A trance like state for me is like a horse with blinders only seeing what is necessary and responding to what is needed life necessary to survival.
For a number of years, I wore self-imposed blinders going through the motions life.
A courteous trance with auto pilot greetings of “Good Morning, how are you?” Without listening for a response or revealing to anyone that I was not really there. I would move to my next auto response, and there were times when my mind was so numb due to overload; family problems, work problems, financial problems, I saw nothing good and could only feel physical pain.
But the last few years I have learned to make an effort to keep these trance like states to a minimum. They rob me of valuable time I can’t get back. Taking a few minutes to greet someone and waiting for their response, looking into their face, making eye contact to really see them. Listening for a sigh that may indicate “I am not doing too well right now” or “I am really excited and was looking for someone to share my good news with” or just a conversation one human being to another.
I greeted a homeless man once immediately I regretted asking him how he felt. A stupid question I thought but to my surprise he said great and that got my attention. He proceeded to talk about the weather what a nice warm day it was and he even smiled. A brief chat and he thanked me, he said at that moment all he needed was a normal conversation, a chat something you would have at the bus stop or in a long line at the grocery. I was glad I was not in my trance like state, walking by him without seeing him or acknowledging him.
Knowing that I have a tendency to go into self -imposed trances when I am on overload, I work hard to really participate in life on a daily basis, not to be so self-absorbed I cannot hear, see or take a few minutes to acknowledge another human being sharing the planet with me.
I don’t have great sums of money but I can listen, it takes nothing away from me and sometimes I feel more valuable just lending a listening ear.