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Balancing beauty!

Greetings from the frigid north in the time of deep darkness. It is -12° F (-24°C) on this snowy morning. Candles are lit, tea is poured, chicken stock is simmering and a fire glows with warmth. The magic for me of this time of year is something to do with dances of contrast and beauty: dark and light, cold and warmth, isolation and gatherings, silence and music, beagle and gladiola.  Along with good wishes to you in this holiday season, this email contains a reflection -- Conflict Revelations and information about:

  • A Reflection • Conflict Revelations
  • Wholeness in Twelve 2020 information – there are changes
  • The 2020 Language of Wholeness Deepen and Support Program Information
  • Living the Language of Wholeness Summer Retreat info (July retreat is full, August is open)
  • LearningMethods™ classes 2020 Info
  • Center for Sound Music Education • Kalied Non-competive Choral Festival - Mother Tongue  with Moira Smiley, Lalin Chamber Choir and Jen Moir. Information
  • VoiceCare Network courses Information

Please note new email address and website:

Bowing in gratitude,



A Reflection • Conflict Revelation
The United States has entered an election year. The air waves from radio to dinner tables are ripe with opinions and ensuing tensions. I have found that a tool I use coaching performance works well for finding ease in the face of conflicting opinions.
Th next time you feel the bracing grip signaling you that you are hearing an opinion you disagree with, try this:
    Stop and describe to yourself your physical tension
    Imagine the speaker as a character you need to portray.
    Do some character study.
    Remind yourself that your opinion isn’t a universal truth.
    If you feel yourself gripped, braced or with that righteous sensation consider NOT talking.
    Conflict Revelation: Notice the difference in sensation when you stop trying to change another person and start trying to understand them.
For explanation of these steps see the full article below.
Wholeness in Twelve™ has new additions in 2020! Join us for a year supporting your life with the cradle of Wholeness in Motion!
Wholeness in Twelve™ supports you to thrive in a busy life through experiencing and embodying:
  • Principles of your structure • the spiral flow of blood through your arteries, how you are sprung into available upright stature.
  • Principles of life and movement • support precedes movement, we yield to push and push to reach, time, space, shape and energy.
  • Principles in Nature • how lichen survives in winter, how trees communicate, how breath is earth and lungs.
The textbook of Wholeness in Twelve™ is you, your relational self, which is movement, and the world itself. Sensation, facts, and metaphor are your guides.

We dance in wholeness to remember our nature.

This class is "delicious, poetic, nourishing". It is powerful way to feel and develop your access to wholeness language and teaching methods.

Become a year-long member or join a session: TO REGISTER
Early-bird discount when you register before December 31st.


Language of Wholeness™ Deepen and Support Program

The Language of Wholeness Deepen and Support Program is for people who want to deepen and be supported in their work and learning around the understanding of our human system as a Whole Responsive, Suspending, Coordinating and Adaptive System; to deepen and be supported to live and teach as a WHOLE BEING. 

The program helps you commit to a broad engagement with the work that effortlessly leads to a deepening of experience. It is also an economical way to access all the parts compared to doing them individually, a $500 savings.

For more information and TO REGISTER

Early-bird discount when you register before December 31st.
Living the Language of Wholeness Retreat 2020
It is inspiring, nourishing, joyful. The statement most heard at the end is "I don't want to leave." It is a great way to keep burn-out at bay, to revive your artistic voice, to remember YOU in the equation of life. Join us in August 2020. (July is full already).
 Living the Language of Wholeness Retreat 2020  INFO
Links to other offerings and events:

LearningMethods™ Group Class is offered monthly. Get on the list to get the monthly class announcement and join when you can.  INFO

Center for Sound Music Education NewsKaleid Non-competitive Choral Festival 2020 with Moira Smiley and Lanin Chamber Choir and Jennifer Moir. Kaleid: Mother Tongue • A Language of Hope. Bring your school or community choir, come as an individual singer, join the Choral Educator course (TBA).

Voice Care Network Summer Courses July 2020• BodyMind and Voice and Personal Voice. These courses for music educators are comprehensive, inspiring and the cheapest graduate credits you'll find anywhere at $90 a credit - seriously!

A Reflection • Conflict Revelation
(they is used as a singular pronoun.)
Next time you feel the bracing grip signaling you that you are hearing an opinion you disagree with, try this:

First: Stop and describe your physical tension. “I am braced and gripped.” The tension is the feeling of hearing something with which you don't agree. The tension tells you about you and your belief. Like frustration (written about in past newsletters) this is the sensation telling you the world isn't aligning with what you wish it to be. It is the perfect signal of conflict. The tension is likely to also be the bracing of self-control. It is keeping you behaving in a socially acceptable manner. You might want to yell or hit, but you don’t; you hold back your anger. This executive function ability keeps you in control of the underlying wish to shut the person up or have the world align with your perspective. It is an essential ability for us as social animals. Say thank you for that grip! (See article on the Performers Predicament for more on this. This important self-control or bracing back of emotions is a crucial understanding for performers who want more freedom of expression.)

Second: Imagine the speaker as a character you need to portray. This is just someone speaking a text, like text in a monologue or lyrics in a song.

Third: Do some character study. One of the most useful tools for character study is to ask yourself:
   What would this person have to have lived through and believe to be saying these words?
If you are in conversation with someone who is saying something that makes you flash with fury, this question can be useful. It is like a pause button. PAUSE in that moment of fury. Instead of trying to get the person to see your perspective, start to ask questions to understand their perspective. For the moment, you are only curious to find out what they are believing to be saying those words. You want to understand them so well you could speak those same lines with authority, all the while knowing you have the opposite opinion. This can be tricky. If you don’t suspend the need to sway their opinion your questions will be filled with opinion in the guise of questions. Questions become passive aggressive when they aren’t real questions, when they aren’t rooted in real curiosity to find out how the other person sees the world. Notice what happens in you when you shift from persuasion to curiosity. Listening to another doesn’t have anything to do with not being clear and strong in one’s own perspective; trying to understand another person doesn't weaken you or your opinion. Understanding doesn’t equal agreement.

Fourth (or second): Remind yourself that your opinion isn’t a universal truth, no matter how much you believe it is. Just try this on. Your opinion is based on your current beliefs about the world rooted in your life’s story. It is true for you and others who share the opinion. But clearly, it isn’t true for the other person. Ask yourself what does my opinion show me about what I believe about the world and this situation? What is the perspective that underlies my opinion? Feel the sensation of your “righteousness.” Like a child saying: “I am right! I know this! You are stupid!“  This is like putting the mirror on yourself and studying yourself as if you are a character to portray. If you are a character the other person has to play, what would they need to know about you? The tension you feel is the feeling of the strength of your bond of identity with this belief. The sooner you can untangle your opinion from an identification with truth and rightness the sooner you can speak at the level of perspective.

Fifth: If you feel yourself gripped, braced or with that righteous sensation consider NOT talking. The words you say from this place of anger, of frustration, are rarely useful in an exchange with someone of the other opinion. They can be useful to express in order to blow off steam or in speaking with people of your same persuasion. They will NOT help create fertile soil into which your understanding of the world can take root.

Conflict Revelation: Notice the sensation in you when you stop trying to change another person and start trying to understand them. When I’ve made the switch from fighting for my opinion to trying to understand another's opinion, waves of ease washed over me, even as I retained and stayed strong in my own perspective. The original tension in the face of conflicting opinion doesn’t come from the other person, it comes from me wanting them to believe what I believe. When I stop doing that, when I accept the fact that they believe what they believe, even if I don’t like it, lots of tension falls away.  From this orientation of accepting the fact of another’s belief, no matter how unpleasant a fact it is, an exchange can begin that is less about conflict and more about understanding. 

Conflict is the feeling of different perspectives trying to prevail.

By starting with attempting to reveal the other’s point of view, you begin a process of setting up the conditions to make it more likely the other person might be curious about yours. Conflict revelation. Revealing ourselves through conflict.

Copyright © 2019 Babette Lightner All rights reserved.

LearningMethods™ is a trademark of David Gorman, all rights reserved. Wholeness in Twelve™, Language of Wholeness™ and Wholeness in Motion™ are trademarks of Babette Lightner, all rights reserved

To contact me:
phone; 612.729.7129

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