The other day I was having another mind-blowing conversation with Michael Jones where we were discussing being in tune with your audience. As a pianist, there is a quite literal aspect to Michael’s ability to ‘tune in’ to his audience, but even though the required skill is indeed musical in a very real sense, the instrument I’m interested in learning how to play is less visible. It’s more like another octave of my own body & psyche – scales I can reach and sound through my heart and mind and voice.
I can imagine this most clearly on a metaphoric level, as resonating or
vibrating within a relational field, slowing down to the speed of
discernment in order to access a ‘knowing’ about what note to strike in
any given moment. For me this is a multi-dimensional process – knowing
what is needed in order to be true to my own experience and express it
in an authentic way, having a sense of what is needed for others in the
group, and beyond that, getting a sense of what’s needed in the
relational field of the group as a whole.
This subtle discernment in the relational field is something I’ve been
inviting and trying to develop in myself for some time now, and one thing I do know is that it begins with a clear recognition and
acceptance of my own needs. If I can’t go beyond my tendency to
acquiesce to what I imagine is expected of me & suppress anything
that doesn’t fit that model, I can’t access what is actually going on
with myself or anyone else; if I am frozen by my own fears, I can’t
hear what others are afraid of, or what they will be inspired by. I’m
locked in a prison of my own making and can’t see or feel into the
larger field outside that imagined boundary.
And perhaps more tellingly, I have no connection to the core of creativity & originality in my that can actually carry my knowing out into the world in a way others can see and respond to.
So that’s where I’m starting; this is the seed I’m planting… slowing down, checking in with myself, listening carefully to what comes in return and then acting on it.