Speaking Truthfully as Spiritual Practice
As part of my New Year’s “resolution” to focus my time, energy, and attention on promoting Speaking Truthfully programs, I began to outline a couple of new articles for publication. One of these articles is going to draw attention to the ways in which Speaking Truthfully can serve as a spiritual practice, a way for us to develop our own capacity for self-awareness in self-expression.
Yes, I have my own ideas about this, based on more than a dozen years of watching the impact of what I teach on my students and clients. Yes, I have my own anecdotes about how Speaking Truthfully has become my primary means of deepening and expanding the self-awareness I have been cultivating for decades.
But I then got hit by a bolt of inspiration to reach out to a few people with whom I’ve worked to see what they had to say. I wanted to incorporate their perspectives in my article, which is underway but not yet completed.
I asked them two questions:
1) I what way do you feel developing confidence, skill, and effectiveness in public speaking can be a “spiritual practice” and contribute to one’s spiritual growth and development.
2) How has your own experience of working with Robert in Speaking Truthfully been useful to you in this regard?
The responses really blew me away! They helped me understand the work I do more deeply, and more clearly. While not a word normally associated with me, I felt humbled by their comments. So, rather than wait until I finish my article, I decided to post their comments here, in a special blog post! The true value of Speaking Truthfully is, after all, determined by the people who experience and practice it.
Chandu Bickford; trainer, facilitator, mentor, coach
My spiritual practice is the way in which I walk through life. When undertaking any activity, gesture or task, I try to pause and ask myself: “Is this my truth?” It is a courageous question, for the truth is not always kind.
It is one thing to ask myself courageous questions, it is quite another to walk with them in the world.
Each day I am in front of people — students, colleagues, clients and families.
I am often speaking and asked questions. I am looked to for advice and guidance. I am a role model to many. I take this seriously (even as we joke and have fun), knowing my words have impact. And if I am to impact others in the positive and truth-full way I desire, I know I must feel confident to connect authentically with them.
Speaking is a skill. It is a way in which I reach people and help them find their truth. And I find I am more skillful when I am confident.
Robert Rabbin has been helping me with my confidence as my mentor and coach over this past year. He is a master of words — both written and spoken.
And he is also a master of the space or pause between words. He doesn’t speak without reason. And so when he speaks, I listen. Robert is one-part mystic, one-part radical sage and one-part bomb-throwing anarchist. With a mix of humor, heart and skill, he works to help uncover the truth. His speaking and listening have helped to me to grow, not just in my confidence to speak to others, but in my confidence to speak and really listen to myself. When I am deeply listening for my truth, I am of most benefit to others.
And when I am in my truth and benefitting others, I know I am most aligned with my spiritual life.
Janine Sagert, Ph.D.; stress management expert, executive coach; content producer of From Shock and Awe
There is a gap for most of us between the insight and inspiration we experience while meditating or listening to a wise teacher and BEING that Truth/Inspiration, living freely and authentically. There is perhaps no better tool than Public Speaking to expose that gap and so it is, as such, a supreme spiritual practice. In public speaking, we meet ourselves unadulterated and can choose to stand with confidence and effectiveness or to shrink into the shadows of our mediated self. There is a reason that on “stress” scales public speaking often surpasses death in its perceived intensity. The idea of standing in front of a group of strangers exposes:
- our insecurities and limiting self-concepts
- fears and projections that operate below the surface of our mind
- the myriad ways we mold ourselves to gain approval
- what we keep hidden for fear of not being loved.
Robert Rabbin is a master at helping to navigate this territory between “mediated” self and “authentic” self to arrive fully in the light. In working with me he created an environment where I felt safe enough to be vulnerable, where I could expose myself to myself . He then guided me to find my authentic voice i.e. the place I can stand with no apology, no twisting, no hiding. THAT is where I want to live. You could say he is a combination Crazy Wisdom teacher and a supportive therapist!
Kate James; founder/director of Total Balance, mindfulness teacher/speaker/author
For me personally, working with Robert to develop the confidence to speak and share my message with a broader audience has meant literally tens of thousands of people have learned some practical ways to be more mindful in their every day lives. In my experience, those of us who consider themselves ‘spiritual’ in a quiet, unassuming way often feel less comfortable to get up on the big stage. Robert helped me to see that there’s nothing egotistical about wanting to make a difference in other people’s lives by sharing what I’m most passionate about. Maybe the most unexpected benefit for me personally, is that by doing this, my own spiritual practices have also deepened as a result of feeling a greater connection with myself and with others who are interested to explore a similar path.
In all sincerity, I don’t think I could have done what I’m doing without Robert’s help. We started working together over five years ago now and in the time since then, I have published three books (with combined sales of over 50,000); I have run ten mindfulness retreats with the most incredible women and I’ve spoken at countless conferences and in workplaces around Australia. I’ve shared my meditations on the free meditation app, Insight Timer and they’ve been listened to over 130,000 times! I’d like to think that because of all of this, there are people out there in the world being kinder to themselves, calmer in their workplaces and more compassionate with their loved ones as a result.
Ami Oyarzabal; LMT, healer, spiritual coach
Speaking Truthfully requires authenticity and self reflection. Authenticity requires looking squarely at ones own being and asking, am I speaking from my truth right now or am I driven by a preconceived notion or an unidentified emotion? Do I have the courage to say from what place I am speaking? It requires removing as much of the mask as possible and developing yourself to be free from attachments to judgment and self criticism. To speak truthfully the way Robert teaches it, is to get comfortable in your vulnerability. To get so comfortable in your story that it looses it’s grip on you and you find a changed being in the mirror the next day, be aware changed does not mean finished! With a tool kit of practice and faith, new insight and support you can walk into your life and proceed with renewed vigor and enthusiasm. This way of being is a hallmark of spiritual practice and Robert delivers us to our truth with kindness, as only a loving master would.
Shakti Kirsten Thompson; manager, Divine Lineage Healing Center
It is very effective to use spiritual techniques in successful public speaking that comes from an open heart. Robert taught me to create a kind of ritual to stand in front of people and talk openly and powerfully to them. I thought about it and remembered how I first connect to the Divine energy in my spiritual practices. So I was standing in front of the audience, feeling while connecting my heart opening, looking people into the eyes and also connecting to them. This ritual brought my confidence up and any fears or other uncomfortable body symptoms went away. Now I was able to talk without even having any script. The words would just come in a beautiful way. I was talking from my heart to the people that opened up to me. I am sure they all received the message and energy that was flowing through me. It is not just the experience of speaking in public, it is an even stronger spiritual experience to feel the energy flow and that the words coming are very authentic, true and divine. Even thinking back on this experience and the divine help makes me humble. It is another step growing your consciousness to experience the divine, universal energy using you as a tool. And it is good to remember that they are doing it!
It was very inspiring and fun to work with Robert. He has a very natural way to open people and creating a comfortable work atmosphere. I watched him helping people with their fears in a very sensitive and effective way. They would get quickly out of their blocks, laughing again and making successful steps to confident speaking. In a short time Robert taught us some tools that made us all able to speak freely and confidently. We had some major “breakthroughs” for some of the group members that didn’t feel comfortable speaking at all in front of others. He par example asked a young very quiet soft spoken women to be like Lady Gaga. The transformation that happened through Roberts sensitive and loving way with her was really amazing. She even seemed to get a little taller standing there in front of us getting ready to talk. And when she started we were blown away by her loud voice and happy energy and message. Our group experience with Robert teaching us was a big success all around. The ritual of connecting to the divine and the audience before speaking is staying with me. I am using this tool even more often in every days life now when I can use some extra energy, confidence and love. Thank you, Robert.
Cara Lo Iacono; nurse, yoga practitioner
Dropping the fear around speaking publicly simultaneously translates into dropping the fear around speaking truthfully. In doing so, you begin to live truthfully. You drop ever more deeply into your true essence and personal power, grounded presence and deeper communion with the shakti residing within you. You become truly free.
My perceptions around my own stories and self-narrative have changed. I stand in my shakti and choose to both speak and live truthfully. I am more honest, more real with myself and in life generally than I have ever been. I lean deeper into myself with each passing day, and am gifted with a richness I have never known. I am more present, grounded and connected with my personal power and intuition. I am coming home to myself, one step at a time.
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