“Beam a Gleam!”
A “gleam” or “Gleaming” is the word that describes the special look we send when we greet someone special to us! Imagine showing up at a friend’s house unexpectedly and they open the door and immediately show an authentic delight to see you there. That is a “Gleam Beam”! See the effect it can have by sending a “Gleam Beam” to your partner or child, or even your pet, across a crowed room – at a party or schoolyard or anywhere! It is free and very effective to keep your innate secure attachment bond growing and strong!


Attachment Gaze is a critical way we feed and enhance our bond with those close to us. When you catch a beam Gleam from someone you love that tells you that you are special to them and that that special look is just for you it opens out heart and gives us gourmet contact nutrition. Simply put, we feel loved and deeply connected. This happens in an ideal world. For some of us – we looked out into the world as babies into the eyes of parents or caregivers that appeared lifeless, empty without presence – or even worse, hostile. This can shift our natural capacity and desire for eye contact away from others and we may grow up not even being aware that we avoid “I” (eye) contact because our original attempts were not met and became repeatedly painful. We learn to know ourselves in the reflection and eye contact of those closest to us. Without it we often disconnect and feel unknown to ourselves and with others, which can be very isolating.

The Kind Eyes exercise I am suggesting here will be enjoyable for those of us that originally had the good fortune to look into kind loving eyes of our caregivers as children. If the contact was painful it may be quite difficult, and the memory is stored in a “known but not remembered” implicit form of memory that we need to access and then help heal through integration in the explicit memory. With this Kind Eyes exercise we are attempting to bring up the original situation and dose it toward the ideal scenario. The wound may emerge – which is needed – as well as the possibility of healing, as we allow ourselves to receive the kindness that does exist in many people’s compassionate eyes, that often actually exists in our broader world now. We can even collect kind eye experiences to enhance the healing by exercises such as this one.

Further reflection

From Allan Schore:  “The gleam in the mother’s eye … during interactive gaze is frequently exaggerated.  The maternal gleam, a manifestation of the mother’s attention-focusing behavior reflecting heightened interest in her infant, may literally be a sparkle, that is, a flash of light processed by and reflected off of the mother’s hyper-exposed foveal area of the retina and on to the infant’s fovea.  Mahler et al. (1975) propose that the mother serves as a “beacon of orientation.”

He further describes it as a “spotlight” or “internal attentional searchlight”…  i.e., hence, Diane’s new toy = the Star Wars laser beamer!!

(from Affect Regulation and the Origin of the Self)


  1. Kathy December 20, 2013 at 10:45 am

    Just beautiful and so needed at this time of the year. I will use this personally and pass this on to my clients and loved ones. Thank you Diane for the light of awareness and love you bring into the world!

  2. Edwin December 13, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    Such a hypothesis suggests the eyes reflect the heart.
    Any takers?

    • Authentic Presence December 14, 2013 at 7:57 am

      Great observation. Also very true in Tibetan Buddhism where there are various eye practices (e.g., sky gaze) to contact the heart where they consider the mind to reside.

  3. Vanessa December 5, 2013 at 9:01 am

    I am just noticing how important it is to engage the physiological experience in order to repattern an old existing program. Are your trainings chock full of such experiential happenings?

    • Authentic Presence December 14, 2013 at 7:54 am

      Hi Vanessa, Brian here speaking on behalf of Diane, yes her trainings are very experiential in nature to get deeper understanding of the various principles of attachment and heal trauma. Best.

  4. Lancy December 21, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    Your kind eyes exercise left me in tears. I guess they are tears of joy that someone is there. Anyone who’s kind, understanding, and so glad I am here, leaves me in tears – They notice my lacking that I don’t speak of and shows concerns. This makes me heart squeeze very hard and I cry.

    Can you tell me what is the purpose of this exercise? What am I suppose to learn from this? Should I keep doing this exercise every night? Is this part of somatic experiencing?

    • Sue December 2, 2014 at 9:35 am

      I am interested in a response to Lancy as I have the same reaction and want to know if I heal by continuing to do the exercise and tolerate the response. Thank you.

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