Crabbing came up a few weeks ago when Paul and I had some friends visiting. They had an invitation for all four of us to go crabbing. Now, the last time I went crabbing I was young and all I did was watch from a distance because I was too scared of those big old land crabs on the beach. Besides, it was dusk and one might just jump out of a hole and get me. Oh no, I played it safe.
Needless to say I was a bit hesitant this time too. But our host Matt had arranged for our group of four to spend a few hours with his childhood friend Jeff on his commercial crabbing boat. Phew, no chasing crabs on a beach! It all sounds very impressive but it was a simple old boat, rigged to perform a function, and happily Jeff showed no sign, whatsoever, of any crabby traits!
In fact, Jeff was twice as gracious as he was tall, with an air of serenity and peace that seemed to exude from some unseen spring within him. And he was patient. He gave each of us a chance to actually net the crabs. And for every crab we lost it represented money lost for him but he showed no sign of annoyance or frustration. As we each stood beside him while netting the crabs he’d tell us stories of his life and the river; explain his fishing process; and he’d talk about the other fishermen in the area, most of whom he’d known all his life.
And every time Jeff had a conversation with you he looked you in the eyes. It was mesmerizing. I think part of it was because he had such clear blue eyes and part of it was because he seemed to be fully engaged with you, and only you, as he spoke. It was something all four of us noticed and talked about in the car after our crabbing trip.
Why is this important? It makes you feel special. It makes you feel as though what you have to say has value, maybe even that you are worthy. And it’s a great feeling. Why then is it so unusual that we all noticed it? My theory is that we can be so caught up in doing stuff that we don’t take the time to appreciate and really notice the person that we are looking at or talking to.
I remember some years ago doing an exercise with a stranger where we stood toe to toe looking each other in the eyes. It was very uncomfortable to begin with and I don’t remember how long we stood like that, but there came a moment of opening. It was as though my heart just opened wide to the person in front of me. It felt amazing. Since then I have made an effort to look at people when I talk to them but somehow the short time I spent with Jeff suggests that I’ve drifted away from doing that.
When you look deeply into someone else’s eyes you create a connection. It is through these connections that we heal on levels beyond the physical because as human beings we thrive on our connections. With these types of interactions it improves not only our feelings of well-being and worthiness but also those of the person we are interacting with and that can lead to physical improvements. That deep connection can also be made with yourself by doing the exercise with a mirror.
Open up today, to the possibility of being truly connected to another human being. Open yourself up to expanding your heart and improving your life, and the life and feelings of another. Then share your experience on Facebook.