“ And suddenly you know. It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.”
One of my clients mentioned that he was recently given feedback at work that he was ‘too intense’. He thinks deep thoughts and is passionate about his values and work in the world. Sometimes though his intensity can be off-putting to those that do not know him well, as it feels intrusive and a bit intimidating. He asked me if I had any suggestions for how he might temper this trait without abandoning what he cares so deeply about. I suggested that he soften his gaze. It’s been said that the eyes are the windows of the soul and yet our gaze can impact the ability of how others see us and how we see ‘into’ others. A penetrating gaze can feel like a threat and walls go up. To soften our gaze allows for us to meet another half way instead of intruding into their space. To soften our gaze requires only an intention to do so. Most of us know what it feels like to look upon something with kindness versus judgment and most of us have been on the receiving end of a penetrating stare versus a soft curiosity. My friend was surprised that he was using the energy of his gaze in this way. He thought he was simply focusing and trying to understand fully and completely what the other person was saying. What he discovered was that by softening his gaze he came back into his space and now the other person was able to meet him half way.
This idea of softening is important also in times of new beginnings, especially if you have gone through a time of transition and/or transformation. Meeting the new beginning with soft eyes (receptive, aware, attuned and with respectful curiosity) allows life to meet you and let’s new opportunities come in with greater ease and flow. This can be contrary to our culture’s way of pushing forward and ‘making things happen’. We are a doing culture and yet new beginnings require more of the skills of ‘being’ so that we can stay sensitive and pay closer attention to life, ourselves and others as they actually are.
New beginnings invite us into a new way of being. We are often living lives that consist of old stories and to step into a new beginning requires that we stop telling ourselves the same old tired stories about who we are or what we can do. Instead, it’s a time to create space, have quiet psychological energy and attentive caring. This allows us the opportunity to engage in life in a real and authentic way. It let’s us ‘be’ with the courageous questions before taking action so that we know that the actions we do take come from a place of truth, our truth.
I invite you to take space, some quiet time to reflect on questions that bring you alive and invite you forward in a respectful and real way. I offer this because I think each one of us brings something unique and the more that we are able to live from that, not only do we benefit, but everyone around us does as well. Here are a few examples of these types of questions.
What matters most to me?
How do I spend my time?
Who do I spend most of my time with?
When I am old and looking back on my life, what did I accomplish that I am most proud of?
What would a more meaningful life look like for me?
What ‘story’ am I telling myself about myself and my abilities?
What questions are upper most in my mind and heart at this time?
What activities, friendships, dreams or ideas bring me alive in the world?
What do I need to pay attention to at this time that I would prefer not to?
What gets in the way of me living the life I really want?
What are the top 7 thoughts that I think most and do they serve me?
These questions are so important. They help us reconnect with our values, hopes, dreams, and ambitions…….and most importantly they help us listen to what our soul is calling for.
What I know to be true is that when I take the time to create space, ask the question and listen not only am I more aware of where my actions come from, I also am more aligned with what has heart and meaning for me at this time in my life. As we soften, whether it be our eyes or our attitude or thinking, we create space for life to meet and inform us and this allows us to open up to what is possible and grow to be who we are and do what we were meant to do. It starts with the willingness to soften, to let our perspective shift and create space to ask the questions that draw out our truth.
David Whyte’s poem, Everything is Waiting for You, is one of my favorites. I offer it with appreciation and deep respect for David and his work and with gratitude that we have before us, a whole New Year!
Please call (602-870-0060) or email (Victoria@Victoriacrawford.com) if you would like some help in this area of creating space and being in the stillness with the questions. I would be honored to offer support, inspiration and practical tools for your journey!