One fine afternoon, I was catching up with a very dear friend of mine over lunch. We were discussing some of the very many downfalls of the current world, which as always really tug at my heart.
My astute friend noticed and asked me to tell her about my book, knowing it would lift me to share with her. As I began to describe its content, my friend observed something instantly – there was a light in my eyes, a flame of passion that illuminated my being and shone from within me. I had become transformed in an instant as my emotion changed from fear based thinking to pure love.
Writing to me is literally a true love. I always feel as though I’m being the best version of myself when I’m sharing the messages of my heart. I’m pretty sure most musicians and artists feel the same way when they are creating a piece of work. They are giving you a message from their heart, and they want you to feel it in yours. You can hear the message in the words of some songs, conveyed by its melody, its pitch, its resonance, the lyrics and last but not least in the magical culmination of the instruments blended harmoniously with soul of the voice that delivers it. Every brush stroke an artist makes, every meal a good chef makes; every pirouette the ballerina twirls – all deliver a truly beautiful message.
When we cast our eye over an artists work, read a book, hear a song, enjoy a meal – perhaps just close your eyes a moment and ask yourself – “Does it feel as though it came from their heart?’ – because in my humble opinion the key to being successful in business, in relationships, and in all walks of life, is to put your heart into your creations. When you experience genuine candidness at the hand of someone’s creation, you feel it at a very different level – you feel it in your heart, as a gift. You may say, “that really touched me”, or perhaps you feel a huge swell of a certain emotion – this is what the person who created that wanted you to feel! You received their message loud and clear! It means that all their work, all the time put into that creation was worth it, because you really heard them.
But we don’t need to be artists or musicians to be able to give this gift – we all have the same ability. We, as humans have a very simple way to tune into this energy from people we surround ourselves with, and before long you begin to know who is speaking to you from their heart, and who is only paying you lip service.
Non-verbal communication. Something we need to use more than ever, when we are out because our ability to speak to one another has been compromised to varying extents for most people. The mandatory wearing of a mask in many shops, public transport and in all public places has reduced the ability to connect through speech for most people. Speaking through a muffled covering is really not particularly pleasant and can make it hard to communicate. Consider those living abroad who really on seeing people’s mouths formulate words to assist their comprehension? Or even worse- those who rely on lip reading to assist their hearing! Or just being able to “mouth” a message across a room to someone – our ability to connect to each other through engaging communication is more compromised than we perhaps realise.
The saddest thing is that no-one bothers to smile. They think you cannot see anyway, so they don’t bother. Back in the day, before masks were all the rage, I used to really enjoy smiling at people. Often me and my dog would stroll along the path and if I was lucky enough to receive eye contact, I would offer a smile, and I always made sure I felt it, from within me, like a light, so that it radiated out. I would honestly say that 90% of passers by, however glum they looked before, beamed right back at me. That lifted my heart, like I hoped I had lifted theirs. Only a fleeting instant, but maybe you just changed their day, or their faith in human nature at least for a moment.
This is now more challenging because for my own reasons I am not drawn to go anywhere I don’t need to go at the moment. This is of course a benefit to keeping numbers down in public, but I also feel heaviness in my heart to see everyone’s faces covered. I miss the smiles.
Perhaps now is a good time to learn from our Japanese friends who don’t look at the mouth when they are offered a smile – they focus on the eyes, much like my dear friend did who happens to be Japanese! This in actual fact makes so much sense because when we look at someone’s mouth we miss the real message, which can be seen in the eyes. Think about your photo smile – it’s a little like a mock telephone voice – it’s at best your front of house persona and at worst just fake. If your heart is not in, your eyes will show that.
With this in mind I try even harder to gain eye contact with people and make sure they know they are receiving a smile. I get many double takes, as they search for confirmation of what they think they saw, but mostly that’s closely followed by a crinkling in the corner of the eyes and a light that shines from within. It tells me that the human heart is still strong, and that despite what the world throws at us, we stand united through our hearts.
My message to you today is this: Don’t stop reaching out. Don’t stop connecting with your fellow humans. Through music, through art, through your creations, through your smile but always from your heart. Let the world know you mean it.
And last but not least don’t let the result of a virus be a fragmented society that forgot how to smile.
You gave me a gift; a golden Gift
So willingly you gave it.
It was so pure, straight from your heart
A piece of you it did impart
That piece of you is now in me
Forever now I shall be free.
So when I do return your gift
You shall not be offended
For you shall see your gift to me
Inspired my gift to you!
“What was that gift?” I hear you ask,
“Be patient, I shall tell you
The gift you gave was so beguile
It was but just a simple smile”.