Amazing Eyes: Eye Contact & Truly Letting People In

by Carmel Reid, Somerset UK

I recently wrote a blog¹ about Prosopagnosia (Face Blindness). There were some great comments that inspired me to ponder further on how much we do or don’t make eye contact. I have been playfully experimenting with REALLY looking into people’s eyes and it has been truly revealing.

In a SKYPE conversation when the camera is just away from a person’s face, it’s tricky – you either look at them on the screen or at the camera, it’s impossible to do both at the same time, so you never actually make full eye contact.

A short time ago, I was chatting with my son, who is 30 and has Moebius Syndrome – you can read his amazing blog and see pictures in the link at the end of this article². He was born with Cranial Nerves VI and VII (6 and 7) not working, so he has no facial expression – can’t move his lips and smile, can’t frown, and has difficulty blinking. He also has a squint. He can make his eyes look at you but that gives him a bit of a scary look. I explained to him that when I talk to someone with a squint I try to discern which eye is looking at me and talk to that one. 

As our conversation developed, I began to realise just how much I tend to focus vaguely on a person’s face or I lip read rather than eye-read. Since then I have noticed more and more just how much I do this. As a child I couldn’t see faces, as my eyes were so short sighted, everything was out of focus, so I guess I never bothered to change that. I am, however, very good at reading body language, being very alert to subtle signals, and can recognise people from behind just by the way they walk, or even the way they bend over.

A few days after the conversation with my son, I had a similar one with my daughter. She is really good at remembering faces – she’s the one who would always patiently explain to me who was who in a film. Her partner joined in the conversation and said how he likes people to make true eye contact with him and I realised that I had not been. It has been an amazing discovery about my own behaviour.

I used to teach Assertiveness and Confident Communication and would tell people just how important eye contact was, if you wanted to be listened to, and I thought I was pretty good at it. I realise now, that for me it was all about communicating outward, especially when I taught Presentation Skills. Thinking back to how I used to present myself, it was all about commanding their attention and then gauging their reaction to me, so that I could tell if they were interested or not. I wasn’t really feeling them. It was a controlling way of keeping people out. I don’t think I really understood that eye contact is about letting people in. Now, I’m learning to RECEIVE through the eyes. Not just to sense their reaction (judgement, boredom etc.) but to receive WHO THEY ARE. It’s a whole different feeling.

Continuing with my playful experiment, at work in a busy supermarket, I have been gently making direct eye contact with the people who pass through my checkout. It’s been great fun. It may be only for a fleeting moment but I’ve found that some people don’t look at me at all, and some people really smile, as if we’ve made a genuine connection of mutual understanding. Sometimes I catch myself switching on a ‘customer care’ type of smile and people smile back at me politely. I can feel the falseness of that and much prefer to make a simple heart-felt connection with the eyes. It may or may not include a smile, but it feels TRUE.

The other day, there was a baby who looked at me seriously for quite a while, and I looked at her. As soon as I focused on her eyes and we made deep eye contact, with no expectation on my part, she broke out into the most joyful wriggle and beautiful smile, which made us all laugh.

Parents are often telling their children to ‘Smile’ or ‘Say Hello’ and I just say – “I’m getting the STARE – that’s better than any smile”. I find it awesome how babies really look at you, it’s as if they can see deep inside you, to the parts you normally keep hidden from society.

When I look into the eyes of Serge Benhayon or any of the Benhayon family members, they do the same, they really look at me. I found it scary at first, but now I know that what they see is how amazing I am, something I didn’t want to admit to because I was hanging onto my identity of not being good enough.

Now I can enjoy the eye contact, knowing that what they see, even though I still can’t always feel it, is truly who I am. I can allow myself to feel the joy they reflect, and the fun that I can have being ALL OF ME.

I’m still playing with my little experiment, while chatting with friends and everyone I meet, knowing that I can look into their eyes with confidence, and that I can choose to allow them in.

Sometimes it still feels a little scary, and sometimes it feels amazing. When I truly focus, there’s a feeling of gentle calmness, and then, just like with that baby, a giggle bubbles up from deep inside.

¹ My Blog on Prosopagnosia: Who are the People behind these Beautiful Faces
² My Son’s Story: Russell Briggs – The Many Faces of Moebius Syndrome

261 thoughts on “Amazing Eyes: Eye Contact & Truly Letting People In

  1. Carmel, what a great blog, and it really got me considering that actually I don’t always make eye contact, it’s more a glance, but when I do truly do it, it’s so different. It does feel a little strange at first as we’re so used to flitting from one thing to the next as a protection mechanism (how I can operate), that when we stop and really feel, it’s strange and also amazing at once. So I’ll be experimenting this week.

    1. Hi Monica, yes, the flitting from one thing to the next is like how I used to be at parties – never truly engaging with another person long enough to get truly let them in. When we stop and feel and when we make true eye contact it feels very welcoming.

    2. I agree Monicag2, this is a great blog and amazing to read and reflect on how much I make eye contact, which I am realising is actually very little. Thanks for your sharing, this is something I am going to ponder on more and be more aware of in my interactions.

    3. I have done this too monicag2. It can feel very vulnerable to actually make full eye contact sometimes and I particularly have noticed this happens when I am also not fully claiming myself. How can we let another in if we refuse to let ourselves in?

      1. Yes Joshua, that’s exactly it, we’re not with ourselves first when we do this, of course then we can’t quite meet another as we’re cowering within ourselves and not just presenting who we are. It’s a huge difference when we just are there with us, it’s so much easier to meet the world fully, and it’s great to be reminded that the discomfort I feel when I’m doing this is a tell to say ‘where are you?’, like a playful nudge to say be here!

  2. I have a feeling that by my being more aware and making true eye contact with people and reading their eyes not their lips and facial expressions, may actually improve the level that I can communicate with and hear others. Amazing. Great blog Carmel.

  3. I used to feel a little embarrassed to look into the eyes of a stranger, but as I become more aware that we are all one and equal , I don’t have the same fear just a sadness, that at times we ignore each other like we are not there. I feel that in the future we will teach our children to truly see each other. Thank you for your sharing Carmel!

    1. Yes I did too. It was a fear of being rejected in that they may look away or also that it may make them uncomfortable as they know that when I look at them I can see all of them. I have eyes that you can’t lie too.

    2. The feeling of sadness is interesting – could it be sympathy? Yesterday I said hello to someone in the street walking their dogs – head down, as if determined not to be seen. I got a brief grunt in reply and wondered if my saying hello had felt imposing, as I had been determined to make a ‘connection’. Sometimes I try too hard to be ‘nice’ and that’s awful, whereas simply be-ing and walking past can be way less imposing. I need to feel what’s appropriate in each meeting and let go of any attachment to getting a response.

      1. I can relate to what you’re saying Carmel – sometimes it’s just to accept another where they’re at and allow them to be and (for me) not to take it personally but to understand that they may be going through something and simply don’t feel like connecting at that time.

  4. I get this ..” I’m learning to RECEIVE through the eyes. Not just to sense their reaction (judgement, boredom etc.) but to receive WHO THEY ARE. It’s a whole different feeling.”
    I’m learning to do this to myself first. I have never been one to look at myself in the mirror. Now some days I dare to look a bit longer and feel what’s deep inside and see my soul through the windows of my eyes. Eye contact is a difficult one for me. I’ve preferred to feel peoples energy rather that acknowledge them through eye contact. If I don’t let myself in first how can I ever truly let in another?

  5. While reading this blog it dawned on me that the primary purpose of our sight is to look into another’s eyes and see their glorious soul, and everything else that is going on for them. Other uses of sight pale into insignificance compared to the heart felt warmth of eye contact.

  6. I am really particular about making eye contact but find it difficult to hold at times. I have a squint (which has improved in recent years) but prior to that when I looked at people they did not realise I was looking at them and I found it very embarrassing so consequently I stopped looking at people directly. Now I am reconnecting with my eyes which I find very powerful but it is taking time for me to allow them to feel me through their eyes!.Thank you for sharing, Carmel.

  7. I reckon it’s because babies and early toddlers don’t go into judgment but just receive who we are with their senses that means we get such a deep eye contact connection with them, one that goes beyond the physical representation of who we are and through to something way deeper. After a few years when the reality of how to play life here on earth has started to kick in, there’s a wariness and a caution that’s given back to us in the look. The absolute openness has gone. Such a loss – for us all.

    1. I agree, Cathy, it always feels sad when a small child may be watching me but when I look back and smile they ‘shyly’ look away. What is ‘shyness’? Their reaction makes me ponder on how truly I smiled and what they might have felt in terms of my need for a response from them, but also makes me wonder why they can no longer hold a gaze as they might have done as a baby. We can use eye contact to control people, to dominate, make them feel less, to plead with them, to search for confirmation, there are many ways and intentions, but simply ‘receiving’ what is there to be felt feels a more true way of being.

  8. I very much enjoyed your blog Carmel and I can relate to your experiment. I experience moments of deep contact lately when I look into people eyes and really let them in. It feels like mutual love and appreciation without a single reaction to life.

  9. Beautiful Blog Carmel, Yesterday I connected with a beautiful little three week old baby. We gazed into each others eyes for about 5 minutes.There was no need for anything else, just connecting through the eyes. At three weeks she is not smiling yet, but I could feel her smile through her eyes. I find that eye contact is the strongest form of communication. Little really needs to be spoken.

  10. I love this blog Carmel, and it makes me think about how I connect with people, I do really enjoy having eye contact with the people I walk past every day and it often feels like we share a quiet hello as we pass each other – strangers but not really. No smiles needed but sometimes they happen and thats lovely when they are real.

  11. Some great comments above, thank you – yes it’s great learning to really see and feel strangers we are passing in the street – the next stage is to become aware of just how much we are or can be ‘reading’ them. And yes, Debra, no smiles needed but they will happen when we truly connect.

    1. I really felt this on your recent retreat in the UK, Chris, because each time I made true eye contact with another person, I cried, it’s as if the old habitual dis-connection simply melted away and for the first time in years, I was fully present in my body and it felt beautiful.

  12. Lovely blog and definitely one to experiment with but the thing that I relate to this morning was how confronting it can be when someone truly looks at you because ‘I know that what they see is how amazing I am, something I didn’t want to admit to because I was hanging onto my identity of not being good enough’. How exposing it is to be shaken out of the comfort of choosing to feel I am not enough which I can use as an excuse to not participate fully in life and how much I am missing out on because of this. Thank you Carmel for opening my eyes to my own subterfuge.

  13. The more I choose to make eye contact with others the more I experience how little eye contact is made in everyday life. Thank you Carmel.

  14. For the eyes have always had it! When it comes to communicating something that I need to express I have always preferred to do so via eye contact in being face to face, as I’ve felt without it I’m not able to truly know if the other person is there with me or not with what I am expressing. Pondering on this now however with this it reveals the question; am I looking for an outcome or am I truly letting myself out, and then concurrently letting the other person in? Great blog Carmel thank you.

  15. Somehow, reading your Blog, Carmel, I thought of a female performance artist, who did a performance, that once deeply touched me, when I saw the videos of it. In a big museum she simply sat at a table and every visitor was invited, to sit opposite to her, to then have nothing, but eye contact (without a smile). And many many times it took just a few minutes and people start to melt and they started to cry, deeply touched. I guess from being truly met, and from getting a reflection of their own beauty and through feeling themselves truly, because another person didn’t hide and let them in. So I love your “checkout-performance” very much Carmel. It is so deep and grand, what we can bring and reflect to each other through a true eye-contact and with letting each other in.

    1. Wow Stephanie that must have been an amazing experience for those visitors – I know I find it hard to make true eye contact for any length of time with adults, but it’s very easy with babies because they just look at you with no expectation back. That makes me think about what expectations or needs I may have myself when I look into people’s eyes, looking for confirmation that I’m ok instead of feeling the connection and knowing that I’m more than ok, I’m awesome.

      1. Reading your reply, Carmel, I am pondering on the fact, that there is a smile that doesn’t come from the eye itself, but from the muscles, that are moving our faces. I guess, we are often afraid of these muscles of our counterpart are not expressing truth, while the eye itself (thats my feeling) cant do that. So seeing and feeling this ambivalence can make us feel very uncomfortable and maybe we are overwhelmed from receiving the double message? I feel the eye is revealing truth all the time, while the movement of our face muscles is something we have learned to control (more or less : )) and have learned to interact with each other…. ? Do we feel already the energy arriving that is to be moving the face of our counterpart in the next moment? I think so. What an interesting complexity, if it is about control – and what a beautiful interaction, when it is about connection.

  16. For a long time I thought I was a people person, always being engaging and interactive with people and would often recieve praise for my people skills. however more recently I’ve been noticing small pockets where it has become so obvious that I block people out. It’s not that I mean to or that I’m not a people person but rather there is always a deeper level to connect to people on and I had become lazy with this development. And for the most part it is great for our own feel development to be genuinely caring and intimate with people.

    1. ‘there is always a deeper level to connect to people on’ beautifully said, Luke, and allowing that connection is greatly helped when we approach every encounter with an open heart, with full appreciation for everything we are presented with, understanding that everyone has made different choices that led to where they are now, and that they are equal to us in every way. In this way we can let go of any judgement and be open to all.

  17. I’ve known about how special eye contact can be for a couple of years now but really in the last few days very being inspired by a music video ‘Sparkling Eyes’ from Heaven’s Joy about eye contact on public transport. I have noticed how quickly I shy away from looking into another’s eyes and the thoughts of ‘something bad will happen’ that was once very strong is loosing it’s grasp. What I am learning is that it’s that togetherness and power I am shying away from but the fact that I am clocking this and slowly repeating and holding my gaze with another. We are all amazing and this is what we are avoiding in our eyes and this is what Serge Benhayon holds so steadily and allows us all to see without wavering.

  18. Many thanks Carmel for a great blog. Eyes are such fascinating conductors of communication and like you I have been experimenting with giving people direct eye contact and letting them in. It’s quite amazing how much conversation starts to flow when I do this. I loved your comment about babies and their ‘stare’. It’s true – they do really take their time to check us out and if we give them space and time to do this, we are often then greeted with a refreshing openness and joy.

  19. I remember avoiding looking into people’s eyes as a child, as it took me awhile to feel comfortable enough to give eye contact. That has all changed now and I really enjoy meeting people and making eye contact. It is interesting how many people avoid this at all costs but I hold steady and eventually they can melt and trust enough to make eye contact as well, it is such a simple gesture but a very beautiful and warm way to truly meet another.

  20. Heartwarming blog, Carmel, inviting us all to drop our self-worth issues and just let people in by making true eye contact with them, even if they don’t reciprocate. Your piece on giving presentations brought up a recollection that the very first training I had in business for presenting to large groups instructed that we should systematically make eye contact with each person – a matter of seconds was all that was needed – and once done, start going around again. Introduced as an attention-holding tactic, there was not an ounce of being seen or letting people in about it. Merely a strategy for making sure you didn’t lose people along the way. This now feels very false, manipulative and indeed unnecessary, when a different intention behind the eyes can produce a way better connection.

    1. I agree, Cathy, we can learn techniques for presentations that help us to look more confident, but in the end it’s being our natural selves that holds the audience attention.

  21. To look into my own eyes in the mirror has been a similar experience for me, Carmel. At first I noticed that I would rarely look into my eyes and more so search for imperfections in my face. After meeting Serge Benhayon I started looking into my eyes in the mirror and slowly fell in love.

  22. ‘Sometimes it still feels a little scary, and sometimes it feels amazing. When I truly focus, there’s a feeling of gentle calmness, and then, just like with that baby, a giggle bubbles up from deep inside.’ While reading your blog I found myself smiling from inside out more and more. When we truly are looking in someone’s eyes, we meet ourselves in the other. When we shy away it is as if we don’t want to be reminded we are one in love.

  23. It’s lovely to look into another’s eyes and to feel the depth of connection that is possible and as you say Carmel better to look into another’s eyes without the smile or the intent look of a baby with all it’s honesty than to receive a fake smile.

  24. The eyes are the windows of the soul… An ancient saying and yet one that is redolent of truth because when someone truly knows themselves and has that deep connection with the inner heart, the love and the light does indeed shine out of their eyes

    1. Agreed, Chris – you can see it in the Before and After photos of Universal Medicine Students, and you can feel it when you meet people who are truly soul-connected – there is a communication that goes beyond words.

      1. And what’s so lovely Carmel is when we are committed to our hearts and our eyes are alight, that lovely connection can happen with strangers in the supermarket, indeed anywhere… The light recognises the light.

  25. I have really enjoyed reading your blog Carmel which reminded me of the beauty and deep meaning of connecting with people with our eyes. It is indeed all about letting people in – amazing.

  26. It’s something I have noticed too. I often lip read so I have been more aware of looking people right in the eyes and it is such a beautiful connection.

  27. I myself always find that I have something running that thinks it is scary to look into people their eyes but it is actually not the reality when I actually do. When I do, it is absolutely the most beautiful thing. Often the connection with the other person is instantly there and I feel we are all the same.

  28. Since reading your blog the first time Carmel, I have become much more aware of making eye contact. It is lovely to truly connect to people and have them feel that I am truly interested in them and what they are saying. It has brought a whole new focus to being present in the conversation and being directly present to the person I am connecting to.

  29. It feels very confirming to look into someone’s eyes, I always feel I have deprived the other of true connection when I haven’t looked into their eyes. Most of the times this happens when I make time more important than people. In fact there is no excuse for not connecting.

  30. What a blessing you are Carmel for all those you look into the eyes especially when you work at the checkout of the supermarket and a beautiful inspiration for your colleagues to make their work about people and to not check out from the seemingly boring task they maybe feel they have.

  31. I love the way you share your understanding that eye contact is about receiving another. I can see their is no room for judgement or protection when we truly want to connect with a other with our eyes as our connection comes from our heart first.

  32. Thank you Carmel, I really enjoyed reading your blog, I know what you mean by being stared at by a baby, but I used to feel very uncomfortable when this would happen, feeling they could see into me, like something I was hiding, now that I have claimed more of my loving self, and opened up to letting people in, I can now enjoy the connection when a baby just stares at me.

  33. Looking into peoples eyes feels amazing – we truly connect. I find it hard to talk with people when they are wearing sunglasses as I cant see their eyes…….Learning to feel and read them regardless is a skill I am developing.

  34. Carmel I love this blog, interesting that I have only read it for the first time now. I still catch myself not making ongoing eye contact with people. It’s crazy really, because when we do, we do see who someone is and it has nothing to do with who we ‘think’ they are. We see the depth of beauty that is within each and everyone of us, we see it all and yet we avoid it like no ones business. I wonder what would happen if we all became aware of the quality of how we breathe combined with eye contact that is about receiving someone, meaning we let them in. Imagine if we all did that for a day?

  35. Ten years ago when I first met Serge Benhayon it was when we made eye contact that I knew he was seeing who I truly was and that he was seeing what I was choosing not to see. I felt very exposed but now as I have come to appreciate and know for myself who I truly am I can meet him with eye contact and let him in without holding back. The beauty of connection when we freely let people in is divine.

  36. Lovely to re read your sharing Carmel and realize there are many ways to connect to each other, the eyes are certainly a very important one. Looking at old photos too it is interesting that the ones I particularly dislike of myself, I realize I am not truly there, in that I mean I am not looking with a genuine smile at the camera. It is more natural to smile at a person with all of me.

  37. I too “ find it awesome how babies really look at you, it’s as if they can see deep inside you, to the parts you normally keep hidden from society”. These days, unlike in the past when I would often do everything possible to avoid eye contact, today I love to do so, especially with babies and young children. I just love the way they really look at you, often very seriously, as they check you out before smiling, or not. As you say Carmel, it doesn’t actually matter if they smile or not, as you have both already connected on another, deeper and more honest level.

  38. Carmel I like the distinction you’ve made here that making eye contact is more than just connecting, its letting people in.

  39. I agree Carmel eye contact is everything. It is interesting that sometimes that I am the one who turns away when I am serving someone in the shop I work in and the customer is looking deep into my eyes. It shows me how I am not really letting people in.

    1. Yes, Kathleen, I still find on occasions that I don’t hold eye contact and I can feel the other person withdraw, almost as if rejected – it makes me realise how holding back my light deprives humanity of my love too.

      1. Hi Carmel I find that I am so inspired by these people who are really looking deeply and have come to realise that everyone is looking for the same thing: to be loved, so all we have to do is be the love that we are!

  40. ‘ I don’t think I really understood that eye contact is about letting people in’. I didn’t either Carmel, what a great reminder today and is something I also feel to experiment with!

  41. I’ve had the ‘stare’, from babies to, it really does feel like babies see all of me in that moment even if I am not expressing all of me in that moment. What a gift babies give us every-time we get the stare, as so much is silently communicated between the hearts in such moments.

  42. It’s true you can tell when someone looks at you, if they are seeing all of you (like a baby does) or just glancing at the surface. I often find in people’s eyes are unimaginable depths and wonders of the universe – eye to eye contact is phenomenal.

  43. Yes Carmel, I love how babies and small children look at you and don’t avoid eye contact and I enjoy these moments of connection – it does make the adults uncomfortable though at times – if they notice it.
    Firstly because it is quite an intimate moment with “their” child and secondly it comes with a stillness that is palpable, especially because we are used to everyone immediately talking to the child in a silly or even quite stupid manner – I guess to overcome the awkwardness.

  44. When someone really looks at you, they’re seeing and feeling so much more than just our physical features… it’s like they see everything, and you can feel quite vulnerable in that. It’s such a good test as to how open we are and how willing we are to let people see exactly who we are.

  45. I love the reminder this blog provides about truly connecting to people by letting them in to see us as we truly are and what you say about receiving them through our eyes for who they truly are, rather than looking at them to assess their reaction to us and what we might be saying or doing.

  46. When I look into the eyes of people I can either see up to the eyes, see the color and so on, or I can look beyond the physical and can look behind the eyes and see the essence, where we are all coming from. When I look like that I feel how my body-feeling does change and I am also not just this human being, but all of me, connected to who I truly am, an energetic being, connected to the universe. This gives every meeting and conversation a depth and yes, this can be scary, especially when not so familiar at the beginning, but boy o boy does it feel right. It makes the meeting spacious.

    1. Hi Sandra, yes, we can just look with our eyes and see the outer shell, or we can choose to see and feel deeper. Sometimes it’s hard to name that feeling, but we all experience it, a solid connection, a knowingness, a confirmation of who we are, an acceptance communicated within a few millionths of a second. Absolute Brotherhood.

  47. I remember my mother would always look into my eyes when she was either asking me or telling me something of importance and I knew she was reading me to the bone so I had to be totally honest.

  48. “I find it awesome how babies really look at you, it’s as if they can see deep inside you, to the parts you normally keep hidden from society.” For me babies are the best teacher ever what it meant to really connect to someone as their openness is absolutely inspiring.

  49. I like how you say that eye contact is about letting people in and that you allow yourself to receive people. This is something we all need to hear that the eyes are not there to have us pick on something we do not like or scan the other but to receive them in full and like wise sharing us in full.

  50. Thank you Carmel for a great sharing, what stood out for me was ” Now, I’m learning to RECEIVE through the eyes. Not just to sense their reaction (judgement, boredom etc.) but to receive WHO THEY ARE. It’s a whole different feeling. It can be a joyful moment connecting with each other receiving them through the eyes.

  51. What a revelation! I have always been afraid to look people in the eyes, I get this uncomfortable feeling of “ooo that’s what to intimate”. But only this way we can develop stronger relationships!

  52. Allowing ourselves to read another in full is a skill we all naturally possess but don’t always use consciously. Our own fears can get in the way, so the more we can let go and open up to knowing and being intimate with ourselves, the more we can fully open up to others.

  53. “When I look into the eyes of Serge Benhayon or any of the Benhayon family members, they do the same, they really look at me. I found it scary at first, but now I know that what they see is how amazing I am, something I didn’t want to admit to because I was hanging onto my identity of not being good enough.” Oh yeah! Hadn’t thought of it like that before. It’s amazing how when someone makes eye contact with me and truly sees me, I assume they are seeing my flaws and faults. But this is simply not true.

  54. When we open ourselves up to true intimacy and can appreciate our ‘good bits’ then we will find that our flaws are such a very small part of the amazing beings we truly are. We mostly try to put ourselves down to avoid jealousy or some other negative reaction, but us shining in all our glory will inspire others to enjoy theirs, so who are we to deprive the world of our light? Let’s see and be seen!

  55. Truly looking into someone’s eyes without feeling scared or shy is something to work on. The other day I was on the train and a young woman gave me the most beautiful, open faced smile. It was truly lovely and she was pure light without a moment of hesitation. It was a true lesson in not holding back in the midst of the city where eye contact on the train is rare. What a simple gift we can give each other with just our eyes.

  56. Eye contact is a great thing to play with. Without even being aware of what we are doing we mostly avoid eye contact with each other and don’t want others to be able to read us, but this protection is harming both us and the other person. So much better to have a go at letting go of the protection and being transparent in the world, but we have to start somewhere, perhaps with one person?

  57. I love the concept of letting people in to receive who they are, there is no doubt that eye contact is a truly beautiful way to meet another in truth and connection.

  58. Some friends have talked to me about looking deep into our own eyes in the mirror – that’s not something I am prone to do – in the past I have used mirrors to be critical – that is less the case now, because I am enjoying my slim figure, but falling deeply in love with myself in the mirror is still a work in progress.

  59. “I’m getting the STARE – that’s better than any smile” – So true Carmel. I’ve noticed that with kids, how intently they observe and watch and have no issue with an engage eye gaze with anyone. It’s like they are seeing so much more than the physical human in front of them.

  60. This reminds me of how there are different ways of ‘looking’ – the one I tend to do more is where I would be more going ‘out’ to get an image of someone/something, and the other where I allow myself to just receive what’s in front of me – and the difference felt in my eyes and the rest of the body was just remarkable. The first one – which has been my pattern actually feels like I am looking for a response, like trying to make a deal of a kind, and the fact that I now just felt reminded is very exposing of the way I have been with the world. Thanks for that, Carmel.

    1. This is true, Fumiyo, I have just moved countries and in attending a recent event observed how often I was looking for recognition from people I know. It’s not about avoiding eye contact, but making eye contact with no need, just a simple celebration who we are.

  61. Very supportive to read today Carmel, I particularly liked this line about eye contact being “to receive WHO THEY ARE”, to meet the essence of the person. I find when I am in my essence and it is shining out then most people automatically connect to theirs and start radiating who they are too. It’s such a simple but beautiful thing to look into each other’s eyes, and to show who we are in full through our own. Very healing and very powerful.

  62. What an awesome thing it is to realise that when a person truly connects with another through their eyes, they see the amazingness of who they truly are. I hadn’t fully appreciated this and had fallen for the belief that says they can see all my unworthiness and the like. A true revelation on eye-contact and true connection. Thank you Carmel.

  63. For me it is a revelation that the moment we allow other´s to see us we start to truly see them, quite the opposite of how we otherwise tend to ‘watch out’ for people when we seek to stay protected.

  64. It is amazing to feel how Allowing myself to receive, instead of ‘looking’ into someone’s eyes, surrenders and deepens our connection .

  65. Looking in someone eyes feels as a confirmation of the connection I have with myself in any moment and thus with others. Sometimes after being with someone I realise I did not truly looked into their eyes, it always feels as a missed opportunity and a call for myself to have an honest look of how I am with myself,did I feel all of me and why did I not let them in at that moment.

  66. Truly meeting people with our eyes and holding the gaze without backing away – I find this quite uncomfortable at times to really allow myself to be seen, and to really see others, but it’s a gift – connection, an expansion and a spaciousness – when I allow it.

  67. I don’t think I really understood that eye contact is about letting people in. I understand now why I avoided eye contact with people was because I was keeping them at a safe distance, still in protection and in hiding and not wanting to share myself. These days I love to share myself and I love to be with and connect with others, and there is nothing to do but just be myself….

  68. To receive someone, to truly let them in, that’s now always something I do, and reading this today I was struck by this that you offer ‘it was all about commanding their attention and then gauging their reaction to me, so that I could tell if they were interested or not. I wasn’t really feeling them. It was a controlling way of keeping people out.’ This I can see very well, often I’m not truly interested in the other and I’ve been slightly shocked recently to realise that though I love people I do not always let them in, so I will experiment with receiving them as they are, and allowing myself to be seen by them.

    1. Great sharing Monica. I have noticed that although I make a lot of eye contact I am often using it in order to work out where someone else is at in order to protect myself. There are volumes of things we can read in the eyes of another within seconds but the messages we receive will always be a result of our state of being.

  69. I love teaching in primary schools, and having eye contact is so deeply important… it gives the children the opportunity to see who you really are, and that what you are bringing is true and worthwhile, and fun!

  70. Something I have clocked recently is that, if we are all truly equal, then meeting a complete stranger could be the same as meeting an old friend or a family member we see every day – I find that I have a different face for different situations so I am learning to say hello to people as if I know them well already.

  71. Your example with how a baby makes us feel when they really look into our eyes is brilliant and does really capture how it is to be truly met and seen by someone. It also shows many of us as adults don’t do this. We all love it when a baby does it, so why not try it with everyone else too.

  72. I was really blown away with the way you describe a baby’s gaze. It’s absolutely true – babies do look at you as though they can see who you really are. The responses of babies are not usually calculating, they let you know the truth of how they feel while also showing us all that it is natural for us to see others in full.

  73. This is a gorgeous reminder Carmel, when we are open to making eye contact with others it’s a beautiful way to deepen our connection by allowing ourselves to be truly seen – total transparency.

  74. On reading your blog today Carmel I am aware of, at times, my lack of eye contact and connection. Today I will start my own experiment of being consciously present, connecting to me and making eye contact with everyone I meet; coupled with a simple loving smile. Thank you for your wisdom Carmel.

  75. I love what you are writing here Carmel and particularly precious is when you say “I’m getting the STARE – that’s better than any smile”. I very much agree, we are so focused on smiles as we consider them as friendly faces but when a smile is not genuinely felt and smiled there is nothing to smile about and besides we can smile with our whole being with no ‘mouth action’ required.

  76. Eye contact is interesting in close relationships too, especially when we feel challenged by someone, we avoid talking about things and we avoid direct confrontation through avoiding eye contact, but it’s like shutting someone out when we refuse to look into their eyes.

  77. This is awesome Carmel. I find it impossible not to meet a person’s eyes when I am speaking with them and have observed in myself what comes up if the looking into someone’s eyes lasts for longer that a fleeting connection. When we step into greeting someone with a hug, I have also observed that it is very easy to avoid connecting with the eyes. There is so much to be felt when connecting with the eyes, if we are truly ready to be met with all of who we are as you mentioned – ‘Sometimes it still feels a little scary, and sometimes it feels amazing’. Depending on how we feel, so much can be exposed in this simple choice.

  78. A great blog Carmel – I love meeting people through our eye contact together, there is something deeply expansive about just being there without any anxiousness about being seen in full, without perfection, dominance or feeling less than being necessary.

    1. This is true, Stephanie, it is the anxiousness that causes us to avoid seeing and being seen – we are anxious about other people’s reactions to us and automatically make ourselves smaller, but not looking hurts – I can feel that intensely now.

  79. I recently participated in a presentation workshop and when I had a turn presenting the other people in the group told me that I did not make eye contact. This stunned me as I was sure I had made eye contact with everyone throughout my presentation but apparently I looked at the floor the walls and the ceiling more than I looked into the eyes of the four people in front of me. We may think we make eye contact but truly connecting with another through their eyes involves a lot more than a ‘look’.

    1. Ha ha oh yes, I recognise that one! It is great when our friends reflect our behaviour back to us that is so different from what we think we are doing. For me it’s in my voice, when I go into my ‘efficiency’ mode, my voice goes hard. And eye contact maintained can feel very scary for an audience just as much as the speaker because they can really feel from our whole body what we are saying. Our bodies say it all really!

  80. I too are going to take note of how much I can hold eye contact with another and receive them by letting them in. I did not make strong eye contact in the past due to others did not want to be seen however, I realized it was I that did not want to be seen. Now, it is a healing for me to show myself in full weaknesses and All.

  81. I was on the tube just yesterday and thinking how eerie it felt to step onto a carriage where almost everyone was trying their best to avoid an eye contact and staring at their mobile phone, a book, mid-air… anything but the eyes of fellow passengers. As much as we craved connection, we were opting for disconnection because we might be rejected/judged or fearful that we might upset others. You describe so beautifully what it is to allow ourselves to see and be seen and how that is supported by the knowing how amazing we are – which is very much worth sharing with the world.

    1. ‘Opting for dis-connection’ yes, we are actively choosing to dis-connect from ourselves and from everybody around us, which is the opposite of the natural Brotherhood we come from, so we are all exhausting ourselves in our choices to live separate lives.

  82. The eyes tell us all we need to know about a person, they really are a window to the soul. So why do we find it hard to truly receive what is in front of us? Perhaps it’s because we will see the truth that so many are living far less than the love they are…

    1. I agree, Leonne, this is what I have come to realise when I avoid eye contact – it is when I am not living all of me and can see that reflected in another’s eyes.

  83. I love connecting with babies like you describe, and interesting how they respond, ‘ As soon as I focused on her eyes and we made deep eye contact, with no expectation on my part, she broke out into the most joyful wriggle and beautiful smile, which made us all laugh.’

  84. We can always connect with people more, a great blog and sharing here, ‘I can enjoy the eye contact, knowing that what they see, even though I still can’t always feel it, is truly who I am. I can allow myself to feel the joy they reflect, and the fun that I can have being ALL OF ME.’

  85. The baby stare – I love that too!! It’s so good when it can take place without the child’s parents intervening because they think their child might be bothering you – though most let babies be (babies are generally too gorgeous to ever be stopped from being the bundles of love they are!). When a child’s a bit older that stare can come loaded with other things, prompted by a developing human spirit, but at infant stage it is truly delightful.

  86. The times when I would deflect other people’s eye contact is from the lack of confidence I feel within me. I do not want to let myself out and thus I also do not want to let another person in. But now I love looking into others’ eyes, whether they look at me or not, it does not change how I am. When others’ now deflect my eye contact, it becomes easier to understand what I have also gone through.

  87. I often feel that when sharing eye contact with someone, be it someone I know or a someone I am meeting for the first time, a great sense of familiarity and equalness that warms my heart with appreciation and confirmation that our Soul is who we are.

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