My grandfather “Zadie” turns 92 this month.  He lives in Chicago but we are very close and talk almost every day about all aspects of life.  He, along with my grandmother “Bubbie,” is curious about my life – always asking me good questions, giving advice and trying his best to understand what I do.  A few visits ago, I lead my grandparents through guided imagery and they found it very relaxing.  Zadie asked me to record my voice onto a CD to help him manage stress and practice relaxation on his own, so I did.  I was happy to do this little easy gesture for him.  He listened to it and liked it and shared lots of feedback.

1.  Copyright and sell the track.  He thought that I should do this right away.  I agree.  Great idea.  People at the hospital have asked me about this before.  Although this is flattering, it just hasn’t felt like a priority for me.  Plus, I love what I do because of the face-to-face human connection.  My friend and colleague at Georgetown Hospital, Tamara Wellons, might collaborate on this.  We might record 1 track of guided imagery and 1 track of her singing.

2.  Speakers and Microphones.  This piece of feedback was difficult to decipher at first but I think I got it.  He wants me to deliver the guided imagery to a group.  Since my voice is intentionally soft, he said to either use a microphone or play the recording and have good quality speakers.

3.  Redo.  The last piece of feedback was about the script and my voice.  He said I should start by inviting the listener to get comfortable and prepare his/herself to relax.  Then, he urged me to blend my voice,  My voice sounded choppy to him, like I finish describing one part of the body and immediately jump to the next.  He suggested that I round it out and make it like a circle versus a square.  He said that I should be completely relaxed myself as if I was going to fall asleep.  I explained that I can achieve this quality more easily when I have an actual person with me.  He asked me to grab a volunteer to receive some relaxation while I re-record the track for him.

What I love most about all of this is that we have yet another topic to talk about.  Not only does he discuss it, but our conversations are intellectually stimulating.  Listening to his feedback was like listening to an artist trained in Fieldwork.  No judgment, clear language, and expressive.

Focus:  Understanding.

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