Using our Eyes to Listen

In the middle of a busy Hotel reception area, no less, I was blessed to experience a most natural, nourishing and generative moment today. The rare moment of eye gazing.

The moment of stillness, silence and, well, nothing. Where time stands still, everything slows down and we notice descending from our head to our heart. In that silence, you hear so much. You feel that the words arising from within are whispering to you.

This is listening deeply to ourselves. That rare time, when everything stops, and we get the change to check-in with ourselves, again. Neither of you is doing anything, as there is nothing to do. It is in that space, an energetic one created by both of you, where it all happens.

Whilst I appreciate it can be difficult for some people to experience, or for them, to endure, but once you get out of your own way, it feels like you have arrived at a place of bliss and joy.

Many times you can’t help but smile at the other, or even hug each other.

Mostly they have happened sitting down, but the one time we were standing and was culminated in that very human moment of hugging each other. A deep hug that truly connects with the other. One that lasts long enough to take a breath and breathe it out, and again. A fellow human being travelling on their journey. A moment of recognition, a moment of being noticed, being seen.

I have experienced this moment a few times over the years and in different circumstances. Each time feeling similar to the last, a moment to treasure, (a moment that I can easily recall now, along with all the feelings that went with it).

During the most recent one, we both felt called to share a word or phrase that arose within us.   What was noticeable afterwards was how insightful and significant these words turned out to be for each of us.

Typically, these experiences can last anything between two and five minutes.

One time, the moment was so fleeting, yet powerfully engaging, lasting about a second or two. We both locked eyes and instantly connected. We both remember seeing the other and being seen by them.

This is where I guess, the phrase, “Love at first sight”, may come from, although this does not only mean romantic connections.

In each of these experiences, the relationship shifted and deepened, each in a positive way.

Of course, it was never just my eyes that were listening, it was all of my senses.

Who will you see today, or who will see you?


Colin D. Smith
Colin D. Smith
COLIN is ‘The Listener’, a listening skills specialist and the ‘go-to’ person for individuals and teams who want to be heard, think for themselves, and transform their business and personal relationships through active listening. Colin has that innate ability to actively listen to people. He works with management, project and creative teams, facilitating the development and improvement of their listening and thinking skills. Thereby equipping them to more effectively meet their business, relationship and service challenges. He also works privately with individuals, enabling them to feel heard and valued, to think more clearly for themselves, articulate their creative ideas, address their personal concerns, and achieve their personal and professional goals. Colin has had a varied and successful career in consultancy, business development, IT and customer support, across many sectors, including finance, motor, retail and the NHS. In looking back he realises that much of his success was due to his listening and connecting abilities. His inquisitive and curious mind also enables him to explore, with others, unusual, thought-provoking, yet grounded, observations and alternative approaches to business, people, systems, and change. To make things happen, and to take ideas and thinking further, he connects his Clients with his trusted network of entrepreneurs, consultants, thought leaders, free thinkers, coaches and change makers.

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    • Thank you Suzana for sharing your experiences. It really is difficult to pout this moment into words. Also, you can’t just make it happen. t feels like both people have stilled themselves enough to be able to both see the other and be seen by them. Colin

  1. That look shared across a crowded room can speak volumes without words. If you’ve ever sat through a long boring meeting with collegues, the sound can fade away as eyes engage telling a story the receiver understands. I recall on a trip to Peterborough the train ride was long and tedious as I looked around at the people. Suddenly I noticed a lady with her family and everything changed. We were people watching and just smiling and engaging without words. When I was leaving I waved and she looked sad…I hoped that she was able to have some moments of joy with her unknown new friend, because she made my day.
    Thank you Colin for this.??

    • Thank you Donna, for your observation. It feels like you had a great time with the family, in spite of not speaking to them. What I wondered, reading about your parting moments where the woman looked sad, was that you may have been the one person she could share that with, and that may have made her day. Of course, there are many possibilities. How many times in a day do we get the chance to share some of us, our being, with others, and all without words?

  2. I really like the sounds of this moment, Colin. Two human beings connecting deeply with one another with all senses enveloped in the moment. Talk about being present and allowing the time to linger in appreciation. The fact that it shifted and deepened the relationships say it all – wonderful!

    • Very precious moments, Maureen, and moments that deep down we all wish to experience. The more vulnerable we choose to be, the more likely this is to happen. One other eye gazing moment took place in an open-air coffee shop in a shopping centre, with people walking on either side of us. One we get out of the way and get over ourselves, all sorts of joy arise. I appreciate your thoughts, Maureen.

  3. Oh, so beautiful, Colin! You’ve captured an experience I’ve been fortunate to have more frequently now that I’ve dropped fully into my “pure awareness” or “Spider in the Web” awakened self. There’s nothing quite as blissful as the connection with another human being that comes from this deeper place of embodied presence/soul or whatever word/phrase you want to use. My Sweet Love and I call this experience being able to see/experience each other “all the way down to the core.” And, Yes, this type of connection does not have to be limited to lovers, spouses, romantic partners. May this type of soul connection happen more frequently with all types of people, including strangers, who quickly become friends. You’ve described the world in which I want to live. Thank you so much for this wonderful essay!

    • Thank you Laura for your thoughtful contribution. You capture it so well in your writing, you are describing what is wordless, but what we write starts to give an awareness of its depth. The word that came up for me as I read your message, intimacy, or the way I have heard it described as, into you see me.

    • Yes, indeed-In to me See. Yes! Takes great courage and vulnerability to remove the “masks” of image, to be seen as a being, a soul all the way down. And well worth it!

  4. Wow… I really love this, Colin. I can say I have experienced this, too, although it wasn’t intentional on my part. It was intentional and fleeting and, like your experience, in the middle of a million people at a busy airport with a total stranger. I didn’t know how to articulate it. You just did. Thank you for sharing!

    • Thank you Melissa for your thoughts, most insightful. My feeling is that these moments are when we and the other are totally at one with each other and all that is. It feels like time stops still and there is just the two of us there.