My latest “Aha!” moment arrived the other morning when I passed a neighbor/friend in the street. If I had been paying attention, I would have noticed his body language: definitely down. As we passed each other, he asked how I was, and I smiled and said “Great!”. We moved on. And suddenly it hit me, like the proverbial ton of bricks, how insensitive and unconscious I had been – and have been on countless similar occasions.
In my mind’s eye, and in my psyche, I re-experienced what I hadn’t noticed in that moment. Why that moment? I suppose it could have been that the contrast between us gave me a little jolt – and I’ve always been a bit slow to absorb a sudden idea – as if my brain needs to slow it down first, roll it around, look at it from all sides, before I really take it in.
When I ‘fearlessly analyzed’ this idea, I realized that it had been trying to get in for awhile. Knocking at the door, so to speak.
The memory of this tiny event kept coming back – through other conversations, chores, outings, so I had to actually look this one square in the eye. I had been insensitive and unconscious – definitely not ‘in the moment’. When I passed him this morning, I stopped, looked and listened – to his voice, his body language, and his words. It felt as if we really saw each other – a ‘connect’.
It wasn’t time-consuming, or energy-zapping; in fact it was probably somewhat enriching, in some small way. And I suspect these automated greetings are often the by-product of an excessively cerebral type such as myself. We can be so pre-occupied with our ‘thinking and dreaming’ that we fail to experience the here-and-now. The place where reality happens.