Leo Buscaglia, the man that penned the book titled, “Love,” was an inspiring lecturer. He spoke at length about the human condition, and how walking through life with an open and considerate heart is the singular and most important part of our existence. He wanted to make sure that love and friendship forged a connection with one another, and was adamant in his insistence that we reach out to each other in the spirit of fellowship, kinship and love.
Buscaglia talked about a time when he taught at the University of Southern California. In the fall, during the first semester, he would make a point to amble across the campus, just to say “hello” to the people coming his way. One day, he walked by a man and after Buscaglia said, “Hello.” The man said, “Do I know you?” and kept walking. The next day, Buscaglia ran into the same man, and again Buscaglia said, “Hello.” Again, the same man said, “Do I know you?” and Buscaglia, without missing a beat, enthusiastically said, “Yes, we met yesterday!”
Buscaglia pointed out that although many people appear distant or contained, they are waiting for us to connect with them. And long before the advent of smartphones, iPads and laptops, Buscaglia was very clear with the nature of his concern. He said, “I’m convinced that we’re all dying of loneliness because nobody looks at us. They look through us, they look around us, they look under us, they do things for us when all we really want to do is be seen.”
It is an understandable leap in both courage and ability to speak to a stranger these days. “Hello” or “how are you” is gratefully still very present in our culture, but many of us worry about how we’ll be perceived or whether the reaction to our engagement will be met with disdain. Engaging with people, as Leo Buscaglia prescribed, can better begin closer to home with those you’re familiar with, with your friends, family and people at work.
And if you think this is easy, think again. In his classes Buscaglia said, “I used to have a simple exercise- and remember these are twenty year old university kids- and I’d say to them, “what is the color of your mother’s eyes?” Buscaglia said that about eighty percent of them didn’t know.
This is the starting point. To open your heart to one another, begin by looking into the eyes of your friends when you talk to them. While you’re at it, look at and remember the color of their eyes.
Those who read this space know that I’m a big advocate of engaging with people, from starting a conversation to holding open a door. But looking directly into the eyes of those you meet needs to be practiced and applied regularly in order to make any point of engagement meaningful for you, and memorable for the person you’ve encountered.
It furthers intimacy. It gains trust. It opens your heart. It shares your spirit. And it opens, as they say, “the windows to the soul.”
And, so you know, my eyes are green. There, I gave you all a head start.
By entrusting us with your feelings, we help you take steps that you see necessary to begin and put forth the energy to make the needed change.
Now notice something: Trust in a coach, mentor, or guide helps you see what's in front of you. We see a Coach for Your Heart a little like an emotional Sherpa, somebody that helps you climb your mountain by pointing out where to best step along the path.
Offices in San Diego and Denver, but will travel to meet onsite anywhere in the United States and the World.