Loving Life Blog

Spur of the Moment Reflections

Love Shower November 19, 2010

Have you ever gotten a Love Shower? It is a pretty nice experience. I guess you could give it different names. Appreciation Shower. Acknowledgement Shower. You can do it one-on-one, or in group. Privately or publicly. You can do it in different occasions. Situations I have seen it in are:

  1. During a personal growth workshop
  2. At the end of a group project
  3. At birthdays
  4. During a relationship
  5. At a wedding
  6. By the deathbed
  7. During a funeral

It is like the absolute feel good movie Validation (do you remember – did you see it?) – but more focused and concentrated and times 10. Or times 100.

Imagine sitting in a circle with 10 people who you know to a more or less extent. Your task is to sit quietly and receive while looking into the eyes of the person who speaks. The others task is to one by one express what they love and appreciate about you. The strengths they see. How you have contributed. How you impact them. The gifts you have.

It can be extremely powerful. It can be quite surprising. They can call on things you were absolutely not aware of. They can call on things that are totally contradictory to your own inner critic. (Inner gremlins in life coach terms). It can make a positive mark for life that you can forever lean on.

Imagine standing in a circle of 100 students with whom you have participated in a global international conference. Your task is to write on three different pieces of paper a message to three different people, fold it and walk over and give it to them, so that they can bring with them home to their country as a memorable takeaway.

You can make a friend for life.  Maybe someone feels like they have a friend for life.

I can give many more examples. Bottom line: you touch people deeply. You make people feel good. Appreciate themselves more. Be more aware of their strengths and their impact.

What if you, or we, do that more often. What if we by doing that shift a “bottom low” situation to “raise to the top”. Maybe leaving on a high.

Bring this ritual to that set of situations:

  1. Relationship breakup
  2. Divorce
  3. Lay-off

What if you would leave something that could be very sad and heavy, with a high head and warm heart, knowing that this past epoch had many valuable memories, made a difference to someone or something and you were part of it. And it is something you can bring with you and do again.

What if the mandatory SOX procedure in HR for all companies was to have a Team Power Shower annually in addition to the occasion of anyone leaving, for any reason.

I think I just came up with another business idea. I know – it sounds a little flower power and out there. But I live in California after all. And why do we do these things? Because we can. And because it has great impact.

Who are you going to give a loving power shower next?

I would like to end with the expression that Tim Nichols at the Hub Soma (where change to to work) uses in the member distributed emails:

Of everyone who read this, I like you the best.

With love,

Johanna

 

Toast for Spontaneity! November 21, 2009

I so wish I had had a camera to capture the moment… I just came home from an excellent brunch at Pamelo, a small cozy place in Noe Valley. Accompanied by Fran and Zack.

Fran I know through four different connections. She showed up at my a cappella groups concert because she knew one of the singing group members, she came with a colleague of mine and recognized me from the Nia class. Most recently I met her when she was performing in a singing workshop that I also did a couple of years ago. The world is very small. Apropos spontaneity and singing – without getting to far out from the story line – the singing workshop we both did was led by jazz, R&B and soul singer Jesse Foster. The concept is very cool – you work with Jesse as a vocal coach in individual sessions and four Sunday afternoons in a row you perform with his band at  Rasselas Jazzclub on Fillmore in the jazz district together with other vocal students of his. Prepared in the sense that you have chosen and worked on the songs to sing, spontaneous in the sense that there is no practice with the band ahead of time. You just do it. And it is fun! So talented musicians, wonderful people, supportive audience. Safe. I can warmly recommend it!  (Check out the links if you are interested to step out of the shower singing stage and do the same!) Soon you will see Fran on the music scene in San Francisco.

Zack is a multi doer. I participated in one of his first Nia classes at Dance Mission when I was just about to move to San Francisco. The theme was “Transition” – how appropriate. Today he had another excellent class – the fact that he is also an actor and brings in that spontaneous playfulness in the room makes it a lot of fun. And so to the story… towards the end of the brunch today he suddenly reaches for the spoon in my cafe latte, takes his water glass, clinks the glass while standing up. The murmur in the room stops and he has full attention: “I just want to toast for spontaneity!” he says with a steady voice and a big smile and raises the glass. Facing the wall, I’m turning around and every face in the room cracks up to a big smile and a common toast, laughter and joy.  There are many ways you can show up in life. Such a small gesture – such a great impact.

The sense of joy created in the room reminded me of the sense of joy created by the movie Validation (below). Take a moment to watch it – get inspiration and share the beauty! Who can you make smile today?

Zack and Fran, you are awesome!
Cheers,

Johanna

 

 
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