The dark light of shyness

It’s been a long time since last  I wrote a blog. Not because I’ve run out of topics. Rather Facebook has taken it’s toll as I enjoy the short conversational style very much, and there have been quite a few interesting topics to go on about there. Yet, sitting here and focusing  on one theme and writing about it is something I really missed. So here we go again.

Last night, actually in the middle of it, I woke up. And as I  was opening up to the dark, for unknown reasons I remembered  how often I’m shy and contemplated its blessings.

picture by matt caplin

Let me elucidate a little. When I  was still doing lots of seminars  all over Europe I often did an exercise in which I asked people to  face each other  and simply look into each others eyes. And then I  would speak about the shyness they might now feel and that it was quite alright to feel this. Usually I went on and on until I saw that most of the participants where really feeling shy.

When I contemplated this last night I  asked myself why we so often avoid this feeling, almost at all cost. Do we avoid the dark light of shyness because  it shows us that obviously we’re not in control of the situation? And since we’re keenly aware of where our hands are, really not knowing where to put them, doesn’t that show how aware we are of not knowing what to do and how to act?  We’re so utterly self-aware. And most likely also feeling absolutely visible to the person (s) with us. We feel naked. And we’re shy. Remember?

So what’s so bad of being naked in the eyes of the other? Why are we so afraid of that? The answer is obvious, isn’t it? We do not trust each other. We do not trust our own feelings. Maybe they’re not appropriate. Maybe we think things, that we don’t want the other to know. Not that we’re thinking these things, really, it’s just that we’re afraid, maybe the other(s) think that that is what we’re thinking. Now you remember?

Usually, we don’t want to be shy, and when we are, we’ll deny it, even to ourselves.

The world is out of control. And often we are out of control. At least our feelings are. And also our thoughts are, when we look closely.  Gazing into a stranger’s eyes calls that to our attention.  We become self-conscious. Very self-conscious. Which seems synonymous  with shyness.

But what happens if you allow yourself to just be shy? What, if you stand in this self-conscious fire without trying to escape? What, if with this embarrassing emotion you connect? What, if you allow it to show?

picture by matt caplin

Everything changes. You start to notice the tiniest facial expressions of the persona(s) you’re with. You find, you’re utterly in the moment. Feelingly. Whole bodily. You may also, once you get the knack, of simply being shy or exposed with all you are, employ this way of being with people or situations more often.

This, my waking up in the middle of the night reminded me of,has been my discipline to get emotionally and whole bodily connected to whatever is happening right now. It has helped me to get unstuck in many ways. Waking up in the middle of the night has reminded me of a step I was blessed enough to discover. May it be a boon 2 U 2…

12 Replies to “The dark light of shyness”

  1. “When I was still doing lots of seminars all over Europe I often did an exercise in which I asked people to face each other and simply look into each others eyes. ”

    That’s a very tough exercise for anyone to do – even for people who are normally not shy. Does anyone feel comfortable doing this?

    1. Over time, some people got comfortable with it, but that is very, very, very rare… and only for moments, because then you bring more presence to it…

    2. I’m usually scared by it, at least at first. Perhaps the anxiety is like the one I feel when feeling deeply into how guarded / unguarded I am in the present with myself. Usually there’s some degree of protection / posturing going on. Being willing to face can mean there’s a shift into a more direct presence.

      I think we’re learning how to do this!

      1. It is a challenge to shift, isn’t it? Especially with another person. Paradoxically somewhat easier with a person we don’t know than with one we do (think we) know. And also the older I get the more I’m sure I’ll remain a beginner in all really important things in life… even if sometimes I wish it were different 😉

  2. Mein Lieber,

    Danke für den presencing – Artikel.
    Very touching your first meeting with your son.
    See you soonish.

Leave a Reply