Phil: A pretty interesting concept, and something I know I wasn’t doing very well over recent years. I took this up as a personal challenge about a year ago and it still makes me uncomfortable. It’s less about the other person, to me, and more about myself feeling worthy enough to be in a space, or to be speaking to someone. The challenge basically reignites my own attempt at reasserting my presence in any given situation. It can be scary but also empowering.
Bruce: I spent the day primarily at an expansive arts and music festival in Patchogue where I really put this challenge to use. Many of us are aware of how important and advised it is to keep eye contact but so few people do it. I am definitely included in that guilty fact-neglecting bunch. As I caught up with my myriad friends from various mediums throughout the day and met many new artists and performers, I found myself feeling far more in tune and involved in the conversations. I was much more able to reign in my elusive focus as I was talking with people. Although I mostly don’t maintain eye contact probably because I feel self-conscious and vulnerable (I think that’s true of most people, I discovered that I actually felt more confident being the main person to engage so openly and sincerely by looking in people in the face as I spoke with them. This challenge is so simple and the results are so seemingly obvious but on a day like today where I was meeting so many new people I genuinely felt more connected and like I got more out of the conversations and so I’m very grateful for that.
Tomorrow's challenge: #11 Donate 5-10 items of clothing