Soul to Soul Relationships Should Be Our Aspiration
Sampson is his own dog. He has no filters. He is his true self.
Michael Singer, author of “The Untethered Soul”, calls this sitting in the seat of Self. He describes it this way:
“Now you are in your center of consciousness. You are behind everything, just watching. That center is the seat of Self. From that seat, you are aware that there are thoughts, emotions, and a world coming in through your senses. But now you are aware that you’re aware. That is the seat of the Buddhist Self, the Hindu Atman, and the Judeo-Christian Soul.”
I often marvel how naturally Sampson lives his life’s purpose. When he interacts with me, there is no pretense, or trepidation, or premeditation. When I interact with him with an open heart, the energy of our connection is so powerful. He listens, he understands, he responds. He loves and wants to be loved. He makes eye contact, communicates with his paws, body language, barks and grunts. I do the same thing back, except I don’t have paws and rarely bark or grunt.
When I work from home and have been on my laptop for too long, he will pin my hand down on the keyboard with his chin and look me deeply in the eyes. If I don’t listen, he will press his chin down harder. If I still don’t listen, he will paw my arm. If all else fails, he will lift up his front paws and upper body onto my lap and lick my face. Obviously, it’s time to play.
Nothing brings Sampson greater joy then playing. Watching him retrieve a ball from the ocean reminds me of the simple joys life offers. He isn’t thinking about his next meal. He isn’t concerned that the sun is setting and it will soon be too dark to play. He isn’t upset that he got yelled at an hour ago for digging a hole in the yard. He is running wholeheartedly into the water, swimming to his ball, retrieving it and bringing it back to me so I can throw it – again, and again, and again.
Sampson epitomizes the saying, “The eyes are the window to the soul.”
The origin of this phrase is found in the Bible verses Matthew 6:22-23:
“The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!”
In other words, when we allow the light of life to flow through us naturally, then we are living our true purpose as soulful beings with open hearts. When we allow emotions or situations to become barriers to life’s energy flows, we are blocking our light.
Singer calls these blockages inner thorns:
“People let the fear of their inner thorns affect their behavior. They end up limiting their lives just like someone living with an external thorn.” (Think of the Aesop Fable “Androcles and the Lion.”) “Ultimately, if there is something disturbing inside of you, you have to make a choice. You can compensate for the disturbance by going outside in an attempt to avoid feeling it, or you can simply remove the thorn and not focus your life around it.”
My entire career has been spent working in the business world. Common terms used to describe the relationship between a business and its customers include B2B (Business to Business – like Intel to Microsoft ) or B2C (Business to Consumer – like Apple to an individual.)
In a highly regarded 2014 book written by Bryan Kramer titled, “There is no B2B or B2C: It’s Human to Human #H2H”, the author essentially makes the case that we should communicate with each other human to human. Businesses established the terms B2B and B2C to segment and market to their customers. The problem is the resulting language used to communicate with customers has gotten so far away from how “normal people” talk to each other. Words like “synergy”, “low hanging fruit”, and “seamless” have become so common in business marketing speak, that the intended essence of the message is getting lost.
As a business marketer, I relate to Kramer’s reality check. I believe he is saying that regardless of the work, home or play environment, we are all humans, and we should treat our relationships at a human level. We should talk and interact with each other as people, complete with our emotions and imperfections.
I wonder if there is something even more aspirational all of us can achieve with our relationships. As I am inspired by Sampson, and Singer’s and Kramer’s teachings, I have taken a step back as I think about communicating and relationships, no matter where, when or with whom.
I see the light through Sampson’s eyes.
Surely, if people can connect with non-human animals, than nurturing amazing relationships is deeper than the human element. There’s something even more special that allows us to find purpose, build lasting relationships, achieve goals and bring about changes for the greater good. I know this because I have a beautifully pure, open, honest relationship with Sampson. He is not a human. But he has a soul. And so do I.
What if we could connect soul to soul – in any situation and with any soulful being? The soul now becomes the lowest common denominator – yet the most meaningful, enlightening, and exponential.
I believe that inherently we’re each born with a soul. It’s pure. There are no conditions or conceptions placed on it. It exists to be, allowing each of us to live our own purpose and experience the world in our own unique way. When we interact from what Singer calls the seat of Self, we are being true – with ourselves and others. This is the best place for open dialogue, honest evaluation and sound decision making.
It doesn’t mean that emotions, challenges, and “real life” factors don’t come into play as we travel our life journeys. Of course they do. The difference with a soulful aspiration is that we allow all of these dynamics to flow in and out of us, sitting behind them as a witness, in the seat of Self, as we experience life.
When we are open to life without the filters of preconceived notions, judgments, or biases, then we are operating on a different playing field. Then we have the best chance at realizing success, in whatever form is most meaningful.
Singer says, “You can look deep within yourself, to the core of your being, and decide you don’t want the weakest part of you running your life. You want to be free of this. You want to talk to people because you find them interesting, not because you’re lonely. You want to have relationships with people because you genuinely like them, not because you need for them to like you. You want to love because you truly love, not because you need to avoid your inner problems.”
Sampson sure is a great teacher.