This weekend, I'll be heading to Kripalu to give my final workshop of the year. I've facilitated a number of performance and self-expression classes this fall, each an incredible opportunity that leaves me looking forward to the next and wondering, 'do I really get paid for this?'
Certainly I love what I do. But the marveling at compensation comes less from the joy of sharing my work and more from the amount I'm receiving by doing so. In the returned reflection of new friends, I'm provided with a perspective I simply can't get from my private clients and regular workshops: objectivity.
The desire for this reflection tends to be neglected in the creative realm. So often we writers, musicians and artists dwell in the sanctuary of our own minds, carving and crafting in solitude what's true to us, without a thought to how that truth will register 'out there'.
This lack of perspective is helpful and even crucial at times. Only when we detach from the voices of popular opinion and wisdom can we listen for and hear the emergence of something new. And for some, the birthing and acknowledgement of this personal truth is the destination of art.
I enjoy this process of generation as much as the next person. But my deeper passion lies in touching others with ideas that make their lives better. Which requires that I spend as much time developing the ability to share my ideas as I do creating them.
This ability to connect is an art all its own. Indeed, if we want to make a difference to others, it requires more than saying out loud what we have been discovering. It's ensuring that what we say is being heard, and being heard in a way that is ideal for the listener. It's so easy to do the opposite; to focus on both what we want to say and how we want to say it. Yet with this aim, we are guaranteed only to persuade ourselves.
These men and women from all over the world, with different experiences, backgrounds and points of view, give me a great gift: a look into the ability of my work to work... for them. In our time together, they provide me with the opportunity to see- literally- the difference between what is fascinating to me and fascinating to others. What translates and what doesn't. What they need to hear over what I want to say.
So thank you, participants and readers alike, for all of your feedback this fall and over the years. Your openness, participation and sharing not only inspire me, but continue to help shape what for me is a true labor of love.
Here's to celebrating a wonderful year past, and a glorious new one to come!