How To Feel More Connected, Centered And Purposeful

May 17, 2010 by  
Filed under Featured

I really like this post by Terry Tillman because it talks about stopping long enough to recognize the existence of others. I see you.

I often thought a lot of the violence in Rio de Janeiro (my birth town) came from the fact the middle and upper middle class in fear and/or desperation of not knowing what to do, chose to ignore the poor living on the streets.  I’m talking about not even look at the street people. The result of that group behavior is that the homeless and the poor became non-people.  But people can’t be non-people for too long, so they steal and kill.  I’m here.  Can you see me now?  Of course this is the extreme of ignoring others.  But think about how we would all profit if we actually were present when we came in contact with others?

Terry Tillman

Recovering Businessman, Seminar Leader, Speaker, Author, Coach, Scout

Remember those scenes in Avatar, when the people of Pandora would look each other in the eye and say, “I see you?” Well, these three little words may have a much deeper meaning–they are part of a time-tested tradition and greeting that we can use today to feel more connected, centered and purposeful.

About 20 years ago I was on a safari in Africa (Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda). As we traveled through the villages and Serengeti savanna I noticed a recurring event. When one of the indigenous people would approach another, they would pause, face each other, look directly in each others eyes for five to15 seconds, say something and then continue on their way. This would happen in populated villages and in very remote areas where there may be only one human every 20 square miles.

After a couple weeks of noticing this I asked one of our guides from the Samburu tribe what the natives were doing. He said they were greeting each other. “How are they doing that? What are they saying?” I asked.

“One of them says, ‘I see you.’ Connecting through the eyes, the other replies, ‘I am here.'”

This touched me. I’ve traveled to and worked in 94 countries so far and have seen many different customary greetings–hand shakes, bowing, kissing on cheeks one, two or three times, hugging, touching foreheads … but none quite like this. I have a file I call “Fancy Stuff” for things that tickle my fancy, and that illustrate or demonstrate a truth or useful principle. This goes in that file…Continued


Avatar And Other Things

December 21, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog

I went to see a screening of Avatar on Saturday night.  It is an amazing piece of filmmaking and a wonderful way to spend a couple of hours.  The dialogue was fine; meaning nothing special but one of the lines caught my attention:  “Scars show us where we have been but do not dictate where we are going.”   I thought it was a phenomenal phrase and so when I got home I Google it to find out if it was a known quote or if it was Cameron’s authorship – I was born and raised in Brazil so sometimes phrases, TV shows or behaviors of this country are not known to me.

I have found some entries and so I’m assuming the phrase has been around.  No matter.  The point is: it is perfect.  Scars are a map of ours lives.   They show us where we have been and why we are who we are but they don’t determine where we are going.  At any moment in our lives we can shift gears.  At any point in our lives we can decide to be different.  And we can do all of that because of our scars.  They show us we have survived.

I have been thinking a lot about clean slates and turning pages.  As many of you know my husband passed away in August of 08.  There is nothing I can do to now bring him back.  It is done.  And now, how do I continue to live?

As the end of the year approaches, I’m feeling that I need to change things so I’m painting the house, got a new dog, and am pre-determined to change some of the aspects of myself.  I still want to be happy and I want to be light.  I don’t want to be bothered by things that I should not care about.  I have found out that those things bother me just because they hurt my fragile ego.  So I’ll remember that, next time the urge to lash out back comes up.  I also want to be excited by the possibilities life can bring to me.

In my last post, I talked about, not ever knowing.  To some, that will be terrifying but to others that can be exhilarating because we can meet anyone and do anything.  We just never know.

The cliché “time goes by really fast” is also perfect; time does go by really fast.  So I want to choose to have my life written in bold letters.  I do not have the right to waste my life when so many people are fighting for theirs.

My new year’s resolution is: be brave, self-assured, helpful, curious, sensitive and ready.

Happy New Year.