Lab Notes Connection Lab Podcast

Lab Notes with Russ Hamilton - Episode 7 - Soften

March 25, 2021 Russell Hamilton Season 1 Episode 7
Lab Notes Connection Lab Podcast
Lab Notes with Russ Hamilton - Episode 7 - Soften
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Lab Notes Connection Lab Podcast
Lab Notes with Russ Hamilton - Episode 7 - Soften
Mar 25, 2021 Season 1 Episode 7
Russell Hamilton

The Lab Notes Podcast continues with Episode 7 - Soften

Our guest: Lori Triolo • Actor, Teacher, Principal at the Art of Awareness

In this episode, we study the relationship between business and breathing: our subject is somatic. Our conversation is a deep dive into just how unconscious our relationship to ourselves can be and how that can have debilitating effects on every aspect of our lives - including and especially our work. Our guide is Lori Triolo - a master teacher of Meisner and Fitzmaurice voice, breath and body techniques. Join her and our host Russ Hamilton as they explore the economy of effort. 


Conversations revolve around how they are practicing and what they are discovering based on the Connection Lab Six Box Model.

About Lab Notes - the Connection Lab Podcast - is an ongoing conversation with people who have been though a Connection Lab workshop, an executive development program or through a Leadership Journey program. For everyone who has ever been to a workshop of this sort and had a useful experience - but are still working on turning that experience into a conscious practice - this is a show designed to support your effort and remind us all that we are not alone.

If you want to be a guest on an upcoming episode email us at guestplease@connectionlaboratory.com

More information is available on our website www.connectionlaboratory.com

Show Notes Transcript

The Lab Notes Podcast continues with Episode 7 - Soften

Our guest: Lori Triolo • Actor, Teacher, Principal at the Art of Awareness

In this episode, we study the relationship between business and breathing: our subject is somatic. Our conversation is a deep dive into just how unconscious our relationship to ourselves can be and how that can have debilitating effects on every aspect of our lives - including and especially our work. Our guide is Lori Triolo - a master teacher of Meisner and Fitzmaurice voice, breath and body techniques. Join her and our host Russ Hamilton as they explore the economy of effort. 


Conversations revolve around how they are practicing and what they are discovering based on the Connection Lab Six Box Model.

About Lab Notes - the Connection Lab Podcast - is an ongoing conversation with people who have been though a Connection Lab workshop, an executive development program or through a Leadership Journey program. For everyone who has ever been to a workshop of this sort and had a useful experience - but are still working on turning that experience into a conscious practice - this is a show designed to support your effort and remind us all that we are not alone.

If you want to be a guest on an upcoming episode email us at guestplease@connectionlaboratory.com

More information is available on our website www.connectionlaboratory.com

Russ Hamilton:

From Little Mountain Sound in Vancouver, British Columbia. This is Lab Notes. And now here's your host, Russ Hamilton. Hello. Welcome to Lab Notes. The Connection Lab Podcast. I am your host, Russ Hamilton. It's good to be back on the air as it were. And, it is just so great that you are tuning in. Thank you so much for joining us since we recorded our last episode, the world has changed rather dramatically. We're not going to discuss the details. I'm not going to ask you how you are. I'm going to assume that you are well enough to tune in and somewhere on the scale between okay and not okay - that you are somewhere on the scale between ready to go and ready to give up. Those are slippery scales, wherever you are on them, it's understandable. I hope that if you're listening to me and you are suffering that this offer brings you some comfort. I hope that if you're listening and you are thriving and energized that this offer supports your mood right now, just know that I am rooting for you. And that in my mind, we are here together. Now in whatever comfort and safety we can assemble, let's breathe. Let's collect some comfort. I have two offers of comfort for you today. The first is a report on what I've observed in the last year. I keep a lot of notes from my work, from the dozens of conversations I have the workshops I host and reviewing those notes has revealed a massive trend that I want to share with you. That trend is about the global appetite to feel seen and heard, and to see and hear others, human beings in every walk of life from the C-suite on wall street to refugee camps in Greece, people everywhere want to feel seen and heard and want to see and hear others. I've been doing this work for 15 years. And I can tell you, I have never experienced the level of appetite for better communication, for better intention, in the workplace for better practices, for kindness, for human rights and dignity and honorable business, people of the world are trying harder than ever to rise up, become more empathetic, more connected, more sustainable to fulfill the best of our potential. And, the effort is deeply moving. This powerful new global movement is not often reflected in the news or in social media where conflict is profitable, but I want to report to you that it is happening. Something amazing is happening in the world. It's exciting and beautiful. As you continue to pursue a better practice of care for yourself, for your family, your peers, your community, a better practice of care for people you've never met and care for the planet we live on. It can feel like you are quite alone. I want to report to you in no uncertain terms that you are not alone. You are surrounded by people trying to figure out how to access the best of themselves. During the worst of times. I want you to imagine being curious about the people of the world, what color are their eyes, inviting them into relationship. And now imagine all the people of the world accepting your invitation and quietly raising their hand because they feel seen by you. Good, breathe. You are not alone. The second offer of comfort I want to make is the conversation I'm about to have with our guest today. Lori Triolo, our subject is somatic work and I am a student of this work . Now I am a student again, and I love it. We'll be referring to the Connection Lab, Six Box Model in this conversation. If you want to take a look at that, our prompt sheet, you can visit our website www.connectionlaboratory.com. This body work fits directly into the Relationship of Self, the box in the lower left-hand corner. The Webster's dictionary defines somatic as relating to the body, especially as distinct from the mind. Isn't that interesting? The very definition of the word somatic separates the body. What's happening with our body, from the mind and how we think and assess and problem-solve . I have been looking forward to expanding my personal somatic practice and the Connection Lab methodology for some time now. And we are finally here. My teacher is my friend. Her name is Lori Triolo. She's our guest today. Lori is a gifted artist, a talented actor, a master teacher and coach. She's also a world traveler, a film director, a writer, and I invited her on the show to talk about her somatic practice, what she teaches in body breath and voice. Lori, welcome to the program.

Lori Triolo:

Thank you so much for having me.

Russ Hamilton:

What should we talk about? There's lots of stuff for us to talk about. Here's my thought. I send out to everybody, the little one sheet on Lab Notes and Connection Lab. Did you take a look at that? Yeah. So I'm currently in a program with you. I'm doing the Triolo Voice and Body program and I'm a student. So as people are tuning into this, most people know me as a facilitator and coach. And in this context, talking to you I'm as much of a student as I am anything. And I love the process and I love being a student. Um, that said, I'm curious how the one pager of Lab Notes with the Six Box Model and a few distinctions of whatever else is going on there is relevant to what you do and what we're doing. Does anything stand out for you? And it's okay if the answer is no,

Lori Triolo:

Excuse me, well for one it would be impossible for my answer to be no. Knowing what I know in my experience of your work and my work and our conversations that , they're married. They are married to each other. There's no separation. So , yeah, we can start with any, any of this .

Russ Hamilton:

Amazing. So what stands out for you today and this in your practice and our , and my students , your teacher relationship, what's standing out for you in this?

Lori Triolo:

Well, immediately what comes out is how do I show up under pressure, right? Our very first box here is Self, right? Yeah . And so I'm anticipating podcast . I'm anticipating talking to my friend, Russ who knows me very well, but , you know, it's always a new experience. There's always, it's a new context. And so this idea of how do I show up under stress is the foundation of my work, which ties in completely to Connection Lab.

Russ Hamilton:

So people are tuning in, who've had experiences in my workshops, standing up and presenting to people and trying to connect with people. And the audience decides when they raise their hand and the various modules calls to action and demand, and so on. Your framework is slightly different because it's a deep dive into a couple of these boxes. So what's different . What's the difference between what you're talking about in terms of how I show up under stress and Relationship to Self and how they might perceive that question. What , and I know we're guessing here, but what, what is that ?

Lori Triolo:

Well, I'm not sure I can speak to the difference without speaking to the similarities maybe, first, right? Because , I think they're very similar in the sense that I am the work that I do forces us to pay hyper attention to ourselves and our own experience. So I am checking into how my body's showing up how my breath is showing up , any kind of psychological gestures that may be occurring, that I'm unaware of, that I'm not in control of and trying to bring awareness to those things and for the practices to bring so much awareness until I don't have to think about it anymore. But this, how do I show up under stress is , um, I take clients through a process of bringing them to a state of a heightened experience, right? So manipulating this heightened experience to have it, and then find our calmness and flow while in that state. So maybe the only differences. And I don't even think this is a big difference is using whatever's happening to me or to clients to support the experience rather than pushing it away or feeling like I need to ignore it.

Russ Hamilton:

Love it. I talk a lot about breathing in our workshops and I've seen you cringe, sorry. Should wait until you finish drinking water. I've seen you, you know, do the inspector Dreyfus Twitch from the Pink Panther. Um, I talk about taking a full conscious breath, filling the lungs from the bottom up. I've since adapted my language around that, but one of the reasons you and I had to become a student of yours and had to take your program is because of the face you were making and how I watched you try to figure out how you were going to introduce me to this work in a way that was going to be valuable and in a way that was going to positively affect the Connection Lab methodology. Tell me about the cringe. Tell me about my language that's a little off. Tell me about how I can and might change it.

Lori Triolo:

Beautiful. It's a beautiful question. I think first I have to say that reminding people to breathe is a beautiful act, right? It is, it is absolutely essential to the beginning of giving each person any kind of relationship to breath . So I'm a huge fan of that. So that's ...

Russ Hamilton:

Okay. Awesome. I'm writing that down. Can we take a breath now. If you're tuning in and listening take a breath, let your ribs swing open.

Lori Triolo:

Okay. So that's the difference? So you just touched on it. What I'm not a fan of is so many of my colleagues, right, so many of the people I work with from acting teachers to coaches, we all tell people to take a breath and breathe. We know the value of it, but often the client, the person in front of me doesn't know what that means. They know what it means to take a breath. They know that we need to breathe to live. Right. They know that if we didn't breathe, we would expire , but the mechanism and the way the mechanism works in order to take breath in is something that is so elementary and primitive, but we don't think about it. And because we don't think about it, the bad world got in the way at some point and had us hunker down into ourselves. And so our mechanism started to work in a very different way. And until we know the way that it's supposed to work is very difficult to change it. If that's okay .

Russ Hamilton:

I love that. I love that how it's supposed to work versus how it's evolved in my life personally and in the culture and in our business life and , and on and on and on and outwards .

Lori Triolo:

That's right. That's exactly right. So, I mean, I don't know if I'm going backwards or forwards here, but you know, when I work with my clients, it is about reminding them of a way that they used to be right. That there's, there was a time in our lives where our mechanism works perfectly and we didn't have to think about it and we didn't have to take breathing classes and we didn't have to learn relearn these things. And that's, it it's a relearning. It's not. So it may feel like discovery and they feel like something totally new because it was so unconscious, right? Because this change, and as you said, this evolution of our breath was so unconscious that now we're bringing it into our consciousness and making conscious choices around it so that we can work at the best of our ability rather than what these little things have done to maybe hold us back from being fully ourselves, whether that means authentically or just taking up space in the world.

Russ Hamilton:

My body I've discovered is a bit resistant to some of what you're offering returning back to my natural breath and how I breathe and how my body's supposed to breathe my body, my brain, something is kind of getting in the way of that going, yeah, you don't want to do that, man. You don't want that. That's not for you. Can you speak to that a little bit and the resistance and the source and the who and the why and what's going on.

Lori Triolo:

Yeah, absolutely. The example that I give often is that if you make a fist and you squeeze that fist and you squeeze it as hard as you can, and I'm just squeezing, squeezing, squeezing . I'm also noticing, like if I'm holding my breath while I'm squeezing and my squeezing my belly on my squeezing, all these other things, but that's a whole , they lead us there. So I'm squeezing this fist. And now if I just stopped squeezing what happens, Russ ? What happens if you just stop squeezing?

Russ Hamilton:

It was like less effort, but my fist tends to keep the same.

Lori Triolo:

That's exactly right. So the fist keeps the same shape because all of the, everything around it, the muscles now are all in that posture, that position. So, as an example of our body, our body's been doing those things for many, many, many, many years, and we're trying to undo them. And so it's a very, very slow process of being able to sort of allow the alignments to come back. Right? And so the body's responding, your body is responding in the way that it is accustomed to. And when we want to give it more space, the body is now used to going. No , no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. I'm, I am in survival mode and, or I'm not in survival mode in my brain anymore, but my body doesn't know the difference. And so now my body is stuck in a posture that I don't want it to be in. And I might not even realize again, that's holding me back. Right? So those tensions still exist. So now we have to do exercises and things to counter that muscularity to soften around that muscularity and those habits. And that's where the work that I do comes in as to how to break those habits, physically, vocally, mentally, emotionally,

Russ Hamilton:

I'm thinking about the person listening to us right now. Who's looking at their fist going, Oh my God,

Lori Triolo:

Very simple. There's nothing that I offer -- I always call myself the meat and potatoes teacher, right? It's like the stuff that sticks to your ribs, the things that you need that nourish us that are the basic and basis for our survival, really an our way of communicating.

Russ Hamilton:

I have a lot of conversations with executives and professionals about wanting to impact their teams, wanting to maximize efficiency, working with fewer resources, "a better communication." I say with quote marks because they don't quite know what that means and everything we're talking about starts with taking a breath and being in my own body. And am I, am I practicing what I'm asking others to practice from an anatomical breathing centered self that comes up for me? What comes up for you around that?

Lori Triolo:

Well, I was thinking about space, right? I was thinking about that in order to have that impact and do those things and to show up at how we're preaching, right. Practicing what we're preaching that all of this breath is leading to space. And I think that when we acknowledge that the space allows for softening, it allows for an ease. And so that every aspect of our job, our leadership, our relationships with anybody, our family, our coworkers has more ease in it. So we're actually using less effort across the board. And we can only do that once we actually feel that space and let things move more easily. So that's also what that squeeze was about for me. But yeah .

Russ Hamilton:

Do you think that it's true, culturally, that if we need to soften culturally, it would be good for all of us to learn how to breathe the way we're designed to?

Lori Triolo:

Oh, definitely. I mean , uh, I've talked often about, you know, how the Dalai Lama said, if every child started meditating at eight years old, we would have a very different world, right. Because we would all be more mindful. We'd be softer, we'd have more compassion, we'd have more connections itself, and then we can't help, but see others more deeply and more authentically. I don't think that answers your question.

Russ Hamilton:

No, it does. And what comes up for me around that is the third box is "What do I want to get better at?" Right. What is the competency I want to get better at, to both honor myself and, and operate in a way I was designed to operate rather than a way I've contrived myself to operate. And ...

Lori Triolo:

Can I just speak to that quickly? Just speak to that quickly because you're absolutely right. The way I have contrived myself to, to respond and the only thing that I hear in that, that maybe listeners might hear too, is that it's a negative, right? Is that there's a negativity. There's something negative attached to that. Whereas I really want to lean on this idea that we did all of these things and manifested all of these things out of survival because it was necessary. Right? Right. These things occurred because our body and our brain was smart enough to protect ourselves. And so the forever question is how much of that do I need right now? How much of that survival is necessary to my existence in this specific moment. And when we start asking that question, we start to loosen the grip as a person, as a society, right. That was the question it was. Can that help our world and our society? Absolutely. If we come back to breath and ease of breath and ease of movement, then we can't help, but ease our mind and then ease how we communicate. I think that it's impossible to separate that change .

Promo Break:

You're listening to Lab Notes, part of the Connection Lab network for more information about our workshops and executive development programs, email us at info@connectionlaboratory.com or go to our website at www.connectionlaboratory.com.

Russ Hamilton:

We're talking to Lori Triolo actor, writer, producer, director, and teacher of Triolo Voice and Body. Early in our program you introduced a phrase that I've been kicking around since, which is the economy of effort. I can't shake that. Now, a lot of my clients are in finance. So as soon as you say the word economy, they perk up. And so economy of effort...my homework has been to explore that, to notice it. Can you speak to the economy of effort?

Lori Triolo:

Yeah. Well, I think everything we know you've led us to, that we've been talking about how to be softer and the idea that we use way more of ourselves than is necessary, right? If we take any simple task that we throughout the day that we do throughout the day and just bring some awareness to something, anything , it could be washing the dishes, right? It could be like, if you like me, I have a dishwasher, but I like washing my dishes by hand. Like I have gotten into that meditative sort of being super mindful of washing them. And I look at it as an opportunity to find more space for my breath. So, so as I'm washing the dishes I actually....know what, I'm gonna give you a different example because it happened today. I was writing today and this is me at all times. I was writing. And I noticed because I had a tank top on, I noticed the muscles in my arm that were being used and I saw my biceps and my triceps. And then I felt it in my neck. I felt it right up my shoulder, into my neck and the bottom of my jaw, the back of my head. And as I was writing, I thought, is that necessary? Do I need that much effort to write? And if I use less effort, what could it allow for? How could it allow my brain to be different? What could that ease in my body create in my own creativity or in my ability to communicate what I'm trying to communicate. So economy of effort, it comes from anything from simply from writing to standing up and sitting down to what happens when I start to get up, when I'm leading, right. And how much of my voice and how much of my vocal chords and how much of my body do I feel like I need to use to reach everybody in the room. And so that's where you and I started to speak about this work together is like, well, could I be as effective and reach as many people and use even less muscularity and I'm going to be specific to muscularity, right? Because it's not less energy. It actually allows energy to move further, to reach more people when there's a softness and more space. When we have the armor, the body armor, and I'm hunkering down into my tension, my energy only moves so far, right? And this is science. This is less hippy dippy and more scientific, right? That, that is true. That our heart's energy and our energy moves around us. And we can feel that. Does that, does that answer?

Russ Hamilton:

Absolutely does. And I know there are people who there's, somebody who's going to listen to this who goes, this is also translatable into business economy of effort, my own personal and anatomical relationship with breath and economy of effort extends from me into my team and what I'm trying to cause at work. And how much energy are we putting into this project for the results? What are the results we want . The economy of effort, you know, what if I don't want to know, is there a way I can reduce my consciousness? Because I feel like we're burning a lot of fuel on very little results and knowing that is going to make me sad.

Lori Triolo:

Well, and think about what , how much effort it takes to be stressed, right? To hold stress in our body takes a tremendous amount of effort. We're exhausted, right? We become exhausted from it. That's a doing we're something. And so when we have that big presentation, when we're trying to communicate, when we're trying to make change, when things aren't going well, how is it showing up in our body? And so we'd be remiss to think that holding all of that in our body, isn't doing something to our brain, right? And so the opposite is true, right? If we have more space and ease in our body, then something is going to happen to the brain as well. And I guarantee you, it's not going to be that your brain is much. It's going to be that you can actually think better, right? That you can, that the ideas will come to you more easily. That communication, this is a proven fact, this is what happens. So yes, how one is informing the other.

Russ Hamilton:

That theme is alive for me, I've just done three workshops recently this week. And the theme of those workshops is almost to a participant, the surprise and shock when people actually are curious about an audience member, even on screen, on a Zoom call. And they're curious about an audience member and they are paralyzed, introverts, they're shy, they're anxious. And yet they take a moment. And with permission and a little facilitation, they are curious about the person on their screen - what color, their eyes, what color, their eyebrows, curious about them, that, and then that person raises their hand and they share this smile. They share this moment. And during the debrief, I say, how was that? And they go, it was peaceful. It was joyful. It was, there was energy. And then I'll ask, was that surprising to you during your presentation? Was that surprising and to a person they'll say yes, because they were expecting relationship to be as monstrous as their imagination designed for them and discovering that in fact, relationship is not monstrous. Now that's not, I'm not ruling out monstrous relationships. Those exist. That said the fact that I'm preloaded to assume that every relationship is going to be monstrous and then to discover that, in fact, when my audience member feels seen, there's a great power there, there's a great safety, there's a great balance. Um, and I think that's what comes up for me is when you talk about that with economy of effort, that when you allow the ease, you allow the b reathing that you let go a little bit of that bracing, y ou k now, holding of tension that, in fact it doesn't turn my brain into mush. It doesn't turn me into an idiot or a hippie but all of a sudden there's more space. There's more peace. There's more balance and more availability for me to be curious, a lot of people are going to say, they practice curiosity now i s a competency. R ight? And so this is an extension of that is an opportunity to, extend the practice of curiosity to self , like, "Oh, do I need all that stress in my arm right now? I 'm holding i t i n my neck. I think I'm holding my ear. How is that a thing?" And yet here I am i n my h ead's at a weird angle. And so the economy of effort on a personal level is absolutely scalable to the economy of effort, to culture and business around the world.

Lori Triolo:

Absolutely, absolutely. A hundred percent. I mean, it's mostly what these things were designed for, right? It was designed to be better in every way. We can't do one without it affecting every part of our lives. And I think that when we try to compartmentalize it, that's at our detriment. It's a whole , it is, it's a whole, it's, it's, it's an integrated holistic way of thinking about every, everything, everything. But I wanted to say that, you know, listening to ourselves and creating that kind of awareness, we talked about this before the listening cultivates trust, right? When we listen to ourselves, we cultivate trust in ourselves. Right. As we do with other people, when we really listen to other people, we , we either form more trust because we're really paying attention. Or we can hear so much that we shouldn't trust. Right . That's not the best adjusted . So listening, cultivates trust and the breath creates an environment for that trust, right? The breath creates the space that allows us to trust because it's very hard to trust from a place when we're squeezing everything. Yeah . Right. Where the space is so small that we're leaving ourselves. So that was something. And then , and then just speaking to what you do in your work, which is when I am grounded and breathing. So is the person or the thousands of people I'm speaking to it's contagious. So yeah.

Russ Hamilton:

Love that. Another phrase you've introduced that we've kicked around is breathing is meaning

Lori Triolo:

Yes.

Russ Hamilton:

I'm just thinking about that. I love these phrases because it leads me -- Isn't that interesting. And it makes me want to go kick it around. I'm going to go kick that phrase around is breathing meaning. Can you speak to that a little bit?

Lori Triolo:

Y es. I'd love to, I'd love to, again, such simple ideas. But, so if we think about the idea of breathing, when we don't breathe, we lose connection to self, right? That's what we're talking about. When we don't breathe we lose connection to self. And I mean our emotional life, right. We lose connection to feeling. And so when we start, when we connect that breath back to the feeling in our body and allow that feeling in our body to live, the idea is that our voice gets connected to it. Our voice gets connected to that feeling in our body. And then we're speaking from that feeling. So breathing is meaning because breathing allows us to understand what we mean, right. There's a meaning connected to this emotional life. And so, as I said, I'm trying to do it right now. I'm sort of checking in to see what am I feeling? Well, I feel a couple of different things at different times, but like when I'm just like, there's a thrill, right? There's a sense of thrill where fear and excitement meets . I always say right, where fear and excitement meet is this idea of thrill. It's just like, I'm talking to my, my friend and colleague Russ about things that we love, write about these ideas that we just love and can talk about for years. And so as I check in with myself , I'm feeling like a little bit of a squeeze in my belly. And as I give it more space, there's like a, there's like a real joy and grounded, full joy that I feel. And so now maybe, maybe you hear that in my voice. Now, maybe you can. And so I'm actually making good effort , soft effort to connect that so that my communication becomes better. You can trust me more when I'm connected to that sound in my body and therefore breathing is meaning. So the more I breathe the more space I make the more connected I become to my feeling ---The more I can mean what I say,

Russ Hamilton:

Love it. And our last program my the homework I'm working on right now is inverting the telescope. That's a metaphor I use a lot. My dad used to say, Russ, you're looking through the wrong end of the telescope. And in our work, what happened for me is you kind of revealed and shed light on the fact that I think before I breathe and make sound, everything that I'm doing is the result of what I think either consciously or unconsciously, my brain is involved first. And then my breath voice kind of come out as a result of that. Your invitation was to say, let the world affect you the way it's affecting it, feel it, and then breathe and touch on sound based on the feeling, invert that process. Let thinking, go in the safety of this experience. And I've been working on that and it's been remarkable, the moments that I've been able to touch and just been present for what's happening in the world, feeling what's happening in my world, just beyond my reach, my arms, my legs, whatever's going on, letting the wind, letting the temperature, letting the feeling, and then breathing and just kind of touching on sound and giving that experience of sound and noticing the thought, trying to interrupt and, you know, kind of saying, thank you. Not really necessary , not a lot of thought necessary right now. Kind of just experiencing, and then watching that tension, the brain, try and nudge in there and just trying to practice, allowing the feeling and the breathing and the touching on of sound. So that's where I am in my homework. Um, I'm proud of myself for that.

Lori Triolo:

I am proud of you. Are you kidding me? My goodness, what I have seen? And what is it, 25 years, at least that I've known you probably. And, and we've talked about, you know, I talk about this with lots of clients that we come to the work when we're ready for it . And sometimes we force ourselves into it and sometimes we're guided towards it right and introduced to the work. And I think a big thing to remember about this is that it's about following pleasure. It's about following what feels good to us. And so we take some of the fear out of doing this work. Also, when we think about, if I do things that make me feel good, I'm more likely to practice them. I'm more likely to do them. And so that's another phrase that we use in this awareness work is follow what feels good, follow what feels good. And so when you're talking about using this outside world to affect the insides , which is what I say, right? Like let the outside world.... Now I want to, I just wanted to address that because sometimes, like you said, it was in the safety of, it was definitely a specific environment that you're doing that in, right. Or you're doing it. You might be doing it out in the world when you feel safe enough to do it out in the world. But primarily when you're home, when you're with me, right. In environments where we're working, where they're safe, that you feel like you can allow yourself to respond to the outside world. Because I would imagine that a lot of people coming to this work and a lot of people listening have spent a lot of time, not letting themselves respond to the outside world because it wasn't okay. Right. Whether that's at work, right --I want to say a lot of things that I'm not going to say, right. It could be anything. And so that not saying, and not doing and not following through causes a tension that then gets bigger and bigger and bigger and becomes this again, this armor. Right. And so all of those not responding in those moments are pushing down. Rejecting the impulse.... That's exactly it, that's exactly right. And so our body starts goes like super confused. And then it's almost hard to trust our intuition. Right. It starts to become harder to trust our intuition. And so , this idea of, you know, when I learned acting right, when it was Meisner technique and it was, it was act before you think right. Act before you think, act before you think...so, I'm saying what you just touched on and bring it back to what you were saying is it's move before you think, right. Let your body move before you think, let yourself breathe before you think. Let's just make a sound before you think about what it should sound like. Right. And the more we can, again, I use that these words loosen that grip, the more we can loosen our grip on trying to control every single part of our experience, the closer we'll get to, again, being more authentic, being more trustworthy, right? Like , finding more joy in moments because we'll allow the sadness, will allow the anger, whatever it is and let it move. And I think that's the most important part of what you're speaking to is that we see how these things in the world, like the beautiful painting that you have hanging on your wall, just taking a look at that and letting it affect you. Right? Like taking a breath with it, rather than just thinking about how much you love it. Right. How much I love that painting, seeing the colors, seeing the texture, but what if I had more space in my body to experience that painting or, or the cat or the color of the sky or the sound of the construction the outside the window, right. It, isn't always about finding peace. It's about allowing experience.

Promo Break:

So if you're listening to this and maybe somebody recommended you tune into this podcast, first of all, thank you for doing so. If you want to get more information and find out more about what we're talking about specifically, you can go to podcast.connectionlaboratory.com and that has the menu that we discussed with the Six Box Model and some of the questions and distinctions. Also, you can just visit the website www.connectionlaboratory.com. It breaks down everything that we offer. It talks about client experience. It talks about all the programs. All the information is there. If you want to find out more www.connectionlaboratory.com, that's the place to go.

Russ Hamilton:

We're talking now with Lori Triolo of Triolo Voice and Body. She's an actor writer, director, and well versed in the competencies of breath and body. I want to talk to you about something serious and that is trauma in the workplace and trauma endured. You work with people who are recovering from a variety of trauma, and I think anybody listening is going to kind of make a face. What, how does, how does somebody recover from trauma? Is it possible? How does this work support moving through whatever happened to us historically in terms of trauma and get us closer to fulfilling our potential as a human being?

Lori Triolo:

Well, first, first I want to say that trauma could come in any form, right? That when we say trauma, it could be that you were crossing the street the other day and, you know, a driver beeped their horn at you. Not, you know, it wasn't a death defying act. There was nothing really, but it was a jump. There was a holding of the breath when that happens. And so I call that a little trauma. Someone's rude in the supermarket. There's a little trauma, I don't know , could be anything...to the larger things that happen in our lives. Right? So the things that we're predisposed to that maybe are a little deeper and much more serious.So one thing that I believe is that we're always healing. Is that there's never a time when we're really like healed, right? That this idea of that we're always evolving into better versions of ourselves and that we're never done. And so, because we're never done doing that, I also believe that we're never fully healed, but we're only ever trying to find better ways to manage these things. And that's what Fitzmaurice gives us. And this, this awareness work that I use a lot of the basis of the work is from something called bioenergetics and a man named Willhelm R eich created it. And the idea was that if we use tension and release or softening at the same time in our muscles, that we would change our breath, right. That our breath would shake loose. And we wouldn't be able to control the breath, which is what we do all the time o r t ry to. But we would also be working in the central nervous system and the signal that our brain would be getting from having to be tense and soft at the same time would confuse us a nd enough to start to break habits enough, to start to break those mental, emotional, physical habits that I was just speaking to. And so when that's happening, there's more space being created in the body. And as the space is created in the body, those little traumas, those little things that we've held on to start to move, they start to move through the body. So I'm a big advocate. I must say this, that I'm a huge advocate for talk therapy, right? I've been in and out of it, you know, for large parts of my life. I direct my clients to great therapists. I think it's essential to our existence to be able to speak these things out loud. But what I discovered in my work over the many, many, many years that I've been doing it is that we needed body therapy. We needed to be able to take these traumas that have happened to us, that we may have worked through in our brain that still exists in our body. And so I would say if we take our body and cut it in half, right? Not, not from the waist , but front to back, right, that I would split myself down the side of my body, up the seam of my body and the front fell forward. I would see all the life experiences in my body. I would see like, and to me, they always look like they kind of look like little rocks in my body, in my mind's eye. And maybe they're not little, some of them are bigger and some of them are more porous than others, right? Some of them things can actually permeate and move through and others are just like, Oh, it's stuck. And you mentioned this before. It could be in my ear. It could be in my shoulder. It could be in my hip. It could be in my knee, my ankle, just things we're not aware of because we're not connecting our trauma and our emotional life back to our body back to that idea. Right? There's some amazing books out in the world about these things , about how our emotional life manifests into these physical things. And so our trauma , we start to let go, right? We start to loosen the grip on our trauma. And for me, the good news, and this work is that we don't need to know what happened, right . We don't need to work it out. We don't have to, if you want to, that is your God given , right? Like you can do as much digging and research as you want into your own psyche. But I really love this idea that I don't have to go back there and cause myself and dredge all that trauma up for myself. I can just find the space connected to my sound and my breath, let it move through my body and feel a little more peace around it. And if I do that more often, those things won't come up and rear their ugly head nearly with the impact that they have in the past. What's your

Russ Hamilton:

Call to action. Is there a way to simplify what you're doing? If there's somebody listening, what do you want them to do? Is there a play you would call, is there an action verb that you think will help them? Is there a way you can call the play for them? Thank you for breathing.

Lori Triolo:

As you know . Well, it's a big question, but there is a lot of simple ways. Like there's like 10 different ways. I wanted to answer it sort of in my head to short list , but you know, what came up immediately because we haven't talked about it is. I don't know if it's necessarily a call to action, but I mean, it is an invitation to pay attention to something that we don't pay attention to which has gravity. Right? We didn't speak about gravity at all yet. And the call to action I think, is to soften, right? I think it is to at every moment in our life, when we feel like we're being muscular in a moment, is there a way that I can do it with less effort, right. I think that is absolutely a call to action and something that we can do. Like I said earlier, with every task we do in our lives. So if I'm driving, I can notice that my shoulders are up to my ears because I'm so stressed out or whatever, and just be able to drop. But I wanted to say gravity because the call to action is like pay attention to gravity. Like just pay attention to gravity, pay attention to how often during the day you're fighting gravity and how much effort that requires. So you can start with your jaw. Right? All of us insane people who try to control the universe with our jaw, right? Our jaw, our tongue, there's so much tension in our jaw and our tongue. We're like really trying to control everyone around us and the whole world with those two things. And so everybody listening right now, if you just thought about gravity, took a breath in and on your exhale, maybe with a little bit of a sound. Cause I just love putting sounds on it. What happens to your jaw when you consider gravity on an exhale? Does it soften even just a tiny bit? And if it does, we all get to do a big, happy dance. We all have a huge celebration around that because people try to soften and loosen their jaw all day long. Right? How many of you, right? Oh , many people out there are like working the jaw, stretching the jaw, trying to do things. You wake up your jaws clenched, you're wearing mouth guards, right? There's all these things that we're doing when we can just think about gravity on that exhale and maybe have a little more space in that job . A little more space in the shoulders, right? Between your ears and your shoulders. Maybe your belly softens, maybe your hips, maybe your knees. Right. Just to feel that for a moment. That to me, that's what relaxed means. If you tell me to relax, I don't know what that means. If you tell me to think about gravity on my exhale, I start to feel, have a sensation around relaxing that I can then recreate.

Russ Hamilton:

Beautiful. Are you going to listen to this podcast? Are you going to listen to yourself?

Lori Triolo:

Oh my God. I might, why not, right? I might, I might be directing people to hearing this amazing conversation. I had with Russ Hamilton of Connection Lab. I mean, sure, sure. I also like to see how I show up. I like data. I like to use it as a learning experience. Being an actor for 30 years. I I've learned, I learned early on actually to be able to watch my work and be not so hard on myself and remember what I was trying to do. Right. Remember, go back to that moment that I was in and remember what I was trying to achieve and what my intention was or what my action was or my demands. Right. Whatever it was and see if it w orked. And sometimes it does. And I'm amazing and I think my acting i s fantastic. Sometimes it fails miserably because I'm trying something that doesn't really work.

Russ Hamilton:

Yeah . Love that. So in a way it's an extension of the call to action to soften.

Lori Triolo:

It is. Yeah. It is because I can't, I can't take in my own information if I don't soften around it. If I'm going to watch myself, bracing myself, watching it, I'm not even going to get any good information from it. Right. I won't be able to grow from it. And as far as I'm concerned, that is the only reason we're on this planet. The only reason we're walking this life is to continue to be better versions of ourselves. We've mentioned it earlier, but I really think that that's true. So, that's why I like to practice it. I'm not perfect. I'm not happy all the time. Right. I, I don't have no tension in my body. Right. But none of that's true. It's a practice. It's something that I can do every day to show up when I need to in a better way.

Russ Hamilton:

Amazing. Do you have any questions for me? And it's okay if the answer is no.

Lori Triolo:

Oh wait. But the question is , why did you ask me if I was going to watch it?

Russ Hamilton:

I'm always curious About people's relationship to themselves and how they show up and is, is listening to themselves on this, you know, media, an opportunity to see how they show up under stress. Are they going to use it as a chance to practice?

Lori Triolo:

Okay. I have a question for you that that might be revealing, right. That might be revealing to your audience. So , again, as I say with my work is it's, it's an offer. It's an idea. And like you just said to me, if the answer's no, then I , you know, I don't want to do that. It's an opportunity to see how we show up, with a question that's uncomfortable. So one of the questions that I, that I did ask you, and I wonder if it's changed at all, is what is your relationship to your voice, right? Like what is your relationship to your voice? A nd, maybe specifically, c ause it's in this moment, you know, is, is it different now today than it was a week ago or two weeks ago, and specifically your voice, your sound, right? So we're not talking about breathing, we're not talking about your body, w hich you can, I 'm j ust for the audiences if they're thinking about themselves and asking themselves that question, because that was t he question I would ask every client.

Russ Hamilton:

Yeah. Right . I love that. So the answer is, yes, I feel differently about my voice than I did when we started a week ago to where we started five weeks ago,. Whatever that is. And the answer is, yes, I've had a very interesting relationship with my voice, my eye , people like my voice, a lot of people do and I love approval and I love pleasing people. And if I get attention for something, then I will amplify it and modify it. And what you raised. And in fact, a voice teacher I had back in college raised was that a lot of my voice was manufactured from muscles in my voice box instead of sourced in the stomach and below and through breathing and through the rest of the body. And that resonated for me. I knew that that was true. So my relationship with my voice is that I know when my voice moves, because it can't carry the weight, it can't be contrived all the time. It kind of moves around. And only I know when I'm in full voice and when I'm out of full voice and when my voice is a reflection of who I am authentically and when it's a contrived. I love the image you painted for me, which you said, Russ, your voice box is like a Mr . World contestant, this buff body builder, right? This enormous ---with the biceps and the triple lats on the back and the oiled up and the tan, that's your voice box. And that really resonated for me. And it's funny, cause now I walk around my apartment like Mr. Atlas , right? I bump into stuff and the cats are looking at me and I'm like, what do you want to know the time, you want to see the gun show and I'll turn on my voice. Right? 'cause I it's a great muscled feature in my body that nobody can see, but everybody can hear, but like anything else, it's a muscles. It's a series of muscles that get fatigued and it's not entirely from the source. It's not authentic. So I can't speak for how my voice sounds from my audience's point of view, but I know how it feels. And I got to say doing this work,I love my voice. I love because it's not a muscle man. It's not an act to control something. It's not a reflection of me trying to control my audience, which is really important for people who do Connection Lab to hear because even though I say, you know, notice how much I'm trying to control my audience's experience of me few people have a practice as you know, completely rooted in trying to control my audience's experience of me then I do. And so just know the same way you say, you know, I have stress and I have these things and I'm not this loosey goosey, you know, soup noodle walking around the world. You know, I'm somebody who carries tension and who has a practice because I'm trying to get better at these things because there are days when I suck at it. So I've been very honest and transparent to everybody in my workshops to say, look, the reason I'm so versed in this practice because I'm practicing so honestly, so diligently because there are days I suck at this. Right. And I think that is most acutely revealed in my voice. That's my answer to your question.

Lori Triolo:

I love it. I love it. And I just want to say, so the opposite of that, that muscle man, right? Instead of that Atlas, is that what I also shared is that we use our vocal chords , like B wings, that they only come together, very, very softly, like little viewings. And so that coupled with, we talk also about the throat chakra, right? And that if you bear with that, that reference for the moment , it is the place where not just like the universe and the earth come together, but also our brain and our body, right. It's where our brain and our body connect is our voice right. Is our sound. And so when we're not considering how we sound right, or that was ever going on in our body, isn't connected to the sound, again, it's at our detriment. These are the things that, you know, will remind us and bring us back home. Like bring us back home to ourselves. And maybe I've said this to you recently. I feel more like myself than I have in a decade. And it is focusing on , on most of these things. So I want that for everyone. Yeah . Fantastic.

Russ Hamilton:

Loro Triolo, actor writer, producer, director, teacher, facilitator, coach. Thank you so much for being on Lab Notes. Thank you so much for having me. And, new partner at Connection Lab. We are proud to include you in the Connection Lab offer. And our offer now gets so very much better because of your presence and your contribution. So I'm very excited.

Lori Triolo:

Thank you Russ. So am I, so am I thrilled to death? Yeah. Thrilled to life, thrilled to life.

Russ Hamilton:

That's our show today. The call to action is soften and I love it. I'm going to go practice right now before we go. I want to invite you further into the conversation by sending us an email info@connectionlaboratory.com or texting us at (646) 780-9946. If you have any questions about our subject today, the somatic work, body, breath, and voice, any thoughts you want to share, any needs or feelings bursting to get out, share them with us. I'm so curious about your experience of this work. And I want to invite you to inform what we are doing as always. Thank you so much for tuning in and for being a part of the community. I'm Russ Hamilton, your host of Lab Notes so long we'll connect again soon. Thank you for listening to lab notes, the connection lab podcast. For more information about our workshops and executive development programs, you can email us info@connectionlaboratory.com or go to our website at connectionlaboratory.com.