“If there is one lesson I have to say I’ve learned during my time on this planet it is this: the number one thing all people crave is to be seen and to be heard. It’s just that simple. The gift of paying attention is a fundamental key to transforming our relationships. You will be suprised at how miraculous your relationships become when you just start paying attention.” ~Oprah Winfrey, Day 13, Miraculous Relationships 21-Day Meditation Challenge

I agree with Oprah. Whether you call it paying attention, deep listening, focusing in on, witnessing, or being present, our presence – the energy within us that sees, hears, and experiences Life — is the greatest gift, and sometimes the greatest challenge, to give to others – and to ourselves. Who will you give your presence to today? Is there someone you know who would fall at your feet to be seen and heard by you? Is it you? Is your Inner Self waiting to reconnect with your conscious awareness? Or are you waiting to be seen and heard by others?

If you’re not experiencing being seen and heard by others, maybe it’s because you are not being present to yourself. We can only receive another’s acknowledgement of our presence to the degree that we can acknowledge and feel our own presence when we’re alone with ourselves.

Next time you’re in the presence of a mirror (while you’re alone :), try this:

  1. Set your cell phone timer to one minute (come on, you know you take your phone everywhere with you, research says it’s within 3 feet of most people at all times. We’re more present to our cell phone sounds than we are to most people or ourselves! Imagine if we gave as much energy to finding ourselves as we do when we’re looking for our phones.)
  2. Activate the timer and for three minutes look at yourself the way someone with eyes of love would look at you. Smile. Breathe. Call up feelings from within your heart. Look deeply into your eyes. Stay present to yourself in whatever way you can ever remember someone loving you the most you’ve ever felt, or wished you’d be able to feel.
  3. If you don’t know what eyes of love feel like, if you are embarrassed to do it or feel ashamed or think it’s ridiculous, try it anyway, and keep trying until you feel your heart soften – it may feel like a tenderness opens up in your chest area. You may feel tears well up, you may laugh, your face might flush or your cheeks feel warm, you might feel a wave of tingles go through your body, you might even want to turn away, or you may feel nothing at the beginning. Feel it all and stay with it until you feel easy with doing this for a full three minutes.

If you really want to deepen your experience of presence, in addition to doing this exercise in the mirror, do it with another person.

  1. Partner A shares their eyes of love with Partner B receiving. Then reverse the process – Partner B gives eyes of love to Partner A while Partner A simply receives. Then both partners share eyes of love with each other at the same time. Start out with one minute for each of the three steps and over time work your way up to three minutes. Trust me, doing even just a minute if you’ve never done this with someone else can seem like forever. Whatever comes up, just stay with it – smiling, breathing, feeling love, and keep letting yourself feel it all. No talking while you’re doing this, simply feel. PS. It’s okay to hug  and talk about what you felt when you’re done, in fact, highly recommended.

Whatever comes up, either while you’re looking in the mirror or looking into another’s eyes, give yourself permission to let in the love. Breathe your way into it. It may happen in a few seconds and only last a few seconds, it may take a lifetime and last a lifetime – however long it takes and lasts, it’s worth it. You’re worth it.