I was struck the other day by something I read in a New York Times obituary of Joan Sutherland, the luminous singer of Italian bel canto opera. She not only had a powerful voice of incredible range, she achieved great dramatic intensity in part by giving equal attention to each note of an aria, singing each one fully. She didn’t gloss over them in an effort to make something happen. She savored each note, and in doing so, brought her audience with her into a deep, timeless place of incomparable beauty.
In the work I do as a coach-- guiding people to make choices that will let them move in the direction they really want to go-- I’m informed by my many years of work as a body therapist to help them slow down and pay attention, with each step forward, to what they’re feeling in their bodies and their spirit. The process of change is so much more than making leaps from here to there. It’s about the way your whole being is involved in feeling, learning, expressing, and connecting with what is real and true for you.
You can easily enter into this experience by closing your eyes and envisioning a change that you’d like to make in your work or any other part of your life. Notice what happens to your breathing, whether it gets faster or almost shuts down as you take in the implications of really making a meaningful change. Notice whether there’s any tension or opening in your belly, your chest, your throat, your neck, or behind your eyes. What are the messages from your body that feel connected to your vision of change? What is the level of energy you’re feeling now?
It’s really quite amazing how much useful information you can sense about a decision you need to take or a change you want to make by taking time to go deeper into yourself during a time of transition-- rather than just running forward. In fact, time expands and opens possibilities for you when you stop rushing and pay attention to what’s inside you, to the sound of each note resonating, and to the feel of sunshine on your shoulder. When you really feel the depth of what you’re wanting for yourself, then you know, with confidence and clarity, what you have to do-- and the way opens before you with astounding ease. Then the actions you take will lead you to much greater career and life satisfaction.
Join in the Discussion!
• When have you stopped running forward and let yourself experience inside the feeling of making a change?
• What is it to slow down? What are you afraid will happen to your life if you do? What has been a positive experience you’ve had in slowing down?
• What has been a deeply satisfying change you’ve consciously made in your life? Why was this change so satisfying?