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
335 thoughts on “Amazing Eyes: Eye Contact & Truly Letting People In”
I observe eye contact is a body language that tells you where a person is at. Especially now a days when majority of humans are wearing masks. We are recognising people by their eyes and to me, eyes reveal everything about them. When we connect with their eyes when meeting them for the first time and hearing their names, we can remember them. When we do the opposite, then we’re all over the place.
Meeting people for who they truly are is something very different to just meeting them. As you’ve already mentioned, Serge Benhayon and his family remember so many people because they connect with them from a deep loving place. Total contrast to how the world meets each other.
They say that the eyes are the window to the Soul… and so looking into a person’s eyes one can tell how much of their Soul and the love that they are is being allowed to be seen. Looking into the eyes of one of the Benhayon’s or any of the Ascended Masters, is revealing for it shows the depth of love that we too can go to if we but surrender ourselves to our Soul.
Henrietta wow what a statement, the eyes are the ‘window to the Soul’. This confirms when I’ve looked into a newly borns eyes, their eyes reveal what life they’ve lived in the past. Some come with sadness in their eyes, and some come with such spark and joy and are ready to meet the world. The eyes speak louder than the mouth…
Once we know a person well, we can begin to ‘drop the ball’ when it comes to that focused eye contact, and this can be quite dismissive without realising it. Why not keep up the same level of attentiveness as if it was still the first date? Why do we get so lazy and reduce the care and attentiveness so quickly and easily? Perhaps this is something that we need to look at as it can be the key to building a deeper intimacy with a person.
To look at someone and not hide who you are (in other words, let yourself be seen) is one of the greatest gifts that we can give ourselves and the other.
‘Amazing Eyes’, this part of the title stood out to me today, as this morning I was in a group swim session with Simone Benhayon, and although I see her regularly, and have for the last fifteen years, today, for some reason I was captivated by her eyes, I could hardly take my eyes away from just looking at her eyes- they certainly were reflecting how utterly amazing this lady truly is.
It is a lovely way to connect and communicate with people through eye contact.
When we make eye contact there is a meeting, a connection, that is more than just words.
Even if we only believe in 3D, and not the possibility of there being more, then if we can open our eyes to looking into each others eyes in the most loving way and feel the most divine connection, as this is an AHA! moment, we become aware of there being more than this physicality.
Great confirmation to read this again as I realise that my eye contact has improved so much in recent times.
Absolutely Jonathan, at one point in my life I point blank refused to look into another’s eyes as I felt they would curse me, and now I can feel the blessing of receiving the most divine blessing by simply connecting to others through our eyes.
And why hide and everything we are is felt so it is most welcome to be transparent by opening our heart and soul for all to see.
Yes, I can remember when I used to avoid eye contact with a lot of people.
It is almost like our eyes are a confessional and being open and transparent lets people in so they can get the most divine reflection from our Livingness!
Great to read this again Carmel, I’ve recently been reflecting on letting people in and how I am with sharing myself with everyone equally, I feel that the reminder about eye contact will be very supportive. It is truly gorgeous when we meet with eye contact and openly share ourselves, it’s very true the saying that the eyes are the windows to the soul.
Babies are unafraid of eye contact, they search for it and read so much in our eyes, so much more than they could get from a smile.
Crystal clear our eyes are, as we hide nothing from those who choice to see!
Babies do seek that eye contact and they also don’t hold back in sharing the depth that they hold themselves. It is like the Universe and all the stars can be seen in the eyes of a baby.
How our eyes communicate is super important as is every movement our body makes and then the way we move becomes a reflection for our six senses to align to our essences.
What I have learnt is that connecting is never about darting out and grab what suits my projection, but it is about receiving what is for what it is, and how we constantly jeopardize this with premature encapsulation rather than full understanding.
Absolutely Fumiyo, ‘premature encapsulation’ fits hand and glove with judgmental ways of living and these projections serve us not.
Working in a super market I get to meet hundreds of people a day and I can feel the ones I make instant contact with are when I make eye contact and don’t just see them as another customer. To me I have the best job in the world and I meet so many interesting people, it is amazing the incredible conversations you can have in less than a minute of meeting someone.
There is no pulling the wool over your eyes Alison, as you are open and transparent in full service to humanity.
We have a dog, a Jack Russell, she is nine years old and I’ve been living with her for the last 20 months. She can’t talk but she makes a variety of different sounds, some of which I can interpret accurately, but the biggest way she communicates, apart from her amazingly waggy tail, is through her eyes. When she looks at you there is a sense that she is willing you to understand what she is saying, there is a depth to her that is unfathomable. She has a steady gaze that looks deep into you in a way that you cannot ignore, it is an extraordinary feeling.
Amazing. We presume that because someone or something cannot speak they cannot communicate but we know that is so not the case! There is communication happening all the time and, to be honest, the non-verbal communication is often much more honest and to the point.
Absolutely Lucy, as our reflection being our greatest form of communication and is far more up-lifting when Love is communicated than any words that are not True or from Love.
My dog does this too Carmel, sometimes it’s because I’ve forgotten to deliver her dinner on schedule (animals seem to know time precisely!) or she needs to go outside. She also goes to get my partner and leads him to what she wants, sometimes it’s play, sometimes it’s because she wants us all together, and more recently…. to her biscuits box! I’ve also heard of wild dolphins and whales approaching boats and divers to get help to get free of nets.
‘I don’t think I really understood that eye contact is about letting people in’. Carmel I never understood this either, and because I was deeply insecure, I would avoid eye contact. However, since working on my own stuff and clearing/healing lots, I love to look in the mirror and see my shinning eyes, which is a gorgeous confirmation of how much I share and express myself , and how I love to meet others, and thus it is easy to make eye contact.
I used to find eye contact really scary too so I would refuse to look at anyone. These days I really enjoy making eye contact and connecting with another but just yesterday I felt really off. Sometimes you can get a connected stare and other times there’s a feeling of being watched or stared at in a creepy way. I felt curious as to why this feeling happened with a person I met yesterday. Exploring those feelings leads to greater understanding rather than just reacting and avoiding all and every contact and connection because of one reaction to a person.
We ‘read’ so much more than we can translate in our brain. What you describe here illustrates how communication is about so much more than what comes out of the mouth and how the observation of life offers another depth of communication.
Yes so true – when we are open to connect to another with a true openness we can feel the depth of who we are, our Divinity and the multidimensionality that we are and are from.
Through the eyes the depth of our connection to Soul can be felt and is reflected as such.
Avoiding eye contact with others is a way to manage relationships in a way you can escape easily from situations that are potentially felt as a danger because your contracted stand regarding yourself could be felt by another and if so, you would feel energetically naked in from of other one. It is like saying to the other one: do not bother, there is nothing here, but at the same time, reading the other person’s movements just to control that he/she is acting as silently instructed.
So true, I can feel that from my own body, how avoiding eye contact has been about not wanting to be seen in case you are found out!
How wonderfully honest and it has me considering how much I really do eye contact and whether in fact I do it to be polite, check a reaction or whether I in fact let go and allow people to see me and me them, without any pre-conceptions just two people meeting. This will be something to observe going forward, thank you Carmel.
‘I don’t think I really understood that eye contact is about letting people in’, a lovely reminder for me today, as lately, I have not been letting people in, caught up in my own stuff!
I love this Carmel, how we can receive people with our eyes, and can feel in this that we just are there, no agenda, ‘naked’ in the sense that we let them see us.
I love it when babies stare at you without any holding back and connect to you on a soul level, past this human body of ours. Almost af if they are remembering where they also come from.
I don’t have any doubt they know where they come from, it is us know have forgotten and my sense when I am looked at by a baby in that way is they are calling me to remember where I am from and what I am made of as it connects us more than words ever can do.
I always feel how babies just feel when they look at you, not yet hindered by any form of seeking recognision just letting you in, in the heavenly love of their being.
I currently have an opportunity to volunteer in an aged care home and be with dementia residents for a couple of hours each week, I am learning the importance of eye contact – some avoid it altogether, but a few respond and the connection with their essence feels beautiful.
True Carmel but I have experienced that although they avoid your eyes in the beginning that there can be a change when they know you longer, not with all but with some of the dementia residents in an aged care home where I have worked I noticed this change sometimes only a glimpse but enough to connect with each other.
Hi Annelies, yes, I am finding that four weeks on – they recognise me and smile back
I did an experiment myself last week with looking into everybody’s eyes I met and boy did it make a difference. Of course not everybody looked at me and some really didn’t want to connect, but with others I just felt an instant connection and my heart just opened up more.
This is such a simple program to put ourselves on, just to see how it feels to be that willing and to see what the eyes receive. The challenge, perhaps, is to do that with no judgement either way, on what you feel like or on how others feel. There is a reason for it all we may simply not understand what that reason is just yet.
I agree, Lucy, a key element was to not have any expectations or investments, but to just look the other really in the eyes and see him or her and let myself be seen. It sometimes had the same effect as an experiment you mentioned in one of your shows where we thank or wave to every car that stops for us when we cross the street. Yesterday I blew the big truck driver a kiss and could feel his smile lighting up his entire body.
Ha ha I love that! You can feel the playfulness and the impact that would have had on him as we had a moment of Love in his day. Gorgeous and I feel blessed by that moment too!
On reading this article it brought up for me the reality of just what we are missing in our lives. Every moment we don’t connect through eye to eye contact and choose instead to look away, avoid, look past or dismiss another we have deprived them and ourselves of feeling a moment where our essences meet as one and the richness this brings to our life.
If we have trained our eyes to see only the surface layer, we blind ourselves to the deeper truth and beauty that lives and breathes beneath it.
… and within ourselves too, Liane
I see, pearls of wisdom once again – thank you Liane! We do blind ourselves from the inner beauty when we focus too much on the outside layers. We are indeed experts at reductionism.
What we say yes to has a profound effect on us. When we say yes to ‘I am not being good enough’, why on Earth would I Iook people at their eyes? This has a logic. If I look at their eyes and allow them to look at mines, they will see that I am not good enough. On the other hand, why would I bother to let them in if inside me there is nothing interesting? So, I avoid this possibility as much as possible; a perfect way to re-confirm what I have said yes to.
It is our fear of being truly naked that prevents us from living with the transparency that allows another to see the depth of who we are.
Thank you Carmel, it’s a beautiful reminder of how much we can all receive when we make a true connection through eye contact. It’s also given me a pause to appreciate how much I enjoy eye contact and to notice more what happens when I truly connect to others this way.
And what an easy way it is to keep people out by not letting them look into your eyes, a perfect form of protection and saying NO to the love that is on offer.
Yes I love the way young children just stand in front of people and stare at them, taking them all in and feeling and noticing everything about them. My young niece does this with people in an incredible way, she notices everything and then asks exactly the right question to each person that gets them to open up or cracks something in them- I love watching her in action, she is very inspiring and very beautiful.
I love this MW – I’d love to meet your niece!
Oh I love this too but it keeps me honest and when I squirm I wonder what it is that I am trying to hide!
Great reminder of what we can offer everyone with something so simple that has a profound connection with everyone we see.
Thank you Steve, even the blind can see the gate is open and the horse has bolted as we all can reconnect to our transparency, as it so simple when choosing to see.
Beautifully shared Carmel. I especially love the description of your interaction with the baby. It reminds me how often I force a smile in order to show I am friendly and makes me wonder what would happen if I simply received people with an open and loving gaze and a surrendered body.
This is an interesting point, Leonne, I am beginning to learn how love truly feels in my body even when I don’t express it in words, it is a most beautiful feeling and I can feel it emanating beyond my body, so if I were to truly feel that same love with everyone I meet, they would feel it too – they might not recognise it, but they will certainly feel something. We don’t need to be ‘nice’ for anybody, it has such a yucky energy about it, I cringe now when I think about how I used to be.
I can relate to the forced smile that seems to come on automatically in certain situation and it feels good to observe this and allow myself to simply relax my body and see what happens then.
Hi Esther, it’s great to clock when we do things like smile ‘nicely’ because it gives us an opportunity to re-imprint how we greet people, perhaps going to a deeper level so that they can feel our essence and hence their own. Relax and see what happens, exactly!
Eye reading not lip reading – love it Carmel!
I love the title of this blog and it says it all really – letting people in. As well as, or perhaps beyond, what our eyes might be focusing on, there is a quality we offer in being with another, something that comes with how we already are with ourselves therefore with the world.