Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Miracle in Group Psychology and Other Clever Distractions You've probably seen a video of a flash mob on Facebook or elsewhere on the Internet, those groups of people who start singing or dancing to a practiced routine out of nowhere, delighting those who just happened to be in that public space to witness the amazinginess for a few moments, and then stop just as abruptly, re-engage their regular persona and carry on about their business. The effect this phenomenon has on the audience is remarkable, me included, even though I'm watching the after-market version. It's an opportunity to see a miracle on many levels, and it affects me in that way every time. Knowing what Herculean effort it took to organize such an undertaking, getting people to show up for rehearsals and then the percentage of folks who show up on time for the performance itself--that alone makes something like this miraculous. Another fabulous quality of the experience is the response of the crowd in attendance. Once it's clear what's going on and the audience can relax without worrying that something weird is starting to happen, everyone within hearing distance streams into the usually standing-room only viewing area, electronic recording conveyances of all manner begin to roll, and female elders and small children join in as best they can. People stop whatever they were doing and focus elsewhere. As long as the well-chosen music plays, whatever background noise was playing in our awareness--the thing that's been on our mind today, a relationship that's not going so well, the problem that we keep chewing on and can't seem to let go of--is suddenly dropped and completely forgotten. It might even take a minute or two to recall what the heck it was we were doing and where we were going as we process what just happened back there. This...
Occupy Yourself I had the great fortune recently to attend an intimate performance by a baroque ensemble who played music written by English court composers from back in the day. There were two violins, a soloist, and a lute player who offered their sweet sounds to an appreciative audience for an hour while we munched on a very fine lunch in a room lined with windows, wooden floors and comfy chairs. At the end of the performance, I felt compelled to engage the gentleman lute player in conversation and find out more about his craft. When I asked, he told me that there are probably 5 other people in the metro area who play the lute, and maybe a few thousand world-wide. He also volunteered that he plays guitar as well but that gigs for the lute pay better. I was fascinated by these ratios. And inspired, by yet another example of someone who followed their passion in spite of--I'm guessing--some pressure from various sectors of the peanut gallery in his family and elsewhere about how practical it was going to be to dedicate one's time and energy toward something so obscure, not to mention the how-will-you-ever-support-yourself factor. Yet here he is, clearly doing so. You might be spending time with folks during the next few weeks who aren't exactly your strongest champions. They may not be able to extend their approval of you in ways that feel like approval. While that might seem like a wonderful thing, even if it were to arrive by some miracle, it's not enough. We would still be missing our own. It's the one that counts. It's the one that matters. It's the one that makes the difference between you ever EVER being happy, and, well, not. Happy means living and doing what we are meant...

Deb Schanilec

Connected and Committed relationship transformation strategist.

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