GRACE PRINCIPLE TWO: staying connected with honouring presence.
KEY PRACTICE: meeting equally, with attunement.
Meeting equally is the practice of coming into balanced, gentle, focussed connection with another person, without pushing in or pulling away physically or energetically. Essentially, it is holding, or meeting, another person with Grace.
We are usually aware of how another person's energy impacts us as we connect. The question is, can we also develop an awareness of how our energy is expressed in this exchange?
We have all experienced a crushing handshake, or an unbalancing, squashing hug, or a limp lettuce handshake, or a limp, vacant hug. These would not be considered meeting equally. Are we a crusher? Are we vacant or limp? Can we find develop a physical and energetic agreement with others when we come into connection with them?
Without awareness, it is actually rare for people to do this equally. Our physical and energetic characteristics naturally show up in a wild variety of dynamic ways.
But the key to Giving Presence to each other is a conscious attuning, or mirroring — a slight leveling up or leveling down — to each other's energy. The goal of the practice is to get to a place where we touch or hold another person in comfort and balance, our energy grounded inside us, our physical connection gentle, light and weighted just enough to feel the other's form and presence. And the other person doing the same.
This is a place of safety and consent. There is a "yes" in this connection. We are both saying, with our body and energy, I want to be with you, I want to give you my attention. I want to learn how to "dance" with you.
For example, when you see a well-practiced couple performing ballroom dancing or contact improv, you are watching a beautiful agreement, a beautiful "yes" between them. They have become so equally attuned to each other's energy that the slightest shifts and pressures are felt and responded to. And within this agreement there can be great flair, creativity and flow. They both feel secure in this relationship.
Getting to this level of meeting equally, of attunement, takes conscious practice, over and over. And part of the practice is using our voices with each other as necessary. For example, I might not be aware that my connection actually feels like I'm pushing in to the other person. Their verbal request to lighten my pressure, or to more deeply ground my energy, is important to this practice. Or I might feel that the other person is fading away, in which case, my request for a little stronger presence is important as we seek mutual, graceful attunement.
The beautiful intention of Giving Presence is to meet others in an attuned way that builds trust and grace. And ultimately, as trust grows and we become for familiar and present with each other, we can enjoy flair, creativity and flow in our relationships.
I often wonder how better our world would be if we were practiced enough to consciously sense and respond to physical and energetic consent in our meetings. We would quickly sense a "no" and thankfully and honourably pull back. We would have the skills and practiced ways to find the "yes" together, which is likely different for every two people. This would be a community where grace and trust for each other is alive and well.
Meeting equally, for those touching or holding presence with each other is:
staying comfortable, in balance.
grounding personal energy inside and to the earth, while still being aware of the points of connection with the other person.
being graceful with your touch.
expressing, without words, I am comfortable with you and welcome you.
beginning to build the possibility for enlivened connection and playfulness.
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