Better check-in, or they could be checked out.
How many times have you started a conversation, a message, a lecture, or a speech, and you didn’t get a sense from the audience about where their minds were at? Many times we are so absorbed with what we want to bring to the conversation, we forget a key step in getting everyone to the same starting point.
Maybe you need to get closer to your target group, or they need to step it up a bit to get closer to your frame of mind, either way, know that it is virtually impossible to be at the same jumping off point. You need to check-in.
It can be as easy as “How are you feeling today?” or “Where are you?” Or you can share a little about where you are at. Give the audience some context about where you want to go. This ‘gathering technique’ allows everyone to go from wherever they are, and get closer to your point of view. From that point, it is a lot more comfortable to ride in a similar make believe ship, to the end of the stormy tale of surviving the seven seas, if you get my drift.
I know this first hand, as many of my tales come from my own experiences. I had intended to have a meeting with a close friend when, on that day, I was feeling somewhat down, slow, and not my usual upbeat self. I set that feeling aside and moved forward in the conversation, but although my mind wanted to move forward, I was disconnected with my body, and it was felt.
“Where are you?” came the question finally. I wasn’t anywhere near where I wanted to be. It had been a down week and I was starting to not do all the things that I liked to do in order to get myself centred. I was withdrawing, watching more movies, and eating. Although my food was still good food, it wasn’t just to nourish my body, I was trying to fill a void again.
It wasn’t a big shift in that direction, nor was it a noticeable single shift, it was small and incremental. Each day a little more than the last, until a week down the path, here I was: stuck.
Let me tell you what would have happened a year ago. Given the sensation that my energy was low, and I was in no shape to discuss anything on a higher level, we would have parted company, until I was in that frame of mind. We both may have ruminated about how awful that felt, and I would have punished myself about why I can’t just get on board with an obviously lighter, happier person. This scenario totally sucks.
That didn’t happen. Instead, my wonderful cohort asked me how I was feeling, and I had the sense to describe exactly what I was feeling. It wasn’t enough just to ask the question, you see. The person feeling down has to be aware enough that they can describe their feeling to the other party, so they understand. So they both understand.
The more I expressed my feelings, the more I was getting back in touch with my body. This allowed me to express the fact that there are times when I am just at a natural low. A biorhythmical low that comes after a high. There are clinical terms for a characteristic like this, but I believe we all have biorhythms in life, and our job, no matter what they are, is to manage them. It doesn’t matter what you label them as, you simply need to become aware of them, and manage how you deal with them.
When I am low, I move more in to my mind and I am less social. I think a lot more, ruminate, and that can cast me into a desire to just sit with myself, and stew in a sense. But sharing how I felt, the feeling of being lower in the energy spectrum, actually fed a release inside. I started to feel lighter, as if I was lifting a blanket from over my head to reveal my vulnerable self to another. In this sharing, I released the desire to hide it. And in releasing that desire, I no longer put any energy to that task, and I, rather suddenly, had more energy.
We decided to step outside, go for a walk, then head to some water. On the drive I could feel my more confident, bolder self taking hold. When I am in that lower energy, I am not powerful, nor bold, nor exciting, but simply am; and feel somewhat drained. When I am able to connect with my true self, I am much more confident in my speech and mannerisms. It is a real transformation that occurs!
I wonder how much energy we exert when we hide a part of ourselves from others, if by demonstration of this small event I felt so changed in the time frame of an hour. By simply sharing how I felt in the moment, I was able to let go of the disconnection, dive in to myself, and reveal my vulnerability to another person. That is courageous, and that is powerful stuff.
There is nothing better than knowing you can share your complete self with another human being, and know that they will be there for you.
This one event can have many outcomes, but when you are courageous enough to dig down deep inside your self and discover where you hurt, where you feel sadness or insecurity, and simply lay it out to another soul…or even yourself, only truth is left. The power of ‘what is’ can only result in more energy for you, and more love, especially from within.
We are all taught to desire to be powerful warriors, us men. What I described above takes more courage than most things, and results in a more powerful concept of self. If you did this, you just upgraded your self image, and self worth in the eyes of any your shared it with. Well done!
Congratulate yourself with a walk outside and a connection with those that fill you up. You just rocked what takes others years to achieve. I know I learned a valuable lesson that day. Always check-in with whomever you are with to see how far apart you might be in the moment, and don’t be afraid to share your truth with that same person if you desire that powerful connection.
Checking in is a must do, no matter where you are in a conversation. It’s never too late to get closer. I was literally shocked at witnessing the internal transformation that I went through that afternoon.
I am grateful in so many ways to being reminded to search my feelings, bring them to the forefront, and release that energy. I couldn’t do it without my dear friend, and in saying that, my next step forward is to be able to do this on my own, and know where I am in my own check-in.
May you be as fortunate as I, and don’t be afraid to search your inner self for the real reason you might be feeling down. Share it and let it go, then you can get back to being the real you! If it isn’t you, ask the question with the intent to be there for the big reveal; you might just witness something beautiful.