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I’ve just been reading an email from CMT-London, colleagues who also provide communication training and coaching.  The thoughts they were sharing – and I think these were written by David Willis, a friend from my drama-school teaching days at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama – reminded me of when much of my teaching and coaching was with actors and singers.

Business clients can, understandably, wonder what they might gain from what those lucky – usually about twenty four people on the three-year BA course each year – are taught.

And yes it is about confidence, and presence  – mixed in with a bit of cheek and a smattering of ego!

Some ex-Guildhall students were chatting on Facebook recently.  ‘Do you remember’, one of them said, ‘when you were trying to explain to your mum and your dad what you actually did at a drama school?’.  And they joked – a joke with an awful lot of truth – ‘many a true word spoken in jest…’ as the saying goes.  ‘Well mum, today we did breathing.  Yesterday we did walking….’  And there is a lot of breathing and walking.  I often comment to clients, that one of the phrases I remember all of us teachers repeating, time without number, was ‘don’t forget to breathe…’.

And one might think, ‘how could we ever forget to breathe?’. But we do.  And especially at the times when we might extra-specially need the support of that good strong breath.

So David, if it was David, was talking about Breathing The Space.  Try it next time you walk into a meeting  – business or social.  Especially a meeting where you might feel a little apprehensive, unsure about how it’s all going to go.  Stand for a moment before you enter the space.  Focus on a spot at the other end of the space.  As you breathe out, imagine your breath is filling the space.  And travelling right to the opposite end.  And as you breathe out more fully, you’ll find that you breathe in more energetically.  And so the breath-cycle continues.

Do the same thing when you’re in the meeting.  You can do it totally silently.  And invisibly.  No-one will know you’re doing it, but you.   

When we breathe out we are signalling our presence.  We are saying ‘I have arrived’.  And I wish to interact with whatever is happening in the space.  As and when I choose.  You could imagine that your out-breath touches all the other people in the space.  And as you breathe out, you will feel more steady and sure of your purpose.

Your power is in your breath.