Cleaning the Glass

Cleaning the GlassImagine you’re sitting with your friend at two desks and both of you are facing each other. In between the two desks is a tall piece of plexiglass.

Imagine that each idea you share with your friend is encapsulated in a ball of energy which requires a soft lob over the glass. You pass, your friend catches. Your friend passes, and you catch. Repeat, repeat, repeat. And everything is fine.

Then one day, your friend says something “weird” and when you’re tossing the information back, instead of being present to the toss, you’re thinking about the “weird energy” your friend is giving you and suddenly, the lob falls short. Some of it goes over and your friend catches it… and the rest lands on the glass, prohibiting you from seeing your friend clearly any more. Instead of seeing your friend, you see a partially obscured view that is hazy because of the residue of energy that fell on the glass when your lob didn’t quite work out right.

The unfortunate consequence is that your friend also ends up not being able to see you clearly because of what is sticking on the glass even though it’s on your side. Next thing you know, your friend starts thinking you’re acting “weird” and behaves in ways that perpetuate the cycle.

Cleaning the glass is the process of windexing both sides of that plexiglass between you so that what you are seeing is what is really there, rather than things that have gone unspoken, unsaid, undiscussed and without resolution for one or both people. “Windexing” is about asking questions, explaining actions, mutual understanding and restoring a space of clarity between both people.

This particular mechanism is one of the most useful tools I’ve received in my life from my thrive coach, Mark Michael Lewis. I have been using this process for over a decade in my life and through time, I’ve found it more and more valuable in helping maintain clear, open, transparent communication with people around me.

When a client recently asked me for help working in her troupe, I thought of this tool as an incredibly powerful way for people to remain in rapport with each other as they create a dance troupe by helping them retain the beautiful parts of why they choose to work together throughout the duration of their (working) relationship. While this tool was presented to me in the personal context, in a sense, I find it even more powerful in business contexts with friends where the lines are incredibly blurry.

How to use this tool

  • present this article to the person with whom you want to clear the glass
  • both of you agree to love yourselves, and ideally each other, compassionately through the process of asking and answering questions, which can sometimes be challenging and difficult
  • when something comes up, ask the other person if you can “clean the glass”
  • set aside intentional time if the issue is deep and emotional so that you can ensure you have the privacy and depth of conversation you want.
  • for simpler matters, ask questions, listen with an open mind, and find common ground
  • if you’re unable to find that space of compassion in communication because the glass has gotten too messy, get in touch with Mark and ask him to mediate for you
  • breathe and get back into flow

Written by Temple of Poi founder and visionary, GlitterGirl, who has been a full time flow arts coach and instructor since 2002. If you are looking to step up your skills as a student, performer or instructor using personalized coaching with GlitterGirl, email her directly (GlitterGirl <at> TempleOfPoi <daught> com). 

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