asks Fred "What else is going on?". It's not a question.
For me and everyone else in the room it's a sudden change in the
direction, a dramatic shift in the tone of the conversation. With this
upped the ante. Fred's been sharing what's going on.
Interspersed in a series of snapshots of things going on in his life,
what he's said so far is all evaluative (whether things
are going well or not), preferential (whether
he likes what's going on or not), and
opinionated (what he thinks about what's
going on). And the thing that everyone's getting yet not saying is in
this, ostensibly an exercise in sharing your experience, Fred's
not doing the exercise. In this exercise in sharing your experience,
Fred's not sharing his experience, even though he's been talking about
himself and his life for about a quarter of an hour.
So when, a quarter of an hour after he started talking,
asks him "What else is going on?" Fred blinks in surprise. In his mind,
he's just given a very
account of what's going on. He's told it all. "What else
going is on?" he echoes, making it sound redundant. "That's
it!" he says. He pauses. Then he adds "I've told you
everything.". You can clearly hear the italics in his
In any ordinary conversation, that would have been it. It
would have been over. Nothing left to say.
But ... this is
and this isn't any ordinary conversation.
He asks again - more emphatically this time. "What ...
else ... is ... going ... on?". Not a question. A
This time (at least, after a moment or two) Fred (to his credit) gets
something. Slowly, he says "I'm tired.". "Good. What else?". A pause.
"I'm disappointed.". "Great. What else?". A longer pause. "I'm
disappointed ... and .... I'm covering it up.". "Got it.
What else?". A really long pause. "... sad.".
I think he means "Sadness" or even "I'm sad.". But what
comes out of his mouth is simply "... sad.". This is an entirely
new order of sharing. Fred is no longer playing it safe. He's no
longer trying to win a prize for having a cool life. He's
no longer simply giving a commentary about the events in his life ie a
view from one of the journalists' boxes in the stands, of
on the court in the game. None of that was sharing his
experience. Now he's stopped doing that. Now he's simply looking
into the space ... and speaking whatever's there. Now he's
really sharing his experience.
acknowledges Fred (who's now looking anything but sad) and
the room applauds, I realize by watching
I've had a total
in my view of what it is to share my experience. By listening
interact with Fred, I get the difference between sharing my experience
who I really am
as commenting on the events in my life (which may seem
like sharing my experience but isn't) and sharing my
experience as looking into the space and speaking whatever's there.
here. None's required. There's no rescuing here. None's
needed. In an ordinary conversation, Fred being (quote unquote)
sad would have assuredly called forth either or
both of those responses from many people. But in this
conversation, Fred's "... sad" is simply a
expression of whatever's in the space. And it's completely
liberating for Fred to get this. For me too. Here's why.
There's a place in
which doesn't always see enough light of day. For want of a better
it's the place Fred calls "... sad.". When I don't share it, I keep it
locked in. When I share it like an experience I bring in
out into the open. No dramatization is needed. No
explanation is required. And as much as I'm tempted to tell
about it and how it got there, ironically that only serves to keep it
entrenched. Sharing it simply as experience, sharing it as a
whatever's going on in the space ie just as a
is like looking out the window and saying