The Lost Art of Touch
Reach Out & Touch Someone
As we move through yet another month of isolation, whether it be voluntary, or government imposed depending on our governing bodies, I find myself contemplating touch. The nature of touch – both physical and non-physical – and how much people are missing touching and being touched. For instance, if you are a hugger, air hugs just don’t get it, and although 6 feet with a mask keeps us safe, it’s just too far away and far too impersonal!I measure as a high introvert on the Myers Briggs test, and yet, touch and expression of relationship warmth is very important to me. I did not fully recognize how important this is for me until we entered into enforced separation. Due to the nature of my work, I am with people constantly – sometimes a lot of people. While I don’t have a high need to be with many people, I do thrive on being with “my people”. And when I am deprived of this ability to communicate in person with touch – my voice, my eyes, my expression, my body language, and yes physical touch – I have noticed that some of life’s little things are taking more effort to manage.
I find myself wondering: have we become a bit lazy, relying on hand shaking, arms around shoulders, placing a hand on someone’s arm, hugging, and other forms of physical touch with “our friends, colleagues, family and favorite people” instead of verbally communicating our caring?! As well, it seems important to acknowledge here that has become quite a risk in our current society to express sincere caring, especially between men and women in the workplace. (Another topic saved for a later time perhaps).
In our fast-paced, busy world with the conveniences of modern technology, we have come to rely on our phone, text messages, social media, all forms of on-line platforms, and video calls to nurture and maintain a relationship. But is that really even possible – long term? And now, finding ourselves in this time of separation, stripped down to the essentials, coming face to face with ourselves and who we are, it seems more important than ever that we find new ways to reach out and touch those we care for. So, how to do that effectively? How to touch someone when we cannot physically touch.
What is the art of touch, that has been lost in our modern day of texting, network meetings, on-line calls, and constant demand for face to with the screen? And is it retrievable – perhaps more than retrievable as this singular time on the planet ushers us forward into a new world? Is it possible that this time of separation has things to teach us about ourselves and our meaningful relationships that could help us expand the art of touch to a new and even more enlightened state? We have a unique opportunity, especially now, in the current culture, to discover and re-discover what we have lost or misplaced of ourselves in our attempt to keep up and use the luxury and science of modern technology.
I believe we are being presented in this moment, world-wide, with the time to discover and develop a new level of touch intelligence quotient (touch IQ). If I am correct, then we would be wise to look at what needs to be in place for us to use this time to expand our touch IQ. And in posing this, we have to ask ourselves, what is the foundation in our lives that would ensure understanding, growth, and expansion in our ability to “reach out and touch someone” – perhaps evolving the lost art of touch into the new art of touch?
Suggested foundation for the new lost art of touch – Commit to:
1. Wake up and live life awake and alive
2. Honesty and transparency (first with self and then with others)
3. Emotional integrity (first with self and then with others)
4. Trust and trustworthiness (first with self and then with others)
5. Health: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual = Commitment and follow-through on exquisite self-care
6. A desire to grow and expand, with an eye always towards fulfilling your destiny
7. Willingness to share with others – an attitude of inclusion vs. exclusion
8. Respect and healthy boundaries (first with self and then with others)
9. The ability to love and forgive and express love and forgiveness (first with self and then with others)
10. Joy (not just happiness which is transitory), but joy, which is sustainable and lasting.
From this foundation, and remember, we are never perfect, we are in the process of living life alive, risking, making mis-steps, and learning from them; from this foundation, we are now prepared to reach out and touch, in new and innovative ways. I mean really touch, touch deeply, touch meaningfully, always with deep respect; first for ourselves and then the other person.
In our current environment, unless you are with a significant other, child, or very close friend, touch is going to be expressed through your voice (tone, pitch, tenor, quality), your facial expressions, your body language, and your eyes – yes, your eyes – they say so much, as they are the physical aspect through which the soul and quality of light is expressed. It is important in meaningful touch that everything in your expression is congruent. For instance, is the message you are delivering congruent with your body language and facial expressions? I can’t tell you how many times I see someone shaking their head no, while at the same time I hear them saying something positive! This is incongruent, almost always a lack of transparency, even a lack of honesty! And most often I don’t interpret it as this person is lying to me, rather, I see it more about their own lack of acknowledgement about what their truth really is!
I invite you to step into a new mode of being, now that you have had some time to adjust to this isolation with Covid-19, and experienced your life stripped down in so many surprising and unexpected ways, offering you the opportunity to really see aspects of yourself not readily available before. Begin the re-integration into your new world by establishing new, creative, respectful, enlightened ways of reaching out and touching someone. As you bring your whole being and soul into the equation, touch them with that – the honesty and love of who you are. Do not be afraid to share this deeper part of you. Our world needs it right now. And more important, we each need to share this right now with the important people in our lives.
Laughing, talking, sharing our fears, our loss, our pain, and our joy – celebrating all aspects of the beauty of life and being alive, regardless of the current circumstances. As you reach out and touch authentically, honestly, fully, tactfully – the vibration of this energy will spread into the world around you and change the environments in which you live. This my friends is true alchemy and you have the power within you to do this in your own life, affecting the world you live in for the better.
I’m looking forward to hearing from you about how you are implementing the New Lost Art of Touching.
Talking, laughing, sharing our fears, our loss, our pain, and our joy.
I am holding you in my heart.
Verla Wade & The Living Light Foundation
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