One-Buttock Living

If you have not already seen Benjamin Zander speak, you have got to check him out.? You’ll be smiling for days!? I want to hang out with this dude!!

In the video below,?Zander references playing with “one-buttock” on the piano.? It’s a different way to play the piano, and the result (the music) is considerably transformed by the position of the perfomer’s body (i.e. one buttock or two).? One-buttock playing also transforms the listener – it’s a different kind of experience of the piano player.? When you live, work, and parent?on one-buttock…YOU are different and those you interact with are transformed.

What if leaders, parents, teachers adopted the stance of one-buttock living?? What might be the results?? How might the teams, children, students be transformed?

How do you recognize one-buttock living?? Well, you’ll notice a lot of ‘shining eyes’ around you.? Starting, of course, with the eyes that look back at you every day when you look in the mirror.? No leader, parent, or teacher can inspire shining eyes, when their own eyes do not shine.

Zander explains in the video that he believes that?we all have the capacity to love classical music, to be moved by it.? He does not doubt it.? And, he goes on to say that all leaders can experience shining eyes when they have that same kind of absolute belief in their teams.? “It?s one of the characteristics of a leader that he (she) ?not doubt for one moment the capacity of the people he?s (she’s) leading to realize whatever he?s (she’s) dreaming.?

What do you believe about your team, your children, your students?? Do you believe completely in them and in what’s possible for them to achieve?

My experience has shown that a?key to helping your own eyes?’shine’ is to have a practice of mindfulness.? At the very least, mindfulness will allow you to be ‘present’ and to notice and appreciate the shining eyes around you.? Check out the following video in which? Congressman Tim Ryan and Jon Kabat-Zinn share some wise words about the power of mindfunlness.

Watch Mindfulness Going Mainstream on PBS. See more from Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly.

Deepak Chopra has set out to transform the world to become more mindful.? Some might argue he’s been doing just that for many years.? Now, he is on a mission to inspire a “critical mass” to create a more peaceful, joyful, sustainable, healthy?world.


Zander challenges us by saying: ‘Ask yourself – who am I being that my children’s eyes are not shining?’.? As leaders, parents and teachers, we can ask ourselves the same question.

Look around right now. How many shining eyes are around you?

?Deri Latimer, B Mgt, CSP, is an expert in positive possibilities for people! She is one of fewer than 10% of speakers globally who hold the designation of Certified Speaking Professional. Deri combines a Business degree in Human Resources with experience from business sectors including health care, manufacturing, education, agriculture, government, mining, transportation, tourism, and professional services. Deri provides practical strategies for mental health ‘at work’; impacting individuals and organizations?to increase resilience to change, energize engagement with the organization, and propel meaningful performance results that last!??


5 Replies to “One-Buttock Living”

  1. Yep- gotta love shining eyes – you are certainly sporting some sparklers! Thanks for commenting, Stephanie!

    Cheers, Deri

  2. When I think of all the things I’ve said and done that could not possibly stand as the last thing I ever said to did to that person or those people – I hurt – real physical pain. When I finished watching that video I was in such pain I could not move to the bottom of the page to respond. I was so emtionally pointed at all the things I needed to do to make me a better me that I couldn’t move. When I came to realize what I needed to do I could finally move to type but I am still in pain in my mind and in my gut. Not the heart so much as the stomach. I feel physically ill and yet hopeful that I can change the picture. What am I doing that my children’s eyes and the students I work with eyes are not shining. While I sit here and reflect on my life and what it can become and let the pain dissipate I am in awe of what you will share with us about mental health in a month when you come to Moose Jaw. I watched a video about the secret of success and the power of attracting the positives and I have been striving for a couple years to make my children focus on the positives and be thankful for what they have and are. I have been fighting a losing battle and now I wonder what am I doing that my children’s eyes are not shining. What a way to move into a new groove. At the moment I am so moved I am momentarily locked in immobility. Thank you. When I have finsihed reflecting on these thoughts I may even be able to watch the other videos you have here. For the moment this is all I can handle and this is all I want to handle. I want to digest all this emotion and make a new plan – move into a new groove……again. Isn’t it wonderful that life can constantly evolve. How hopeless it would be to have reached that point in life that you can do nothing to change who you are and if you have not reached what you want to be and still have 40 years to live………..hopeless. I am so glas life is full of hope and the ability to move into a new groove. My goal – to reach the point of my life where I can make shining eyes around me. This is my focus while I wait for everything to fall into place for the Foster Children to be part of my life. Agian, thank you.

    Muriel Fehr

    Educational Assistant

    Mossbank School

    Priarie South School Division

    1. Hi Muriel! Thank you so much for sharing those thoughts here. I also agree that life is a journey, and each day – each moment – we can start anew. None of us is perfect, we are all doing the best we can given the information and resources we have at the time. It is great to know that we can continue to add new tools to our toolbox!
      When I write in my gratitude journal each night, it helps me to focus on what’s good, on those small moments when there was a bit of shine in the eyes of those I care about…sometimes the shine is indeed there and we are missing it in the flurry of daily activity and the thousands of thoughts running through our mind. I’ll bet that you have a ton of shining eyes around you. Now, you’ll be noticing the very smallest of flickers!!
      Please continue to engage with us here – you truly add to our collective experience!
      Warm Regards, Deri

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