Your energy in the room
Please take responsibility for the energy you bring into this space.~Jill Bolte Taylor
When I was in my 20s, training as a music therapist, I flew cross-country for a week-long graduate course with Clive Robbins, co-author of Creative Music Therapy, the book that had ignited my passion for this work. The room was buzzing with the normal energy of students, hosts, even Clive's collaborator. We were ready to learn how to do what he did.
Then, Clive walked into the room - as humble and unassuming a human being as I have ever met - and electrified the space. He was so gentle and quiet, yet I've never felt a presence so strong and loving. There wasn't a single person I met that week who didn't have the same experience of him. His energy had gone viral in that room before he spoke a word. It changed how we saw each other, where we focused, what we talked about, and what we believed was possible.
I can't tell you a single strategy or practice he us taught that week. Yet, he permanently changed me and, in turn, my work as a therapist and leader.
This is how it is with us. We are all massive sensory beings, taking in and interpreting the energy around us. We can name some of it: sound, touch, sight. These are nothing but vibrational (energy) signals that have no meaning until we interpret them. The more powerful signals come from energy we "sense," but are not as good at naming. That is what happened with Clive, and here is what I've learned since about the power of this viral energy.
Lesson One: The energy we bring into the room - with a clients, colleagues, family or strangers at the supermarket - is always more powerful than anything we say or do. It precedes word and action, and lays the framework for how others interpret everything that comes after.
Lesson Two: Your energy is viral. It doesn't matter whether you are the quiet observer or the charismatic or the dominator, you are viral. You can never turn it off. Your energy - that is, your focus and intention and internal conversation - is being perceived by the other sensory beings in the room long before you speak or engage. Good, bad or indifferent, your energy impacts everyone in the room.
Lesson Three: When we take responsibility for this energy, with clear intention and focus, then our words and actions want to align with it. Our energy, our "signals" are consistent and aligned with each other. This aligned place is where we are most powerful, most viral.
Which brings us to the big question: What energy are you bringing into the room? Whether it's on purpose or not is irrelevant.
What energy is going viral from you - here, and now, in this moment?