I AM DONE WITH WAR TALK
(- or my new found insight and antidote for anxiety and the crazyness that’s sometimes happening around you or is directed towards you.)
With an impeachment at hand in the USA – the unrest of a bombing, and a tragedy of the crashed plane in Iran – the fires burning in Australia – and in my own country a New Year’s Eve that on some places resembled a little war zone – you would think that the energy of war is near.
The first day of 2020 I flew to the south of Germany to sing for a week. No tv. No news. So I missed a full week of anxiety laden news that otherwise would have filled up space in my head, heart and body.
Except for the news about the fires in Australia that my Australian friends and family shared directly with me. But that was something we, each of us, could do our part and help with. In any which way we could. And we did!! That was, and still is, an amazing display of the power of the people.
The rest of last week was a period of tranquility and deeper listening.
It enhances your presence. It softens your heart. It deepens your thoughts.
I felt a lot of love for the people around me and at home. Thinking about last year I had an almost overwhelming sense of gratitude for everyone who supported me with the many new firsts that I have experienced in 2019.
In november I had the most intensive training I’ve ever had, in order to become a One of Many Women’s Trainer.
There it was that I received the best lesson of all year that I would love to share with you. Especially now that I can sense how the ‘outside world’ can make us feel scared and powerless.
Especially after a week of peaceful harmony.
Let me bring you back to a moment in november. Almost at the very end of a full-on week on stage, new learnings, core shaking insights and powerful straight feedback, my confidence had done the full Phoenix circle.
Well… That’s what I thought.
Than in came a little surprise:
“Now… there is one last exercise we want you to go through. It will free you for the rest of your career as a speaker and a trainer.
Little warning. It’s not ‘fun’.”
A little music will be playing… there is time to write down your biggest fears in a letter. ‘Your meanest self to yourself. For when you would be a succes.’
Music playing, pens on paper, quiet sniffing and tears falling in paper.
Our own inner mean-voice is a bigger bitch than anyone else we know. But giving her some space to vent does reveal an honest look into everything that has been holding you back for years. After everything is said we pause and some of us share. I share my own letter out loud in my own language. God the shame. And the relieve of ‘having it out there’.
And then we deepen in:
“What’s the absolute worst that can happen?
What’s your specific secret sauce that a crowd has do to you in order to completely destroy you?”
More writing – but shorter this time. “Now let’s play with this” We gather in smaller groups so we can offer each other that most terrible fear. Like we totally mean it. You in front – on stage – trying to give your talk and the audience doing the exact thing that makes your skin curl from the horror of it. For exactly 4 full agonising minutes. Followed, right after, with the most amazing hugs and lovely feedback ever from the same people.
First it is hard to step into playing the mean audience part. Giving each her own variety of deep rooted pain and fear. But while doing it I am brought back to my teens – me saying and aiming the worst and mean things to teachers during my high school years – seeing and sensing their fears and weaknesses and drilling that in relentlessly. My own frustrations venting at them.
And that was exactly what I discovered when I stood there. In front of my audience from hell. Their incredible mean remarks about ‘my obvious stupidity and arrogance to even dear to speak to them’, the total neglect of everything I am saying, and the out loud laughing and disrespect of my whole personality and topic… it was a lot.
After 1,5 minute something dawned at me.
I looked at them thinking: “Wow. They are missing out at such valuable information. I wonder what is the matter with them. What is going on in there why they can’t hear what I am saying?”
All of a sudden I realise: it is not about me.
NOT ABOUT ME
It doesn’t matter if they are happy. Satisfied with what I am saying. Or if it makes them so angry they want to hang me on the highest tower. It’s not about me. It’s about what is going on inside of them.
And I feel my calm coming back. It is still very much hurtful. But the remaining two of the four minutes I am trying to use all my knowledge and skills to reach them from where I can sense where they’re at. What frustrates them about me that it stands in the way of good communication? What’s the trigger and more so, what do they need from me to go past that so they can hear what’s important to them?
It does made a difference. Afterward I’ve been told that at least a little bit of content did came through.
But more so, I knew it wasn’t personal. That knowledge freed me.
If people reject me. It isn’t personal. When they opt out of my newsletter- it isn’t personal. When they say ‘No’ to your offer, your declaration of love, your invitation to cooperate. Or when they hackle you from the stage, ór even wright the most awful review – it still isn’t personal.
We don’t know what is going on in someone’s life. Each of us brings his or hers; fears, trauma, likes and dislikes, convictions and fixed set of beliefs. It colours our world. It makes us hear things differently than we mean to make it sound.
Now if we still want to move forward and create positive change we need to be okay with that. Find a way to overcome that barrier.
Not taking it personal is the biggest anti-dote to anxiety and overwhelm. Because it makes you look past your own hurt.
It opens a wide space of possibilities where we can find out what is going down on below. Or we can react with the power of behavioural patterns. It’s a bit more instinctive – but from a learned place of knowledge. Or it opens up a deeper conversation where we really can get to know the people in front of us.
Find out what it is they do need from you instead. And maybe then perhaps find common ground. Or find out you may have just been talking to the wrong audience.
Whatever it is. It opens understanding. And the foundation is the respect for each individual person.
This is why I am totally done with all the war talk. All the opposites that are used as fuel to direct your anger and misuse it for a grab out of the power game.
I am done with putting people in boxes that are based on rules that do not respect the freedom of being your own entity. That deny your own divine right to live and fully express yourself on this planet.
It is time that we put to work our soft power. We need to at least be brave enough to face up to the fact that we, each of us, are very human. Pride and fear can stand in the way of using our Soft Power. Making us behave like pushovers when a few simple questions or stating some facts would suffice.
One simple gesture could deflate a whole tense conflict when put at the right time and the right place.
And resilience to not be triggered by the fear and attention seeking anger of others (read: war talk and conflict inspiring tweets, talks and images) will free up space to react from a place of self governance.
WORD FOR THIS YEAR
I choose a word for this year. It is Radiance. (Or Shine – but somehow the word Radiate or Radiance speaks to my Soul)
It’s what I know is in store for me 2020. To radiate my inner light from the inside out. I am no longer willing to let it dim.
Whatever motivations you have to find your own leadership-powers, know I will be supporting you by stepping into mine as well. This IS the time where we need to wake up for our own leadership.
If we don’t; our own voice, our power and our self expression and creativity will be used by others to whom we give our power away.
I know you have dreams. Make them happen. It’s up to you. What you decide to do with your power – that ìs personal.