Make it meaningful.
You need to speak your truth to your partner, a colleague, a new business prospect or possibly a room full of people. Only when you do, it feels awkward and forced.
You choose the words that sound impressive and technically right, possibly well rehearsed, but you don't own them and it's obvious.
It’s like you are trying to convince your listener of something and it has your inner critic triggered...
‘I wonder how you think you look right now? You’re sounding pretty ridiculous’ and, ’You know they don’t believe this shit any more than you do?’
What if they think you are too familiar or believe your not professional enough? You have something VERY real to say here that needs to be heard which only adds all the more pressure to get it right.
You disengage...shut down and move on...nothing changes.
That act, fools nobody.
I vividly recall an event I attended a number of years ago, at a huge London venue. Something along the lines of: ‘Transformation Today! 15 of the worlds most boisterous egos tell you what you should be doing with your life’ or nicely massaged sales patter that disguised this obvious truth.
I bought the ticket, I forced on the white shirt, the jacket (read, ‘armour’), the smart jeans; as was the default coaching look in the day; and attempted the swagger. I flung out business cards at any bodies that would take one. What I didn't realise until it was too late, was I’d signed up for- ‘Who can boom the loudest and have the most vice-like handshake’.
It felt brutal and messy; testosterone fuelled bravado that reeked of desperation.
I felt so out of place, disillusioned with the coaching world. Where’s the heart? I thought. I want dialogue with individuals who dared to care. I needed to feel the passion in these people; in the room. People who had experienced pain, suffering, loss and love, who felt desire and fire for their cause and were willing to share it.
This kind of experience can leave us spun out, feeling relationally isolated.
I’m not making this scene wrong, only it was very wrong for me.
If I am going to trust you, I need to see you.
So what’s needed?
It’s not the opposite of my conference experience, where everybody is wide open and vulnerable all of the time either.
What's needed is intimacy.
With intimacy in place we easily find affection; rapport; power; a deep ability to listen and the feeling of close association comes to the surface.
Intimacy allows for a powerful oscillation to occur; between the two poles of :
- Show your Passion (demonstrative, putting your heart out there, having an opinion, taking a stand) and
- Yield (listening, holding, empathising and recieving) and this can only come into play when intimacy is established.
Intimacy is power.
When you start to fall in love with somebody, what takes it from the realm of getting to know you; I’m attracted to you; through to a place of deep and mutual full range expression? Intimacy.
What makes sex mind blowing? Intimacy, intimacy, intimacy. Letting our guard down and inviting the other person into our world, is RIDICULOUSLY POWERFUL on all levels, not just the physical.
Intimacy is a primal need, yet how often do we surrender to something and see that process of surrendering as powerful? We have made up that yielding is giving in; lacks control and boy do we love control.
Create intimacy, stay remembered.
Think about it, all of the experiences with the people you have encounterd in your life, who have moved you in some powerful and positive way, could not have happened, without intimacy. They opened, showed you something, you opened, felt something in response. Boom, indelible memory that mattered is formed.
We can have a tendency to reserve intimacy for our appropriate relationships, our partners; our parents; and closest friends. We create rules around this that has us shut down potential lines of connection, because society says it’s inappropriate-some societies more than others. Notice your own rules around appropriateness and dare to break them.
The thing is you need to bring it first.
Few people willingly step into deep intimacy with others who they aren’t that familiar with. We’ve been taught to stay safe, cards close to the chest and so on.
One of the beautiful side effects of you bringing the intimacy first, is that people receiving you, also go deep pretty much immediately.
It’s as if you turn up and say ‘hey look, I’m standing naked here’ and they respond with, ‘ah, you’ve shown me yours, now I feel safe to show you mine!'
It won’t kill you and it doesn't always look pretty.
Letting others see you in your times of struggle, self enquiry and difficulty will not destroy you - or your brand for that matter. Quite the opposite.
Sharing poetry on Facebook, recording a video not looking your best, or Blogging about vulnerability (and intimacy for that matter), if that is part of what makes you YOU it's vital we see it. It re-enforces the fact that you are a diverse human being, no to perfect, yes to real and we relate. We see our own selves in your humanity, and it gives us permission to do the same.
The world wants boutique, personal and real.
Gone are the days of cheapest, wholesale and mass produced. Large corporate chains would thrive when the nation was obsessed with finding best value, multi-buy and 2-for-1.
Today, things are very different. We seek out crafted, homemade, corner-shop, micro brewed, organic, free-range and homegrown. Services and products with values and soul.
We are looking for love in the exchanges we make, both personally and professionally. We seek HUMANITY and to feel acknowledged in this world. This is why when someone shares their soul personally or through their services and products, we are reminded of how wonderful it is to feel authentic and give ourselves permission to celebrate our own diversity and difference.
Here's a challenge:
You dare to bring radical intimate connection with all of the people you meet this week; Whether you are familiar with them already or not. Offer something up in the exchange that allows them to see who you really are.
Reserving this for the ‘special’ people in your life is unfair. You are too important not to share.
Are you game?
Over to you.
How has intimacy shown up in your life? What have been the implications? Successes? Fears around it? Please share your insights and experiences in the comments below. We want to hear your story.
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I coach conscious entrepreneurs around topics such as this, and if that would be in service of your greater mission, lets work together.