A song tailored for your team, clowning as part of a leadership journey, a listening circle during a theater project, …? I love nothing more than combining in unexpected ways. Also languages: I work in English, Dutch, French and can even add in some German if needed.
“Whatever the burdens we bring, whether we are lucky in life or not, Stien listens, opens her heart, lets creativity flow and creates, with as much humor as energy, a safe, warm environment in which every individual can transcend themselves and shine as an indispensable facet of a collective diamond.”
UPLIFTING PEOPLE AND AWAKENING SPIRIT STARTS BY LISTENING
What does “spirit” mean to me, you ask? Years ago we were travelling in the US and visited Las Vegas. The first night we walked on ‘The Strip’, we were amazed and overwhelmed by all the visual stimuli. The following morning, in the harsh sunlight of the desert, reality looked very different. I remember very well that one moment when I deeply took in a detail in the exuberant decor. Finished to perfection, yes. But soulless. Empty. So empty it hurt. My travel companion saw my tears. He understood silently. That afternoon we traveled on.
Something inside of us knows all too well when spirit is missing. We also know it when we come into contact with true spirit. She invites you to open, to listen. Not only with your ears, but ‘listening’ with every cell of your body.
That is why I say: inspired creation starts with listening. A poem. A song. A play. Leadership.
Everything starts with opening to what presents itself, without judgment. Letting the information come in through all your senses. I feel there are more than five of those. Call it a feeling or intuition, it doesn’t matter. I only know that I lose valuable input when I shut down.
And yes, often my heart closes.
Out of fear or displeasure.
Because life hurts. Because the world is in the state that it is. Because I want to be right, even with the best intentions.
Setbacks, difficulties, imagined and real mountains, they always ask me to choose. Do I break open my heart – because at such moments it feels like breaking – or do I shut it down?
It may take a while, but eventually I see myself returning to the white sheet, patiently waiting to welcome what wants to emerge. Also a void, but of a completely different order.
How do you do that, they ask me, those instant poetic observations? I have no other formula than the simplicity of listening. To the words and the silences, and then to my fingers, which seem to lead their own lives. I mostly just need to stay out 0f their way. Just create the conditions in which they can do their thing.
Which brings me back to leadership. Leading our lives. Leading a ceremony, leading a team. Directing. Awakening spirit in collaborators, actors, ceremony guests, workshop participants. Time and time again I see it happen: when we really start listening, spirit shows itself automatically.
So yes, if you ask me: uplifting people and awakening their spirit starts by listening …