When I started treating people with stage fright 25 years ago I didn’t set out to teach the finely-calibrated vibration of receptivity that turns out to be the kryptonite to public speaking anxiety.
Back then there was little subtlety in my own listening.
But I soon learned that the key to dissolving speaking anxiety was to guide the group to a quality of listening (and allowing oneself to be listened) that would support the emergence of unselfconscious expression for each member.
It happened that in refining my facilitation of the safest possible space to ease performance anxiety and “listen each other into existence” I landed on a rarefied listening vibration that is palpable and intoxicating, yet seldom experienced in everyday life.
This heightened resonance of listening is provided by the best therapists, coaches, consultants and other professionals, as well as by true friends and partners. And it is the core essence of high spiritual states.
It is also the finely-calibrated vibration of “mother mirroring” for those fortunate to have had ecstatic gazing festivals in their first year of infancy and/or as a parent. I had neither so it figures I’d develop a mechanism for getting it in my life by teaching it so I can have a plethora of great listening partners (or “stillness partners” as I sometimes think of them.)
We need this kind of listening in our lives like oxygen for the psyche. It is key to conflict resolution and the primary path to inner peace of mind and global peacemaking.
In business it is the psycho-active element of team building and enlightened leadership communication.
Getting this ideal listening from a friend, therapist, or other inpidual makes us smarter. Receiving it from a group makes us mega-smarter. When we let it in, all the way in, it illuminates us. In the incandescent spotlight of kind intelligent regard we naturally express what’s up for us without leaving the vibrant moment. This quality of of listening takes us to an edge that gives us great pleasure to surf with our partners in a “field of belonging.”
That’s how most participants now use their turns these days at Speaking Circles which after 25 years and thousands of sessions have reached a new level of alchemy that allows speaking anxiety to dissolve organically in the potent pleasure field of luminous listening. Boldly free to be you and me, we listen and speak from essential knowing which starts with being easygoing in the not knowing.
I’m an advocate for luminous listening in the world. I want it to be taught in schools. I want it to be a staple of conscious parenting. Children suffer mightily without this kind of listening. I did.
Living my life from this vibration and applying its alchemy to public speaking anxiety and beyond is my passionate calling. I want to spread it to those who still suffer the illusion of separation that makes raising one’s voice in public a major source of anxiety for millions.Will you join me in spreading the word?
Why Luminous Listening?
From up front in our turn we see the light in our listeners’ eyes, feel the warmth of their heart and the engagement of their intelligent kind regard. We let them hold us tenderly in the arms of humanity.
The name luminous listening conveys the soul of this finely-calibrated vibration in which the welcome starts in the eyes. It is a resonance that Speaking Circle participants over the weeks come to embody in their seats simply in the course of being asked to maintain a soft focused gaze of kind regard on the person up front.
Luminous listening works for me as a handle for this rare vibration of receptivity because it can be defined clearly by two key aspects:
* Listening through the eyes with a soft steady gaze and with the lights on behind the eyes.
* And behind the lights, holding a vast space of stillness for the other that resonates through the center of the earth and connects all humanity.
When the group is in harmonic attunement with the person up front and that person is surrendered to the support, he or she discovers what wants to be expressed in the moment.
You can advance along your luminous listening path by considering these question: Who do you get luminous listening from in your life? What are they doing/not doing that works? Who do you give this kind of listening to? Who would you like to give it to?
Let me know how it goes!