Colin took part in the 2 Day Foundation Inner View Training Program earlier in the year in the UK. His full description sits below.
NOTE: we are repeating this Foundation Training in the USA in OCTOBER. A few places remain. Relevant for so many whose role in life and work it is to pay close human attention. And for those looking for clarity of thinking.
See the CURRICULUM.
The stilling of our self and their stilling of their self is needed to allow what needs to arise and become known, such that either or both are moved to speak, words which invariably are an inadequate description of what is really being experienced.
In fact, neither may speak, which can also be equally profound, as this can become a wordless, silent exchange.
When you have experienced this silence, or witnessed it, you will realise how profound this can be.
Here we start to sense the difference between what is in our head and what is in our heart, and/or the awareness that is now able to move through us.
From this stillness and safety, the speaker starts to think more deeply, originally and creatively.
Previous jumbled thinking starts to make sense.
It feels like a truth, our real truth, who we really are, begins to emerge.
This is like a hallowed place.
The real joy of witnessing the speaker with a camera is that it enables the speaker to see themselves as they really are, a deep seeing, maybe for the first time. The camera is not a mirror it does not lie. In this still, silent, safe place, who we are shines through. After maybe a lifetime, we get to see ourselves.
The words we use, the face that conveys them is vulnerable and congruent, a state that whilst being unusual is both compelling, engaging and attractive. Vulnerability, as Brene Brown shares, brings that real connection that each and every one of us desires.
The speaker senses their vulnerability and searches for recognition, acknowledgement, and maybe guidance from the listener. But it is not forthcoming; all we see is the warm, welcoming face that is seeing us. This can be the most uncomfortable moment for the speaker, and certainly calls into question the trust with the listener. There may be some tension, an increase in the intensity between the two, maybe some reflection and thinking on behalf of the speaker.
It is at this moment, many listeners will interrupt, but they will be interrupting for themselves, not for the speaker. The listener has sensed and rightly interpreted a discomfort and rather than sit with it and allow what needs to emerge, wants to alleviate the ‘pain’. This can be the worst thing the listener can do. Out of our most difficult times comes our greatest learning.
The listener having the courage and willingness to serve the speaker, to remain still and silent and to witness the speaker moving through their difficult moments will be appreciated, albeit, maybe not at the time. The reality for the speaker is that there is ‘no hiding place’. For sure, they could stand up and walk away, they could armour up and not say anything, or they could just remain silent, desperately holding back the tears, and allowing what needs to arise, to arise.
Make no mistake trust is tested here. How far can I open up to the listener, before it is too much for the listener? This is also a challenging time for the listener. He or she has no idea where this conversation may go, what may arise, what may be revealed. The listener is in a privileged place, and he or she needs to be aware of this, they may be about to witness something that has not be shared or heard before, and may even be ‘new’ to the speaker.
The more the listener is unmoved, as noticed by the speaker, by what the speaker is saying, the more the speaker will reveal.
The beauty of the camera is that it captures it all.
If the listener is truly witnessing the speaker, it can be very difficult to remember all that is said by the speaker. The reason, I feel, is that the connection that started with a head to head connection, has now has moved to one which is heart to heart, or even deeper. Both will feel it, and there are no words to describe this connection that will do it justice.
The camera captures the words and the face of the speaker, but in fact captures far more. It captures the true essence of the speaker, their emotions, their vulnerability, and as I said earlier inspires deep, true connection.
We can pour out words on a page, have copywriters edit, hone them into ‘compelling copy, but the truth is it feels like it has been manufactured, even though it could well be true. It feels like we have been ‘done to’; it feels empty, heartless and cold.
The opposite is what happens when we have our time in front of the camera and to experience what it is like to be seen and heard. As Nic says, “We fall in love with our self.”
Colin D Smith
8 May 2018