A Relational Model of Speaking
By Lee Glickstein
This striking 7-minute turn that Ananda Satara has allowed me to share with you is a window into the alchemy of moving effortlessly from fear to freedom in front of groups. [If the above link doesn't work for you, try this one.]
It was her first exposure to the relational model of public speaking. Ananda came to Speaking Circles for a heart-centered approach to engaging with groups that is resonant with her work as a guide and way-shower in reflection of the Divine Feminine. Her previous public speaking experience was as an academic scientist, "using a content-driven and detached model of presentation," she told me.
In articulating the transformation she is going through as it is happening, Ananda provides a golden opportunity for others to experience from the inside-out the trajectory of this radically effortless path to authentic expression.
For those who will find the written word useful as a supplement to the video, here is a summary Ananda's discoveries:
The distinction between being prepared and being willing
She is coming into awareness about the tension between being prepared with her content, and being a willing and open vessel through which to flow that content. This dynamic, she realizes, pertains whether speaking with one person, with a roomful, or with a stadium full.
Performance model vs. relational model of speaking
For her, the performance model of speaking created tension because all the emphasis was on the preparation, "but there was a lack of anything in the moment to connect that moment to all the days, weeks, and years ... that it took to bring that [content] forth." The relational model of speaking allows her to come home and bridge with pure presence all those years of preparation.
Grace in the silence
She reports her experience of grace after taking a long pause: "[Before this experience] [I]f I just paused like I did now to look at you, that would have been like standing before the Grand Canyon and pretty much having a rusty railing and going head first down for a dive into the Colorado. Because there was that disconnect ... between the moment and the connection. But what I just experienced in speaking with you now was no break in that connection. And still feeling that open pipeline, that open vessel that would be available for the next moment, the next awareness to flow through into expression.
And another breakthrough: "What also I feel standing here with you, totally different than anything I've had before, is I actually want to ask you questions..... Whereas before, the greatest horror was the question and answer period." Q&A felt to her like people coming at her versus "being in a present state of exchange, moving back and forth and flowing with the larger ... container in which the entire moment is unfolding....."
Breaking the barrier into co-creative engagement
Continuing to report this new and different experience, "I feel in many ways like I've crossed over a threshold of having this vast wall, this barrier that I was looking at of how am I going to work with groups, how am I going to be able to engage..... I'm feeling the flow that can come from this entirely different presence of space that ultimately co-creates the speaking and learning experience together."
At a loss for words?
About being in front of the room without a plan, "I really don't know the last time I stood up for 7 minutes and had not a single thought in my head when I left the chair and came up here ... and not feeling ... a loss for words." The expression "being at a loss for words," she realizes, "comes not from a lostness of the words but a lostness of myself in the moment of the connection to the source of where those words will come from, and flow through."
Crossing the bridge to a new world of speaking
In conclusion, "The biggest thing I've learned in the last few hours is that I'm crossing over a bridge from one world to the next, in a remarkably short period of time."
© Copyright 2012, Lee Glickstein. All rights reserved.