Yesterday I went into town to do a little gift shopping for my son and his family.
It quickly became an experience that was both ordinary and extra-ordinary at the same time.
There’s something I do intentionally sometimes but this time it happened spontaneously. The whole shopping experience became a pure joy for me and I know it was uplifting for the people I interacted with.
Let me explain so you can do it too, if you want.
Little Pockets of Intimacy
It started on its own, right at the beginning when I was walking across the parking lot toward the store. I paused and waited while the security truck drove by. My eyes caught those of the driver and I smiled and nodded. He smiled back and waved. “Hmm, that felt nice”, I noticed as I proceeded into the store, just a little bit lighter on my feet.
Inside, the store was bustling and everyone was going every which way, all very involved in their own little worlds as they efficiently got their shopping done. I have to admit, that’s how I usually shop. Very focused. Oblivious to much of what’s going on around me. (Sound familiar?)
I didn’t consciously intend to do this but at some point I noticed that I was really connecting with every person I had even the slightest interaction with.
And I mean really connecting. I’m usually friendly and often end up in a conversation or two, but this was different.
It involves taking an extra moment — or maybe just a more intentional & present moment — to really see them. As a person.
And the response was remarkable.
Most people did a physical double take. They’re just not expecting it. And then they came back with something “extra”, like “Have a nice day!”, or a big smile, or even something to continue the connection, like talking about the weather or something like that.
There was sweet little old Chester in paints, who philosophized out of the blue about how everyone should live life on their own terms. There was the checkout lady who who got up at the crack of dawn to score a Barbie Dream House for her granddaughter. Or the other one who was eager for snow so her nieces and nephews arriving from Texas could enjoy some winter sports.
But the most noticeable thing in every case is that they all just kind of lit up. They glowed. Their eyes sparkled. They radiated something nice that I could feel from 3 or 4 feet away.
And so did I. I know because I could feel that too, and boy did it feel good!
The Joy of Acknowledging Oneself
What I’m describing is akin to what is known as namasté in the East, and more and more prevalently in the West these days too. It’s a greeting or acknowledgement that means the God or the divine in me honors the God or the divine in you. (Or for those of you who saw Avatar: “I see you”. :-))
And are we talking about two different Gods? I think not.
As Michael Brown says in his powerful workbook The Presence Process:
“By setting our intention to appreciate the Inner Presence of another, we simultaneously make a choice to give ourselves an opportunity to look directly into the eyes of God.
We simultaneously give God the opportunity to look back and give us a wink.
We give ourselves an opportunity to remember that we are all connected cells in One body that has One mind, that feels from One heart and that dances from One spirit. “
But whatever the deeper reality, I wanted to share this with you because I highly recommend it. If you do this already, maybe it can serve as a reminder. And if you don’t, it’s very simple.
For example, here’s what you can do at the checkout counter.
1) First take your eyes away from all the things. The credit card machine and the groceries or whatever.
2) For a moment just look into the eyes of the person on the other side of the counter.
Do this with an intention to acknowledge and contact their inner presence.
3) Just smile at them or ask them how they’re doing, or whatever you want. That is, unless whatever happened at step 2 put you immediately at step 4 — not uncommon.
4) And then watch what happens. You will see and feel an obvious response. They suddenly become very present.
5) And notice that you, too, are even more present along with them. And notice how good this feels.
It’s really beautiful.
Food for the Soul
And ultimately, it’s very nourishing. So much so that after a busy day — even after being around the disparate energy of a bunch of people, which we all know has the potential to be draining — you feel uplifted and energized rather than depleted.
And really happy to be alive.
Of course you can do this with anyone at any time. Friends and family included.
Try it out over the holidays and report back. I’d love to hear if you got such a jolt of good juju as I did.
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11 Responses to “The Little Known Way to Turn Every Shopping Trip into a Joyride”
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I cannot endorse your comment/observations more strongly, I am very tall and it is easy for me to look straight into another persons eyes and engage with them. It is amazing how passing people who are comfortable with themselves will spontaneously respond and build rapport, and how it lightens up one’s day.
You have a good one
Hmm, I never thought about how this relates or not to people who are comfortable with themselves. Interesting observation. But yes, the spontanaeity you mention is very obvious, as if they return from wherever they were and suddenly are right here and involved. It’s nice.
And I agree, it definitely lightens up one’s day.
Thanks for coming by, and you have a good one, too.
That’s something that happens to me too, and it feels amazing – souls connecting!
Great observation. It really is the souls connecting, isn’t it?
And nice to connect with you, again. Thanks for coming by!
Thanks Patti for breaking down the steps in an easy to follow guide.
I have often noticed that somehow I tend to connect really well with shop assistants. Now I know what I have been doing all this time!
I will henceforth be connecting even more with everyone:-)
Hmm, why does it not surprise me that you already do this pretty consistently. Even your site has such a nice quality of presence.
Thanks for visiting!