How do we rise to the call and begin a practice of authentically connecting and supporting others in our lives and in our communities?
We begin by noticing those whom we encounter every day. We look for what makes them beautiful and truly them. What are their strengths? What are the things we appreciate and admire in them?
We don’t have to create a list and share everything at once. We just share it as we see it, which may only take a few moments. We might be moved to mention those things we may take for granted. For example, what a great smile they have; how well they cook; or how sweet they are.
As we observe our loved ones, neighbors, or coworkers, we might see them in a new light. We may be touched by how well they: barbeque; tend to their children’s needs, their chores, office tasks, or their yard; interact with people or animals; tell jokes; play an instrument; or sing. We may see them engaged in a craft or trade, like woodworking or car repair, and comment on their abilities. Our validating their strengths serves their ego and spirit, maybe forever or maybe only in temporal and incremental ways. At least we gave breath to truths and stoked their fire.
As we get comfortable in our practice, our awareness and interactions may deepen. Naturally, our mindfulness will expand to complete strangers.
Let’s say we cross paths and interact with about 25-50 people a day. We have a choice as to how we use our energy. We may notice and connect due to a small child’s humming; a blouse that suits a woman; or the new haircut of a man. The engagement is brief. The response is usually eye contact, a smile, and a thank you. Other times, we receive direct eye contact; observe a shift in the person’s facial expression and body language; and then we learn as this individual shares how she needed to hear something positive and supportive. We are present and our hearts are engaged with all of these encounters.
So, how do we rise to the call and begin this practice? We start with our own will to consciously lift the veil of separation. We intently look with a new set of eyes, connect with an open heart, and step into a purpose that selflessly serves the whole.