The Boldness of Silence

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When you practice your craft from a heart-centered place, it makes a whole world of difference in the collaboration. I was graced today with the opportunity to have a book client run late. Of course, normally we don’t want clients to run late, but in this circumstance, I was open enough to see this as an opportunity to get real quiet about the direction of the work we were going to do. Prior to her text of tardy, I was on my own phone arranging my Google calendar for the 16th time that morning while simultaneously subscribing to a Pat Allen podcast (TMI). When her message revealed a half hour delay due to an accident on the 10 freeway, I knew I had just been given a window of time to do the quiet work. I put down my phone and got into the open eye meditative position I have learned practicing with teacher Bruce Rubin (yes, Google him, he wrote a few amazing movies, but I know him as someone who helps me with my chakras).

Then I listened.

I knew my client wanted to write a book, but she was not sure what it was particularly about. She had life experiences galore and a tremendous amount of personality and insight, but the quest we would soon be on together in our five hour private book deep dive was to discover the root of her story. The what. The thing. The It. So I just got quiet in the still of the empty office and listened. I asked to not have a filter. To channel what could be the most powerful subject for this client to write about. Twenty years of making movies –  I mean I probably vetted close to a small bedroom size mass of scripts to choose what movie to produce – and never ever did I get quiet to understand what story I was looking for, or the writer I was seeking. I didn’t tap into the abundance of the source of the Universe to find where my next story lay. I really wish I had, because here in this office, within minutes, I got the message. I knew what her book was going to be about and it was going to be a new and fairly radical idea for her.

Bruce knew something about this open eye chakra work. I mean he won Oscar™.

I texted her immediately to tell her no worries, get here when she could, because I think I discovered what her book may be about. The truth was, I had only found the portal. When she arrived, and we came to the conclusion that this was in fact what she was to write the book about, her willingness then sky rocketed the book’s potential to a whole new level. We were having a completely radical conversation. She wasn’t going to write a book about dysfunctional family or heartbreak…  oh no, we have read enough of those. This was going to be off the charts. See, while she was in the car, she was also praying to know what her book was about and she had received a message to roll with what was presented.

Today was epic and yet not dramatic. What was revealed to me is a whole new way of working with story. It is not externalizing or making things funny to be funny or deep so there can be depth. It is getting quiet and hearing the whispers of what can be told. A post-its worth. It is being enlightened but not scared. It is understanding that bold is beautiful (wait, wasn’t that a soap opera back in the day?) Bold does not mean loud.

There is boldness in silence.

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Kim O'Hara

About Kim O'Hara

Prior to launching her business A Story Inside as a book and story coach, Kim spent her adult life as a producer and screenwriter of independent film, developing countless projects from script to screen. On the never-ending quest to know more about writers and writing, she has taken short fiction, satire and screenwriting classes at UCLA, Stanford Writers’ Lab and San Jose State. To hone her skills in comedy and collaboration, she survived an Improv Intensive at IO West. She was also the Editor of a prominent food journal, charged with the task of making subjects like antibiotics in meat a riveting read. She is passionate about intuitively and mindfully connecting women entrepreneurs to their hidden greatness and help them achieve their unrealized dream to write a book. Her children are the root of her existence, her true teachers.