It’s an interesting thing that this past year of maneuvering the pandemic has required the donning of face masks in most every public place.  These masks cover much of our face, revealing only our eyes. It’s difficult to fully discern conversations when there’s three layers muffling our voice.  There’s an inclination to want to lean in, to better understand what someone is saying.  

The mask also conceals much of our facial expression at a time when we crave contact and the sharing of thoughts and feelings.  Yet if you look closely into the eyes, it’s amazing how much they actually do convey.  

“The eyes are the window to the soul”   

William Shakespeare

Have you ever noticed how really young children as well as our pets, will look upon our face and into our eyes?  No matter what we might be saying or expressing, they look into our eyes for confirmation of what they’re interpreting.

When I say, “I’m fine”, but inside I’m feeling weary or sad, my eyes don’t align with my words. 
When my eyes look into your eyes and see that you are frightened, my soul receives a resonance with this fear.  If I breathe into my heart and acknowledge this message with compassion, my eyes may offer the resonant response of “I hear you…I believe in you….You are not alone.” 

When my words or smile come from my heart, a feeling of acknowledgement and gratitude is emitted through the lens of my eyes. When I smile because I’m grateful to be alive and participating in this grand experience of humanity, my smile comes from my heart and my eyes radiate an expression of joy and compassion.

How often do we look into a mirror as we prepare for the day, but don’t actually pause to look into our own eyes?  What would happen if you looked deeply into your own eyes? Try it.  Look deeply into your eyes, and just breathe a moment and stay with this gaze.  Notice what thoughts or feelings emerge.  Then pause a moment, breathe deeply into your heart, and offer the sentiments of “I see you…Thank you for showing up… I love you.”  

For those of you familiar with the earlier days of “Saturday Night Live” and skits of “Stuart Smalley”, you may giggle at this suggestion.  But I dare you to try it.  You may at first feel awkward, and want to laugh or dismiss the exercise as too hokey.  But if you give a few moments to really be with the soul gazing back at you, and then say  (silently or out loud) “I see you… I’m listening… I believe in you… I value you…. I love you…” 

Let those words land deeply into your heart.  Then pause and wait for the message that comes from the eyes of your soul. You may be surprised by what is revealed.  You may begin to sense some fear or sadness; a feeling of courage or joy; a spark of playfulness, or an overwhelming  sense of tender compassion. You may begin to recognize the most precious friend, your Inner Self.