It was a hot and humid day and the shoes were getting a bit tight. The tightness came and went, forgotten in the moments where concentration was required. Slight adjustments seemed to work for a while, then the tightness returned more intensely. By late afternoon, my feet were screaming out in burning pain – until at last, the shoes came off – ahh, the sweet relief of spaciousness. The room to move, to flow, to allow the natural balance to restore itself…..Happy feet.
Have you ever experienced that relief?
Whether it’s shoes, a necktie, waistband or belt – any physical restriction to the body prevents the flow of blood and lymph, the electro-biological communications along the nerves, regulation of heat and all kinds of subtle processes that ultimately affect harmony and well-being. This extra load on the senses makes real concentration more difficult. It’s a challenge to be truly present. We need to allow spaciousness wherever possible in order to function well.
We also love that feeling after a good de-cluttering in our physical environment. Where there was that jungle of ‘stuff’ that we had to battle through before, is now a place of peace, creativity and opportunity. It feels spacious. Happy office.
Ironically, on the day of the tight shoes, I was coaching a client who was having challenges with particular people in her business. Her description of the problem included feeling time-pressured, people interrupting, too much talking and not fully listening – nobody really seeing or hearing the other. Decisions about daily tasks were made hastily without real buy-in and the resulting lack of quality output, dis-harmony and backbiting was seeping through all areas in the business.
When I asked her, “How would you like it to be instead?”, she described a way of interacting that felt more relaxed, but still professional. Where there was space for different points of view, decisions could be made without people feeling overlooked or ignored, and people remained committed to quality delivery and real deadlines.
Starting with her own self-awareness, I helped her create the spaciousness inside that she needed, to be able to really hear the other person. From there she created new intentions for these conversations. There was more work to do to engage with the team and establish new norms across the business, meanwhile the ‘shoe story’ became a fun metaphor for her, to use when she is feeling the pressure and constraint that leads to unwanted old behaviour. She now knows how to change the energy by using the tools I gave her, to create spaciousness. Happy conversations, happy clients.
At our June event, Working from the Heart, we will be sharing the tools that you can use to create spaciousness within your conversations. Click here for more information on the event.
Meanwhile I will leave you with three skills that you can begin developing today, that will bring spaciousness into your conversations:
- Presence – giving your full attention, listening, seeing, receiving and acknowledging.
- Positive regard – truly valuing yourself and the other person, knowing “I’m OK and you’re OK”.
- Purposeful language – telling the truth in a simple and clear way, without the story, asking for what you need.
Please feel free to contact me personally, if you would like to know more about bringing spaciousness into your conversations, or any other aspect of my work.