Last week Donna attended a vocal training workshop. We conduct workshops and do public speaking, so learning to project our voices and learning proper breathing exercises are important.
The vocal teacher said that when speaking or singing, we must focus our minds on our performance and away from the audience or other distractions. To demonstrate her point, she asked everyone to stand up and she then walked up to Donna and firmly stepped on Donna’s toes.
She asked, “Where’s your mind focusing?” Donna replied, “On my toes of course.” The teacher suddenly pulled a strand of Donna’s hair, “Now where is your mind?” she asked. Donna said, “On my tender scalp!”
With that brief exercise she made her point. We have “moveable minds” and in a nanosecond they can move from one thought to another – from one point of focus to another. Our personal power dramatically increases when we choose to focus our movable minds on what we want, rather than reacting to the many distracting stimuli that come our way.
In applying this idea, it is helpful to remember that there are two primary mindsets that your movable mind can focus on. One is a problem (or Victim) mindset, which is the origin of the Dreaded Drama Triangle (DDT)™, that reacts to what you don’t like or don’t want. The other is the outcome (Creator) mindset, which is the foundation of TED* (*The Empowerment Dynamic)™, which focuses on what you care about and want to create.
At any moment, you can remember to simply pause, and ask; “Which mindset am I focusing on right now?”
Once you stop and ask yourself that question, you now have the possibility of shifting your movable mind to the mindset that will get you closer to what you want in the moment. We find the difficult part is remembering to pause and ask that question. For us, there are still the occasional frustrations of modern life that can trigger our drama-filled minds.
A good example is a phone drama that hit our family last week. David got a new cell phone, and after 3 days of constant struggle, 2 return visits to the phone store, several calls to the help center, he realized his new phone was a “lemon.” He was definitely feeling victimized by the situation. And Donna was feeling victimized by his ongoing complaints and pre-occupation with the phone.
After the vocal workshop and that silly, but memorable, exercise with the vocal instructor, Donna realized she had a movable mind and could choose her response to the situation. It was a remarkable difference when she shifted her mind from complaining about his complaining, to simply listening and actually having compassion for his situation.
Moving our minds to what we want, given the truth of the situation, empowers us to take responsibility for our choices. As Donna shifted her mind away from David’s situation, it is amazing that she felt much better and, coincidently, that same afternoon David’s phone was replaced and now works well.
Whether you are faced with the challenge of public speaking or singing, technology or personal relationships, remembering that you have the capacity to move your mind can make the difference between a drama-filled life of suffering or finding joy in the moment.