I See You: Why meaningful connections are crucial to your creative well-being

Neytiri, from the movie Avatar

“I see you.”

You may or may not have seen the movie Avatar. When the people (Na’vi) of Pandora greet each other, they say (in their language), “I see you.”

This is such a beautiful way to interact! Think about it. When you are passing someone, you are not judging them, not requesting any personal information, not declaring any state of emotion, opinion, or summary of your life. You are simply–profoundly–acknowledging that you see this person. And this is not just in the physical sense, that you see this person with your eyes, but with your heart. “I see, feel, your essence.” To greet each other with the acknowledgment of our essence, is to approach connection from the root of our being. It is a blessing to each other.

As we move through life, we experience infinite connections; ones we are aware of, ones we aren’t.

Gathering from some of my own experiences, the most meaningful connections that I have had were the ones that gave me the feeling of genuine acknowledgment. Of being SEEN. You can tell the difference between a person who is asking “How are you?” out of habit or courtesy, and a person who is genuinely interested in your well-being.

Connection is timeless and knows no limitations.

We can apply this same way of loving connection in our daily lives. I’m not suggesting you dramatically stop every person in the street, take them by the shoulders and look deeply into their eyes as you whisper, “I see you.” That might be creepy.

What I envision is that as often as we can, we pause enough when greeting a person to actually see them.  We aren’t better or lesser than any other, we are all here in equal divinity and purpose.

I believe that the more we take time to genuinely acknowledge each other without judgment, the more we will see and experience peace, love, and fulfillment in our lives.

How many times have you felt lost or alone, and the simple act of a stranger or a friend genuinely acknowledging you turned things around or shifted your vibe? It can be a smile, an “I hear you”, a hug, or even just a silent vibe of love. Taking the time to see each other is worth it. I will go as far as saying it can save someone’s life.

Hope for Life

In the documentary How to Live to Be 101, one of the concepts discussed is how the feeling of hope lends a person the motivation and purposefulness to live. To love. Connection brings hope. I have felt it, and I promise you that as you consciously connect more with others, even if just a tiny bit, you will experience that sense of hope and quiet contentment.

Awareness is the first step to adding more meaning in your connections.

As you go about your day today, simply be aware of your connections. Are they dry or hollow? Are they polite? Deep? Draining? Quick? Meaningful? Don’t judge, just observe. Observe how others connect or interact with each other. Awareness is always the first step. Awareness also often brings discomfort, as you may or may not see or feel things that you want to judge or analyze as “not good.” For example if you suddenly realize that the majority of your connections are passive or even negative-feeling, you need not judge yourself for it. Set the intention to allow more meaningful connection in your life. Be easy and light about it, start by simply smiling at people more. Send a quiet gesture of love to strangers in passing. Give a hug to your loved ones. You will start to feel the difference. You will not only “see” more of people, but you will also feel more seen. What you put out in the world, you also receive.

I want to make a note here that I also believe that as human beings we go through an ebb and flow in our need for both connection and solitude. You will find that there are times when you don’t want to connect with people, when you’d rather just keep to yourself or sort of hide in your own world. This is normal and okay. Our need for solitude can be as great as our need for connection. It is the connection to our self, or soul, our primary relationship.

Hugs of bliss can make a world of a difference.

What I propose is that when we are connecting with others, we let it be meaningful. We infuse our greetings, passing- by, and connections with a touch of love. We allow enough pause to see each other. We become aware of the life in both the other person and ourselves. Let it be real, let it be you. Don’t chatter on and on about your life, unless it feels right. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Be willing to listen to and really hear the person you are greeting. Be okay with silence, even if it feels awkward. Infuse the silence with love. With hope. Be willing to take the time to see yourself too. Quite often, this can be the first step to seeing others. Give yourself the genuine acknowledgment that you are seen, heard, loved. That life is meaningful.

Here on Guam, my dear friend Amanda went the extra mile and made MANY meaningful connections when she gathered some friends and family to give out free hugs in Tumon. I’d like to share this video as a special treat:

You ARE so deeply loved. Go forth and may you experience wonderful connections!

“I see you.”

With light,