I don’t think of heart to heart communication as a necessarily meaning communication happening from a specific place in the body. If we start thinking and feeling from the physical heart, it’s easy to over-focus and go into a constrictive mode – even if you have the most wonderful, positive, loving feelings.
If you’re concentrating on this specific part of you, then it’s very easy to slip into compartmentalizing and exclude the rest of you. That will just cause tension.
Good people try hard to be good and giving and loving. We have a lot of people pleasers here! We are heart-centered beings.
We are loving people, but if you communicate your love from the heart in an over-focused, narrowing way, what you’re communicating is actually heavy and hard.
I’d rather aim for lightheartedness. When you think of light-heartedness – just like Martie over there right now – she suddenly lit up in her whole self – she just freed up. I just happened to be looking over there and saw that she just opened up her whole self. To me, that is open-heartedness, or light-heartedness.
For me, that is how I think of a heart to heart connection – which isn’t even really about the heart – unless you include your whole self as your heart.
Ultimately, it’s just words, but I wanted to bring this up because a lot of people talk about the heart without realizing that the WAY they’re thinking about the heart is actually causing compression in themselves, and therefore in the other people we’re relating with.
Like, if I did that now, if I focus on my heart and I talk to you that way right now… I’m really aware of my physical heart-space and it’s intense! And I really, really care about all of you…. but can you feel the tension?
As teachers, if you really love your students, you need to realize that you can also hurt them. You’ll over-give and you’ll overdo…
We do the same thing as parents, and we do the same thing as performers.
If you really want to communicate the music you love so much, you’ll be passionately engaged and involved, because you want to connect and communicate. But you may be full of tension.
People play like that all the time. It’s really emotional… it will stir up your emotions and people will feel emotional… but it’s heavy.
People may like that, but it’s not really helpful unless somebody is very disconnected from their feelings; then, it can be really cathartic to wake up somebody’s awareness. Going in that direction, you can blow somebody like that apart, and they may actually fall apart, but then there’s a possibility for them to rearrange in a better way.
So, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
It’s just a lot harder to have to go through that heavy, emotional experience than, “Hey, how about we just really connect in an open, carefree way,” where I get to be myself in my own space and I’m not invading anybody else’s space, but I’m also inviting people into my space.
If they choose to come into my space, then it’s OK – I’m free, you’re free. You can take what I’m giving or leave it. I’m okay if you take it, and I’m okay if you leave it. That’s just helpful. It’s healthy for the giver and it’s healthy for the receiver.
That’s actually what we’re talking about. We’re talking about communication as giving and receiving. It’s a constant flow of energy back and forth. But it can’t be if you’re just in giving mode, because then you can’t actually be receiving from your audience.
I think we forget about that a lot. As performers, we know that we are affected by the energy of the audience. If you have people in the audience that are just sitting there like this, that’s hard to play for, right? If you have a “dead” audience and then they clap half-heartedly afterwards, that’s really hard. So, we know we are influenced by the energy of the audience.
And yet, we feel like it’s our responsibility to give and to make our audience feel something. The problem is, that’s not giving your audience the freedom to have their own experience.
It starts the moment you step on stage. The performer really has a lot of power, for lack of a better word. You are in control of the situation. The moment you walk out, all eyes are on you. That’s just human nature, because first there’s nothing happening, and suddenly there’s a moving object. It’s an animal instinct to look at the moving object. So when the audiences sees a person walk on stage, all eyes are on you.
Everybody’s wondering – what’s that person going to do? Well, that puts the ball in your court. You’re in charge. You’ve got control over the room. Use that power, but use it to receive and be grateful that they’re giving you their attention – and then just be yourself.
And then, if you’re getting out of the way, and you’re doing your constructive thinking, your primary purpose is to find out what happens. You also have another purpose – which is to actually communicate with your audience.
It happens naturally. And if you get out of the way like that, you’re integrating your whole self. Constructive thinking is about integrating your thinking – your mind – with your body – which includes your heart and your emotions – which includes your heart, spirit, soul – whatever you want to include as you. The whole self of you is what gets delivered to your audience.
If you’re constricted, that gets delivered; if you’re open and free, that gets delivered. It’s up to you what gets delivered in that first moment that you step out.
So, what do you do? You take care of that before you step out. You are aware of being present, you do constructive thinking. You are intentional before you walk out, and then you have a better chance to be able to fulfill your intention.
That’s what I wanted to share today, about how I think about heart to heart communication with an audience. And really, it’s no different with whoever you’re talking to – an individual, a group, an audience, or a partner. It’s a kind of communication where there’s ease and freedom, and a give and take in the communication, when you’re truly getting out of the way.
That allows you to just be yourself and express yourself freely.