I was at my dental hygienist the other day and she was telling me about her latest dating woes. As I looked up from my reclining chair into her eyes – somehow clear and glassy even through her gigantic safety goggles and SARS-like mask reaching well above her nose almost obscured them – I suddenly started to cry.
I realized in that moment, listening to her as she asked for help – even though the only help I could really provide was to be there for her fully and listen – was that we all are seeking the same thing. Especially at times when our hearts are conflicted. When we don’t get what we desire, or are struggling with a life issue.
We all want the same thing. To be heard. To be seen. To be acknowledged. To be received.
So then she started to cry. And I was thinking, “Oh, Lordy hold that drill steady sister, please! You’ve got sharp, pointy, metal things very near my mouth!”
Despite my dentistry worries, deep connection was created. All the more deep with a “stranger.” Where was it along our journeys that we were told it was only okay to connect with people whom we know? Our friends, family, lovers, parents?
Deep, meaningful connection is everywhere and all around us with all people if we but keep our hearts and ears open. Ironically, when we connect with people in inspired ways, we learn lessons and get information most unexpectedly. Sometimes, exactly the thing we most need to hear. The things she was telling me were the same things all of us struggle with. Fitting in, liking ourselves more, believing we deserve the desires of our hearts.
I was shocked because here in front of me was this funny, smart, beautiful human being who couldn’t see any of these things in herself and was punishing herself because she didn’t feel anyone could see them in her either.
So perhaps the thing we’re looking for through only one vehicle, wants to be created for us in many ways.
The insight here in terms of acting is the answer to a question I often get asked about casting situations. Actors are often (mistakenly) under the impression that casting directors aren’t happy to see them because they’re always in a rush or impatient and then the actor doesn’t know how to deal with the energy in the room.
Don’t get thrown. Yes, they may be busy. But it’s your audition. You are being called in. It’s your 3 minutes to show someone what you want to create.
So take the moment to breathe and actually connect with them. You take the moment. Establish contact. Drop in. Relax. Smile. It may happen very quickly, but looking someone in the eye and really establishing that you are there really changes the dynamic in the room. Just like in life. It may – or may not – be perceptible to them. That’s not the point. The point is that you’re about to engage in a moment-to-moment interaction with another human being so to create that space where you feel empowered because you’re actually there can make all the difference.
It’s actually the physics of all interactions. Business meetings, first dates, being on set, talking to an agent about yourself – connect with people at that level. Really get in there. Search for – and seek out – the connection.
Try to engage with people the way you would most want to be seen, heard and received.
What would happen when you did that? Nothing short of a miracle.