1/20/2015 0 Comments
How to address boundary violations
How to address a boundary violation
Communication with your peers, supervisors and section.
When a boundary is violated, the brain emits a chemical that does not feel good....a sensation similar to fear and embarrassment, and depending on the violation - even shame. Your heart rate increases, there is a flush of heat, the Amygdala kicks in - fight, flight or freeze - and then its very difficult to address the violation in that moment.
The practice of Mindfulness will help keep lips sealed until centre is restored....ie take the time to center in order to respond rather than react (Dr David Hawkins). Of course if one has reacted, recovery is critical - the 3 A’s:
Validation of boundary principal - respect of the universal right for boundaries
Listening: Validate what you’re hearing - listen without interruption and be willing to co-create alignment. Validation is not the same as agreement. Alignment is the co-creating of the tracks upon which the train (organization) will run, which allows for the unique and diverse values we hold in society to be valued. This is difficult skill to acquire - there will be many errors - correct them in the moment, take responsibility, apologize, recover and forgive yourself. It is the effort that is important (Daniel Coyle “The Talent Code) - success will come.
Speaking: I call it “the Mr. Collins” from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice - have a few “alignment seeking questions” in your back pocket so you can “take a breath” to respond rather than react when your body is in “react mode”. If your intention is to learn the skill of response, you will learn it, and you won’t need Mr. Collins anymore.
If your boundaries at work keep getting violated - choose a stronger boundary. The steel wall of respectful professional courtesy is always available. We do not need to like everyone, but professional politeness is essential when asserting your boundaries and when your boundaries have been violated. Lastly, we do have protection in the Collective Bargaining Agreement and in the legal system.
You know what is true and right for you. Actively manage and maintain your boundaries. Mindfulness allows you to build up strength in who you know yourself to be and to trust your body and mind response to self and others and to act accordingly.
Here are some helpful links re mindful listening:
1/14/2015 1 Comment
Boundaries in the workplace
There are societal norms for boundaries in certain roles, which have built-in limits.
A ranked and powerful position (supervisor, Doctor, boss, teacher, therapist, policeman etc etc) is in a position of trust and their responsibilities include caring for, advocating for and teaching those in their charge in an ethically responsible way. They also have the power to sanction or invalidate. Good supervision “allows for safe communication, security in risking, appropriate meeting of needs, attention to role requirements, and support of subordinates. All roles have built-in limits. Respecting these limits creates order in relationships. Crossing these limits yields confusion and disorder” (p.144).
As a subordinate;
Boundaries in the musicians’ workplace
Boundaries in the teaching studio in the one-on-one student - teacher environment is not a relationship of peers: there are tried and true limits which must be in place. However, there are many private music teachers that go the extra mile for students - invitations to dinner, traveling together to a competition. These experiences can have a huge impact on a students’ development and its important to ascertain if that close boundary is ok with both student, their parents and you....keeping in mind that everything changes...close boundaries one year may need to be a little more distant the next - especially as the student develops, personally and musically.
Boundaries in an orchestra between administration, board, conductor and the musicians fit into the “role” limits and responsibilities as stated above. However, it is less clear on stage. There is a hierarchy of “decision makers”- concert master, principal, associate/assistant principal, section and extra - subordinates support the work, but not the life. Yet these “decision makers” are also peers - ie support goes both ways. And a “decision maker” may also be a decision maker one moment (principal of section) and a subordinate the next (to concert master). It is a tricky dance for all and if the decision maker and subordinate are aware of the different roles he/she plays and their inherent boundaries, and have the skill and flexibility to wear the different hats, the work environment relaxes, teamwork ensues and artistic excellence flourishes.
What is also challenging and perhaps a little confusing about boundaries in an Orchestra is the sense of deep connection, or Flow, one may feel on stage with colleagues and audience - especially in performance. The sensation that we are separate fades away and deep awareness of the collective prevails. Boundlessness. The irony is that through well maintained and managed boundaries (self-awareness and protection), I experience Flow (loss of self-awareness) more often. I love being in the state of Flow.
Boundaries with yourself when practicing and performing - My intention with my practicing/performing boundary is to treat myself with kindness and humour. I am crossing my own boundaries if I become overly critical, belittling, heavy judgment of my talents/skills/position...
The choice is available to me because I’ve trained in it - I certainly don't have a natural talent for it as some do.....and because I know that my thoughts and feelings lie to me all the time *(see Brain Awareness in future months) and that I have honed the skill of being able to observe those thoughts/feelings through Mindfulness.
I am in progress with this - have not mastered it - not by a long shot! However, I seem to have ample opportunity presented to me to grow in this!
AFGO - A favourite acronym from Geneen Roth ("Women, Food & God") ...Another Fuckin Growth Opportunity. :)
1/13/2015 0 Comments
January 13th, 2015
Anne Katherine “Boundaries, Where You End and I Begin”
Through the practice of mindfulness, one is aware of boundaries and can choose size, shape, colour of your own and also notice others’ boundaries and respect them. One may choose a steel wall or a huge field with barely perceived fence posts....how close or how far those boundaries are is up to you. With mindfulness, one has the training to observe where you are in the moment and to choose if the boundary needs to soften or strengthen. Inherent in this process is a “knowing” of who you are, where you come from, what you want for your life, values, goals - where you’ll compromise and where you won’t.
Encompassed in our “mental awareness” is an awareness and understanding of our Emotional Boundaries - our set of distinct and individual feelings - how we perceive the world, our goals and values.
We can learn to recognize those boundaries through our body - noticing sensations in your gut, heart and head. With awareness, you also become in charge of your boundary balance: too rigid, too permeable, too distant, too flexible, too closed, enmeshed? or just right? Only you know.
What strengthens emotional boundaries?
“Healthy boundaries protect without isolating,contain without imprisoning, and preserve identity while permitting external conditions” (p130)
An awareness of our Emotional Boundaries will also keep our Ego healthy. A Healthy Ego will keep you safe....ie trust your spidy sense (body instinct) that says “so and so” is unsafe/untrustworthy..... A healthy ego will give you the strength to go on stage in front of thousands and perform well.
A fragile ego can lead to debilitating nerves, which can lead to an over-compensating "big Ego" - resulting in a difficult work environment.
More on role boundaries and boundaries in the musician workplace tomorrow...
1/9/2015 0 Comments
What is Mindfulness?
What is Mindfulness? How does it help us as musicians - in practice room, in rehearsals, in the teaching studio and in performance? It’s connected to every book, workshop and moment of grace and insight which I have experienced and been drawn to over the last decade.
It all begins with the intention and attention. “The secret to success is constancy of purpose” Benjamin Disraeli
How? Simply through breath. There are many practices out there which allow you to by pass your monkey brain (CNN ticker tape that has a comment to make about everything) and find your still small voice of wisdom.
Through Mindfulness practice one is building up the myelin (casing around the nerve fiber which builds up over time and use - is the brain superhighway) so you can get to that still small voice efficiently. Through Mindfulness you have the knowing of your own Voice and its wisdom. You find the courage to follow what you know to be true for you and to see past your own understanding - to speak with “Impeccable Word”, to know “Its Not Personal”, to ask questions - even if you don’t really want to know the answer, and to “Always do your Best” in the moment (“Four Agreements” Don Ruiz Miguel) and finally how to accept, with grace, when your best is not what you hoped it would be and to forgive yourself, recover and try again.
If I partner Mindfulness with awareness of the Flow state - I experience the intrinsic and reciprocal reward of joy which propels me to greater and greater insight, compassion, and is contagious to those around us.
If you are interested in participating in a 6 free training sessions presented by Potential Partners Inc , please contact Malcolm Lin firstname.lastname@example.org
www.mindful.org is a wonderful resource.
Tomorrow - Boundaries "The limit or edge that defines you as separate from others. A boundary is a limit that promotes integrity" p.14
"Boundaries; Where You End and I Begin" Anne Katherine.
I am presenting my observations, trials, failures and insights from decades of inquiry, experience and from a place of humility, openness and non-judgement....I wish to facilitate discussion.