” I realized I was hearing the actual programming of a human being not to feel. Hundreds of times in therapy I’d helped people learn to feel again by doing the exact opposite of this father’s counsel. “Let yourself feel,” I would tell my clients, “and take a few breaths to let yourself feel safe.”
A CONSCIOUS LIVING PRACTICE FOR TODAY – MARCH 3
Having practiced being aware of the changes in affect (facial expression) you notice as you communicate with others, try practicing out loud in a few interactions today. All you will practice today is looking and wondering; for now, try using the sentence below. Keep your tone neutral and without judgment.
Say “I notice something in your expression,” then relax until the person responds.
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