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Relational Reflections: Yes, another blog, and this one’s from Dr. Nadine and Dr. Zan at True Heights

The Sound of Abundance

Dr. Nadine’s Thoughts:

Last week Dr. Zan and I had the pleasure of attending an event in New York City called “Amplify Your Voice…Amplify You”.  It was sponsored by Women Kick Glass, an organization dedicated to providing networking opportunities to professional women.  Women Kick Glass was founded by JeanAnn Morgan, a woman who embodies all that the organization is: caring, cordial, connected, collaborative, smart, savvy and beautiful, inside and out.  Our keynote speaker was Casey Erin Clark of Vital Voice Training, who used her voice to teach us the importance of speaking out and of being heard. With humor and humanity, Casey reminded us of why we need to raise our voices, and how to do it.  For those of us who aren’t formally trained vocally, learning about the physiology of producing sound, the psychology involved in our vocalizations and the reception by others of our vocal formations was fascinating and thought-provoking. I must say I developed a greater appreciation for the work that my Dear One, who is a trained vocalist, does every day to create those luscious sounds that produce a beautiful piece of music.

As we women gathered in concert (metaphor intended) for the night’s event, I was struck by the positive “vibe” in the room.  There was a collective good-will that permeated the assembly. The energy level was high, as people introduced themselves to one another and traded information about themselves.  Conversations were infused with congeniality, vulnerability, openness, support, and encouragement. It was evident that our priority was to join together, knowing that helping one another was also part of advancing our own work.  At no time did I feel a sense of competition or rivalry among the women; rather a feeling of camaraderie encompassed the group.

Sometimes I think that we (especially women) diminish or silence our voices because we expect that only one voice can be heard at a time.  Or perhaps we’ve learned that another voice is more important and should take precedence over our own. I still catch myself defaulting to withdrawing from discussions if I’m in the presence of someone who’s “louder” than I am.  I know I’m not alone, and I know I’ve had both women and men report the same phenomenon.

But positive contributions to our lives and to our world are most often the result of people coming together, joined by a shared set of values that include promoting one another.  If we continue our example from the fine arts, fabulous performances are rarely made by only one person. More often, we go to a concert or a show in which many people have had a vital part in its production, each person providing his or her own unique contribution.  Perhaps there are soloists, but they have a specified time and place in the piece, and they’re cued in at just the right moment. It’s the collective effort that ultimately results in the beautiful performance.

So let’s remember that we each have the gift of our voices.  Each of us has a unique contribution that must be heard, that no one else can reproduce.  It’s your willingness to join the chorus, and add to the sound, that will create the rich harmonies of relationships.  Perhaps at other times you’ll be the featured soloist whom others will accompany. Either way, you have a special place in the music.  Sing your part with confidence and let everyone hear your beautiful voice!

Dr. Zan’s Reflections:

Just this past Sunday, my family once again engaged in our long standing tradition of hunting Easter eggs on and around our lawn. It was a delight to witness, especially given the fact that I now have young adults participating with great exuberance, literally running to be the first to claim an egg hidden in the bushes at the opposite corner of the property. I must admit that egg hunts in the earlier years with my children did not always result in the happiness these events were intended to create. On the contrary, the community Easter egg hunts we attended were often the catalyst for tears and tantrums. The reason? There were never enough eggs to go around.Therefore, these hunts became more about competition and learning to lose with grace (which we never achieved) than about finding any modicum of joy. In fact, these egg hunts were an occasion to learn about lack and the reality that there might not be enough to go around. While I grew up with this mindset that there is likely not enough to go around, hence a mindset of “lack” and “wanting”--perhaps even craving or longing--I did not wish for this to be the experience of my children. I wanted them to see the world as a place of limitless possibilities and opportunities. Surely their egg hunts should be the same. As a result, I started to shun the community run hunts and create my own instead--with the help of my sister and of my partner--hunts that would be an experience of being fully satiated. No need for tears or tantrums--abundance abounds!

Truly, these egg hunts have become a metaphor for life. I fervently believe that life offers abundance. There is enough to go around. Perhaps if we can stop focusing so much on competing with one another, we can embrace all of the beauty that life has to offer more fully.

When I attend a Women Kick Glass event, the most recent described so eloquently by Dr. Nadine, I am very aware of an abundance mindset. By that, I mean that those in attendance understand that helping others to improve, prosper, and achieve in their careers is not a threat. Rather, offering help to others to succeed in their careers is a way of expanding one’s own sense of purpose and accomplishment. In essence, I can feel better about my own career path and journey because I have helped you. That is a beautiful sentiment and one that is easily observed among the “glass kickers” I’ve encountered.

Please consider looking at the world through the eyes (and the voice) of abundance. We can proclaim the availability of resources to others, without fear of experiencing lack in our own homes and careers. In other words, we can share. We can be generous. We can open ourselves without reservation. There is enough to go around.

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