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Singing our song in a new way

Dear reader!

It is with joy that I welcome you to this blog. It will be about life and relationships and about how we talk to one another. Because I think it would be good if we talked more about how we talk to one another. Communication is so integrated in most things we do and in most contexts in which we find ourselves, and how we feel in our relationships is often affected by how we talk (or don't talk) with each other. So again, welcome to come on a communication journey with me. Our first stop is the Netherlands!

Several years ago I went to Utrecht in the Netherlands to attend a seminar. I came as a member of the audience but also had the task of being the music in the room. At appropriate times during the day I would sing songs that I had prepared, and the organizers had made sure there was a small electric piano in the room. I felt a little nervous, as I always do when I'm about to sing in front of someone, but mostly I was happy to be there.

After a while, there was a natural break in the agenda and I was going to sing my first song. I sat down at the piano, started playing the opening chords and... nothing happened. No sound came from the instrument. After checking that all the cords were in the right place, I noticed that the connector to the power outlet was broken and we hadn't got a spare one. I looked up at the people in the room and at the lecturer. I felt a little baffled to have prepared the songs and have nothing to come of it, but there really wasn't much to be done.

"Can you still sing?" the lecturer asked with a smile. I flinched. "What...?" I said. "Well, without the piano, I mean. May we hear the song anyway?” I looked at him in disbelief and started to feel panic. That wouldn't work at all, I thought as I heard myself say: "Well, I guess you may..."

So I stood up and sang. My voice was steady but my knees trembled and after the song was finished, I crumpled onto my chair while the rest of the group took a coffee break. I was surprised at how naked and vulnerable I had felt. This wasn't the first time I sang without accompaniment. But then it hit me. It was the first time I sang unaccompanied at a time when I had relied on having the music there to lean on and - truth be told - to hide behind. I got to sing my song in a new way and be heard in it.

We have a communicative history with all the people in our life. With each and everyone of them, we have found our way of talking and - sometimes unconsciously and often unspoken - agreed on what is okay and not okay to talk about. Starting to change the patterns in how we converse with someone, bringing in new energies and singing our song in a new way, can feel both big and vulnerable, especially if we don't know how it will be received by the other.

But if we feel that it is challenging to talk to someone in our life, that communication feels painful or infected, one-sided or stagnated, or that we have difficulty meeting and hearing each other, then maybe we can reflect on whether it would be a good time to start singing our song in a new way. It may sound overwhelming and difficult, but oftentimes it doesn't take that big of a change to introduce new notes and harmonies into our otherwise familiar and ingrained way of talking to each other.

Perhaps we already know what is needed for more of our communicative needs to be met in our relationships. Maybe we feel ready to start. Or maybe it feels difficult to navigate old patterns and we need to find the courage or get new tools to be able to connect in a new way.

For those who feel curious about continuing the dialogue on how communication in one's relationship can be understood, improved, or deepened, I would like to invite you to book a session with me. As a welcome gift to new customers, the first video session is half the price.

I also want to invite you to comment, ask or share your own experiences based on the content of this blog.



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