For years, when teaching communication workshops using improvisation exercises, I have used the phrase, “Listen, with your whole body”. I always felt that was clear and I certainly felt that I knew what I meant. But a few weeks ago I came to understand this in a completely different way and from a most unexpected source: my chiropractor. I know that sounds crazy but here’s what happened.
As usual I lay down on the table face up and he started “listening” to my body. As he pressed against my leg or arm and asked me to resist he would say: “uh huh” or “hmm…” or “now that’s interesting”. I was fascinated both as a patient and as a someone very interested in real communication.
Me: It sounds like my body is talking to you
Doc: It certainly is.
Me: What is it saying?
Doc: Well, your para-spinal muscles can hear things that we cannot.
And BINGO, a lightbulb went on above my head. Every cell in our body communicates with each other and with us if we know how to listen to it. The Mirror Exercise, where two people try to simulate a mirror’s reflection popped into my head and its value and importance was driven home in a way that I never could express before. And the significance of this idea as a way of enhancing communication between people, especially when that communication is vital became so clear to me. Listen! Don’t just hear. And do it with every part of your body — your instrument for greater communication.