Question: Atreya. How can I feel more confident and secure in my relationships? I want that real spiritual confidence and peace! I often feel awkward and insecure. What can I do?

“Spiritual confidence” in human relationships as opposed to egoic confidence, comes from the ability to communicate nonverbally. This is done through unwavering eye contact coupled with humility. Humility is to allow yourself to be completely humiliated without any movement to preserve the “me.” There must be the freedom to look at all times with vulnerabilty as the first and foremost action in all relationships: as if you are looking upon death itself with open arms.

The insecurity comes from identification with the “me.” “How should I act? What do I say? Do they think I am weird? Did I say the right thing, was I understood?” The voice in the head may spend many hours maybe even days, replaying the conversation and interaction. This is due to the belief that thought is the basis for all relationship and requires verbal understanding and recognition. From there, the approach becomes to build up ways to assert the ego and become more intellectual and verbally dominating in our relationships.

There is a different relationship that takes place on a nonverbal level; and this should be primary. The verbiage will come secondary as a spontaneous expression. In this way, there will no longer be a doer, but space from which all is done.

Here is an exercise: Start with looking at yourself very still in the mirror (a few feet away). Try and hold this for a few minutes; blink as little as possible. Get comfortable wih making eye contact with yourself (pick one eye and stay with it). When you interact with people, condition yourself to have the freedom to look at others as you looked at yourself in the mirror. Just look with vulnerability. Use head nods to acknowledge, and answer questions softly if asked; but give a long pause with eye contact before answering.

Notice how you are pulling your stomach and diaphragm up all the time. Let this just hang, extend and become soft with every inhale and exhale. Drop the shoulders and just look. Devalue the verbiage in your interactions and connect through nonverbal freedom (even if it is extremely uncomfortable at first).

Many thoughts will arise, as well as sensations. Just look at it all and melt into it. Raise your eyebrows and raise your chin. Allow yourself to die into the moment; which is the only thing that is real and requires no thought to exist.

Here is a mantra for you to repeat as you begin. “Contact not concepts.”

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