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Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
Voice Training
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From: (Anonymous) Date: March 22nd, 2011 06:47 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
This sounds like an interesting project, but also an extremely difficult and potentially problematic one. In particular, it seems likely that your daughter will notice the "brief delay" you refer to, and possible that to her your new tone will have a disconcertingly false ring. (After all, it can't be easy to project confidence and ease while remaining ever on your guard to prevent "slip-ups.") I can't help wondering whether you have discussed your plans with her, and thinking that it might be a good idea to do so.

I also second the suggestion that a Buddhism-derived mindfulness approach could be helpful. In addition to helping you stay aware of how you sound, over time such an approach might make a genuinely calm state of mind more readily available to you. (I gather that you do experience a substantial amount of tension much of the time, even if you aren't quite as stressed as your voice leads those around you to believe.) Buddhism really isn't about self-destruction in the ordinary sense of that term, but about overcoming the delusion that your "self" (or any aspect of your identity, personality, etc.) is a permanent, unchanging entity. Perhaps counterintuitively, a Buddhist perspective might actually help you to avoid putting yourself last, particularly if that is a tendency that has had negative consequences for you in the past. From what I've read on your blog I think it's exceedingly unlikely that you would ever be tempted become a Buddhist, but even so there may be elements of Buddhist doctrine and praxis that you would find useful.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: March 23rd, 2011 02:48 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments. I don't think my daughter -- or her mother -- will hear my new way of speaking, assuming I can continue to pull it off, as false, because it won't be inconsistent with what I'm feeling on the inside. Over and over I've found myself in tense situations because their perception of my tone doesn't match what I wish to convey. I used to chalk it up to my urban, East Coast manner of speaking -- inherited from my father -- but that explanation wasn't making things go more smoothly around the house.

You know, I've read a lot about Buddhism over the past decade and have tried to do some breathing work, if not full on zazen, at various junctures in that period. Certainly, thinking about Buddhism in general and Zen more specifically has done a lot for me in terms of managing my emotions, staying balanced etc. I don't think I will commit fully, which may be the same thing as saying that I don't think I'll commit at all, but I at least am open to learning from the tradition.
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