Connecting Right Now
by Robin L. Silverman
I am in the middle of my life, but I am just learning how to make connections. Not the social kind; I love making friends. The kind of connections I’m talking about are the kind that create “Ah ha!” moments that make life delightful and very, very satisfying.
The best way to describe these connections is with a story. I was in an intercultural class, learning the D.I.E. model. The letters stand for Describe, Interpret and Evaluate. The instructor showed us a picture of two women in Arab dress, standing
near what appeared to be ballot boxes. Then he asked, “What do you see?”
Almost everyone in the room said the same thing: “Arab women voting.”
“No,” the instructor said. “That’s a judgment. You don’t see Arab women voting. Look again.”
We looked and looked, but the picture still seemed to tell that story. So the instructor gave us a hint: “What you see are two women.”
“That’s what we said,” one of the participants answered.
“No, you said you see Arab women. You don’t know that. They could have their heads covered because their ears are cold or they didn’t feel like doing their hair this morning. They could be from Russia, Italy or the United States. You made a judgment
about what you saw. You didn’t report just what’s there; you judged it. So what else do you see?”
“Ballot boxes,” another participant called.
“Wrong again,” the instructor said. “All you see are boxes with slots in the top. You have no idea what’s in them. They could be for paying bills. They could be for mail. They could be for entering recipes for a contest. You have no idea.”
One by one, the instructor showed us how we put meaning on each thing we “saw” according to our own beliefs and experiences. What was supposedly “true” was only what was true for each of us, not necessarily for the people in the photograph. We isolated
ourselves from the opportunity to truly experience the photograph by judging and separating ourselves from it both as a whole and piece-by-piece.
The D.I.E. model shows how to see first, interpret what you think you see, and then finally, evaluate how you feel about what you think and see. The idea is to allow yourself to approach a new situation, person or sensation with openness so you can
experience it as it is, not in any kind of limiting or restricted way.
Because the essence of all life is love, there is a natural curiosity or yearning to connect fully, completely, unreservedly. It doesn’t matter how, who or what we long for. At its core, all desire is a fundamental need to connect. As the D.I.E. model
clearly illustrates, most of us approach connection more from the perspective of disconnection. We weigh, evaluate, judge and ultimately find differences between ourselves and the things or people with whom we long to connect. So in the end, our connections tend to have
invisible walls in them that eventually cause us to collide and quit trying.
The remedy is to approach life without thinking about it, but for many of us, that’s either difficult or impossible. Instead, I find that by first describing the moment as it is allows me to become fully present to it. It is utterly delightful to find
layer after layer of detail in who or what is around me. I can think about it, speak about it, or simply look and see, deeper and deeper, what is there.
As I discover more and more, the experience of the moment deepens, and I begin to awaken to the beauty within it. The more I focus on the beauty, the more it becomes a part of me. And the more a part of me it becomes, the more connected to it I feel.
It doesn’t happen often, but once in a while, the connection doesn’t feel like two separate entities connecting. Instead, there is just one. Not one “of us” or “of you” or “of me.” Just One. Differences dissolve; boundaries disappear. By D.I.Eing to
the moment, the struggle to unite ends. Love is.
And that’s all there is.
© Copyright 2007 Robin L. Silverman. All Rights Reserved.
Robin L. Silverman is the creator of Fullistic Living (TM), a method to help you fully integrate your mind, body and spirit so you can discover the joy of living.
For more information on her seminars, keynote speeches, training and consulting services, call 701-787-0946.
Her books include: "Take a Load Off! The mind/body way to let happiness help you lose weight";
"The Ten Gifts: Find the Personal Peace You've Always Wanted From the Ten Gifts You've Always Had"; "Something Wonderful is About to Happen: True Stories of People Who Found Happiness in Unexpected Places"; "America's Land of Tranquility: Visions of the Secret Beauty of North
Dakota"; and "Reaching Your Goals!"
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