I am who I meet. we are who we meet.
“I was supposed to start a new job downtown but now ,I’m working from home”, ” I don’t go out anywhere there are crowds”, ” I was supposed to take this great trip”, ” I was really looking forward to taking this class at the library”…. and so it goes in 2020.
From the mundane to the grand, plans made, plans changed, plans canceled.
Although virtually, the world is open to all of us, for so many, experientially its has closed and become small.
How can we find meaningful encounters, when we are barely encountering?
I would like to share some insights from an article I recently read:
Jane Dutton, a Psychology professor and happiness researcher at the University of Michigan writes that her favorite happiness practice is “to be alert to high-quality connections(HQC’s), which are like vitamins that strengthen from within”.
Henry Emmons, an integrative psychiatrist says the difference between encounters that are high quality and those forgettable, is Noticing Them.
He proposes that its less about what we do or how we do it, or how much of it we do, and more about Being There for it. Giving attention and noticing the exchange of energy during an interaction.
We can find these opportunities in day to day encounters and with complete strangers.
Say to yourself: Today I am going to look for the good in others
Have a 5 minute conversation with someone while giving them your full attention
When you are out on a walk and see someone, look at them, smile, maybe comment on the dog they are walking or the weather, or the surroundings.
Look at the grocery clerk and ask them how they are doing, and really listen to their answer.
Start a written message thread with your mail carrier, or doorman, or neighbor.
Our encounters don’t have to be big to feel big.
They don’t have to be grand to have a grand impact upon us.
We just have to look a little harder these days. Notice more, and Be There for them.
Hang in there everyone.