In my recovery from introversion, particularly in the past three years, the most challenging and profound action I choose is to remind myself to put my head on top of my spine and to look up and look out into the world. This has evolved into my embodied choice of sensing “myself” in the world; a courageous choice – to be willing to see others, to see the world, and, most important, my willingness to be seen by others, to be vulnerable and exposed in the world of random actions of everybody living their own lives.
I realize that “attentional sightedness” is a discipline that requires my full attention in any moment; a willingness to see and sense with my eyes. This is opposed to inattentional blindness, something I detect in myself and others when I fail to notice a fully-visible, but unexpected object when my attention is engaged on another task, event, or object, rather than being in the immediate moment of seeing what is.
I understand that the amount of information my body senses through sight, sound, taste, touch and smell is limitless, but my brain can be limited when it comes to where I place my attention; an act of exclusion. Hence, body awareness and an alert mind can easily be shut down or shut off. It becomes an inclusive practice to choose to pay attention to sensation and to include my surroundings and others when I am “looking up and looking out” into the world.
Everyday, with my head up and eyes looking out, I am amazed at how many times I dodge someone pulling out in front of me when driving anywhere in town and on the freeway. I am becoming a horn honker when this happens, something I have never done before. I am amazed at the lack of “eye contact” with others, particularly, when I recognize the other and them, not me (yes, I have a beard of eleven months, but my face and eyes are the same). I am beginning to stand in the clear sight of someone I know, focus on them and wait for some sort of recognition; and, if not, I smile and move on. I am concerned that the ease of inattentional blindness is becoming a state of everyday life; choosing not to look out and see the world and others.
In my life as an introvert, I am making an extroverted choice. I am committing to take the time, the moment, the pause, and to look up and see with my eyes; to witness an extraordinary world populated by many people.
Photo (filtered): Forte Fotos