Look at me
Look into my Eyes. Yes. Really look at me when we talk. Eye contact is a skill that is discussed in Shonda Moralis, MSW, LC
SW’s book: Breathe Mama Breathe: 5-Minute Mindfulness for Busy Moms. In the book Shonda talks about having a moment where she realized that she is not giving her daughter her full attention when her daughter talks to her. She’s preparing a meal and only half listening as her daughter is telling her a story. Shonda talks about the guilt that she feels when she realized that she is only half present in the conversation.
Not being present all of the time with those that we love is something that we can all relate to. If you are a parent, rushing around, trying to make meals, cleaning the house, getting the kids off to activities, being a support for homework and then trying to get everyone to bed at a reasonable hour can be exhausting! In today’s culture, rushing around, multi-tasking is the norm. Even though we know that multi-tasking has its consequences, the reality is that at times we all do it because it’s quicker and appears easier. We often recognize that that doing one thing at a time is more effective, but it is also more challenging! It is a skill that is to be developed and not something that comes naturally.
We are busy people and with that business and multitasking how many of us take the time to slow it down? How many of us take the time to really look at the person sitting across the dinner table? When was the last time that you looked your partner in the eyes when they told you about their day? When was the last time you looked at your child in the eye when they asked you a question? The reality is that we have all been there on numerous occasions. Now looking at it may bring up feelings of guilt. That’s okay. It’s a sign that you have gone against yourself and your values. That’s alright because that guilt is communicating to you. Let it be your teacher. Guilt is not the enemy. It is what you do with that guilt that matters. My hope for you is that you use your guilt to set a goal for yourself; a path toward you becoming all that you can be. Today.
Today I set my intention to be that I will sit down with my partner and look him in the eye during dinner. I will look at my daughter in her eyes when she tells me about her day at school. I will be mindful of my eye contact with others.
I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well. – Diane Ackerman
Heather Ingram, PsyD, BCB
InMindOut Emotional Wellness Center, LLC