Have you ever stopped and wondered why life is happening so fast and appears to be getting faster?
Technology is developing at an exponential rate, yet we are developing linearly. Everything we do these days has to be done quicker, be it, reading, talking, eating, drinking, and much more. We are also paying less and less attention to who we are with, we are on autopilot, just reacting.
At another level, we will know that we are more than just what we do, we are beings, with thoughts, feelings and emotions. We know how important these are to our wellbeing, yet we readily neglect, drop or suppress them to stop them arising.
The problem is we are wired to connect. Even though we know that something is missing from our lives, we are unable to articulate exactly what is missing. When we don’t have that connection, we think the answer lies in overdosing on drugs, alcohol, food, work, etc. The trouble is that the effect is only temporary, it wears off and the feeling returns that something is still missing. And so the cycle continues.
Because we just react and because everything is happening so fast, we miss being truly present with the connection that is right in front of us. That person may be a colleague, a client, or more importantly a loved one.
How often do we miss all the information our senses are presenting to us at this moment, and this moment, and this moment? Whilst we have the opportunity with technology to connect and be with so many people, we miss the opportunity to see, hear, value and appreciate them.
You cannot multi task attention, so when you do the following exercise, make sure nothing will interrupt you.
This is one of the most compassionate ways of connecting that I know.
This ten minute exercise can be done with anyone, although much better with a loved one.
- Face each other and look at the other in silence for about a minute or longer. Maintain eye contact throughout, become aware of your breath as you look at them, allow any thoughts to arise and to pass.
- When one of you is ready, share something that is important to you (there is no restriction on what you may share).
- They will have the opportunity to talk uninterrupted for three minutes. If they stop talking before the three minutes are up, allow them to sit in the silence. You will be surprised how often they will talk some more. If they really think they have finished, gently say, “What else?”.
- The non speaker says nothing throughout, but will give the other their undivided attention and really listen. Maintain eye contact (even when the speaker looks away, so that when they return to you they will find you still looking at them), no interrupting, and avoid thinking about what you may say when it is your turn.
- When the three minutes are up, swap around.
- In the final minute, look at the other, take a deep breath in and breath out, then each of you share one thing you appreciate about the other.
Please let me know how the exercise goes for you.