Dr. Deepak Chopra came to Dr. Phillips Center last year and did a talk on his latest book, You Are The Universe. My role was to help with the VIP book signing and take photos for social media. I was in our event room with the VIP guests who were having a glass of wine and a nosh, waiting on Deepak…which sounds like the title to a play.
I had strict orders about when Dr. Chopra was to be back to his dressing room. So, I organized the book signing to give everyone a nice moment with him within our schedule. At 5 minutes to 7 p.m. Deepak Chopra arrived with several of the arts center staff, all directors and senior directors, mostly in charge of production.
When Deepak entered the room, I turned and looked him in the eye. I went towards him with my hand extended. He looked me in the eye. As we shook hands I said, “Dr. Chopra, I’m Alice and our group is excited to meet you. I understand you need to be backstage at 7:30 so I’m going to make sure you leave this room at 7:25.”
“Wonderful, Alice, I’m Deepak,” said Dr. Chopra. “Now, I have a video for the opening of the show that I really want to use. I know it’s last minute but can I have someone email it to you and we can use it?”
Now, I’m not in production. I was there to take one photo on my phone for Instagram. He just rode up the elevator with any number of people there to help him. I have no idea why he didn’t mention this idea to them. But here’s what I do know. I know me. I’m a performer and I am a leader. I am a presence. I know my energy is large and that often people respond to me as if I’m in charge. A couple in the Paris airport once had me direct them to their terminal, in French. I speak very little French, and I’d never been in that airport before but I got them where they needed to go. So, I get that about me.
While I believe that Deepak Chopra, this master of awareness, met my presence, knew me and knew I was the one to get this task done for him, what I also know is that I looked him in the eye and told him my name. He looked me in the eye and did the same.
Autism Life Hack #7 is Good Eye Contact! Henry worked on this in early intervention days when he was in Pre-K. I would hold his face towards mine. I would point to my eyes and say, “Give me good eye contact.” In later years, he learned more subtle forms, more mature forms. In High School, he’s very obviously been working on shaking hands and greeting people. If you’re in the line at Walmart with us, watch out. You’re about to have a beaming face invade your personal space with an outstretched hand and hear, “Hi, I’m Henry, what’s your name?” (We’ll work on personal space soon, I promise.)
Yes, I would like to think that Deepak Chopra saw my essence and identified me as the one who would make something happen. Because it pleases my soul, I’m going to believe that my spirt rose up to meet his spirit, they communed, and I was known and heard and he was known and heard.
Very likely though, he responded to me because we shared good eye contact and greeted each other with our names. He got his video for the opening of his talk because I said yes and then passed it off to one of the people he rode up in the elevator with. Then Deepak and I went through our meet & greet plans for maximum efficiency and personal connection with his guests. He was backstage by 7:30.
Whether it’s a spiritual communion or a simple acknowledged request, it usually starts with good eye contact. You can start practicing Autism Life Hack #7 today! I promise it will change your life.