The past month we have been exploring the Pillars of Presence. The first two Pillars are: Position: Allow Yourself To Be Seen and Permission: Decide How You Want to be Seen. Through consciously choosing how we want to be seen, and by vulnerably opening ourselves up to others, we actively begin to step into the power of our individual presence. Activating the power of our presence is not only about allowing ourselves to be seen, it is also about intentionally seeing others.
Pillar of Presence 3: People, See Others
Step boldly forward and see others — presence is a two way street that is built on seeing and being seen. Truly see people around you in all their fabulousness and beauty complete with faults and shortcomings. See them.
Others are empowered when we see them. Notice how ticket agents and children and others who assume you won’t see them, come alive with a sparkle in their eye and shift in their tone of voice when you see them. Are you seeing your co-workers? Really seeing them? Think about someone you may not be seeing completely and make a commitment to changing your interaction the next chance you get.
As children we are often scolded for pointing out others — for seeing them. “Stop that, it’s rude.” We learn notto see. Looking at others often morphs into seeing others. We are programmed not to see others, to let others be in their own world and not intrude by noticing them. But is this truly polite?
We challenge ourselves to step boldly forward and see others. It’s a two-way street and here is where seeing and being seen join to make presence come to life. Truly, people are amazingly unique individuals and are waiting for someone else to acknowledge them as they are. We owe it to each other to see each other!
Note, in our work, when folks are truly seen for who they are, often tears flow. It’s a relief and a release to be seen.
So HOW can we begin to truly see the people around us?
Really see others. Don’t just look at them – see them. Make eye contact. And more. Smile. Breathe them in. Feel them. Give full human grace to each and every one – -see beyond the surface to the amazing person standing before you.
For the next few weeks practice the first 3 principles – Allowing yourself to be seen, deciding how you want to be seen, and seeing others. We will be talking about #4 in the next issue. I would love to hear about your experience!
Written by Hilary Blair