Imagine standing in front of a room of people for three minutes and saying absolutely nothing. Just standing there. Making eye contact. Breathing. Connecting. No words.
This is what I signed up to do, yes, paid for, in a class I attended called Soul Speaks.
Throughout the class, each person has three individual turns to stand up in front of the group and speak about any subject or, drum roll please…to be silent.
It is not about content, it is about connecting and letting the essence of who we are shine through and be seen, heard, and blessed. After each turn, we continue to stand in front of the room as group members call out “showers of appreciation” based on our essence and what they witness from being in our presence.
Then the facilitator quickly captures these “showers” as the class calls them out and she writes them down in a pretty notebook. “This is the truth of who you are” she says, when she hands the notebooks to us at the end of each class.
As our names are called in random order, we are encouraged not to prepare, and not to think about what we are going to say (or not say) before our turn. My ego does not like these directions of not preparing. It screams in my head, “Quick, come up with something brilliant, you have to be prepared, make them laugh, keep them interested …” That’s been my typical mode of operation in front of a group; do whatever it takes to keep them interested, or they’ll get bored and I’ll feel rejected.
This is not about giving a brilliant speech or being an excellent speaker. It’s about authentic connection in front of a room of people. Talk about feeling vulnerable.
I’ve had the gift of authentic connection (non-verbal) with horses throughout most of my life. I’ve always felt more comfortable in my own skin with animals because they don’t judge, and I don’t have to be anything other than myself to be accepted. I’ve got nothing to hide and even if I try to, horses can see past my bullsh&*.
You can’t hide anything from a horse.
On the other hand, it’s vulnerable connection with people which scares me. My ego flares up and says “what if you’re not good enough, funny enough, entertaining enough…” Over the years, I’ve become very good at breaking the ice, asking questions, and keeping conversations rolling so I don’t have to be fully seen. I can easily hide behind my words.
Being verbal protects me from being vulnerable.
Hence, I signed up for Soul Speaks. To confront my ego by deliberately standing in front of a group of people while keeping my mouth shut. As my business expands and I’m doing more speaking presentations, I find myself speaking quickly, out of fear that my audience will get bored. Soul Speaks appealed to me because I was curious to hear what my soul (not my mouth) would say, given the chance to speak.
During my last class, I stood in front of the group for three minutes. I challenged myself not to speak. I made an experiment out of it, to see if I could do it. I made eye contact with each person in the rows of chairs in front of me. I felt the blood rush to my face and felt my heart beating fast. Yet I kept breathing and making eye contact. For once, I didn’t feel the desperate need to impress or entertain people so they wouldn’t get bored.
I stood there and that was enough.
I WAS ENOUGH.
That was my takeaway. I got to experience it firsthand and the audience clapped for me when my turn was over.
By breathing, I was at home in my body while I was making eye contact. It was exhilarating and validating.
Here are some of the showers of appreciation that people called out after my three minute turn: “Bursting, powerful, wise, captivating, soft and comforting.” This was the feedback I got while I stood in SILENCE in front of a group of people that barely know me. Sure enough, my soul does speak loud and clear.
I’m a firm believer that our soul speak volumes, when we close our mouths and trust we are enough. Our essence and “soulfulness” is the truth of who we are; the scary part is allowing ourself to be seen and heard.
But it’s a gift to ourself and others when we allow our soul to speak.
Let your soul do the talking,