Craving Intimacy – How Connected Are You?
2nd July, 2017
By “Connected” I am not talking about whether you have super fast broadband – I am talking about real connection.
- How aware are you when you hold space for others?
- How do you set aside background noise and distraction to listen fully?
- How much interest do you take in them, their path, their agenda?
- Do you make them feel that they are important to you?
This train of thought started when I was recently interviewed by a researcher about our Live Lounge (I host periodic live music gigs within our living room for up to 40 people.) His area of focus is “the evolving field of music” and he was exploring how musicians can create better connections with their audiences. Intrigued by our small gig set up, he asked how these concerts create longer term “fans” of bands.
Firstly I responded with disdain to the term fan since I believe it suggests a power and status dynamic that is unnecessary to support individuals with their creative pursuits. It did raise the question for me about intimacy though…. I found myself asking – what was it that had made our previous lounges so very special… here is my guess:
When artists come to The Lounge there is vey little ego involved. The informal arrangement lends itself to (from the artist’s perspective) a lack of places to hide and what emerges is a very real and transparent performance. Of course “nowhere to hide” could sound pretty scary… but those who take time out to come and share their music with us know that they are in an environment of warm appreciation (in yoga we refer to this as “looking for the good”)… The unconditional positive attention placed upon the bands and artists who play builds a sense of friendliness that allows flaws, flair and humour to be valued equally.
The most raw of performances are humbling to observe, greeted with a sense of compassion and gratitude… how privileged we are to experience the first performance of a new song or feel a part of the evolution of a musician’s material as they test a new arrangement. Their openness to making mistakes shows deep courage and reassures us that we are holding a space that an individual or group feel comfortable to experiment within.
So I guess in answer to the question – how can musicians connect with their audiences better – the answer is the same for us all… show up – fully, flaws n’all, look for the best in people and presuppose that they are affording you the same gift.
This has such relevance outside the music industry too…
In a tech heavy world of lost eye contact we crave intimacy and this is I believe the difference that taking time to connect offers… Informality also provides a pathway for people to be themselves and express themselves in a less guarded and more authentic way… this is one of the reasons I adopt a deliberately-informal coaching training approach.
Connection also includes our environment…
When we feel connected and attentive of our environment we have a shared sense of guardianship to protect our world. We seek out beauty and take responsibility for nurturing it.
Imagine if we could hold space for all others that is warm and inviting. Where we make occasional eye contact, connect, smile, look for the good, have appreciation for the flaws within others and ourselves. Imagine if we could connect with the beauty that surrounds us appreciating and learning from the natural world. How much courage and creativity could emerge in a world built upon a foundation of pure compassion.