Well, it's been a little while since I wrote and I knew it would be ....being involved in a big project like 'Singing with the Stars' was a huge outward breathe of courage and newness for me.
This outward movement required another equally large inward breathe to reflect and attempt to return to some sense of internal equilibrium!
The concert raised over $13,000 (!!) for Make a Wish Foundation to go towards granting wishes for seriously ill kids, an amazing achievement for all involved and all who attended, particularly Belinda Knight who worked tirelessly behind the scenes.
It was a great show, loads of fun and variety, with such a high standard of acts. My singing partner Jonny Gorden and I performed a medley of Buddy Holly songs that he arranged and directed. By all accounts, our performance was well received and I was especially proud of our efforts.
On a personal level, Singing with the Stars was a mammoth step out of my comfort zone. I was scared shitless at times during the process but interestingly, at other times, I felt very myself...like I was exactly where I needed to be, and wanted to be, despite the newness of it all.
Because, you know, newness does feel scary.
Of course it does.
Fear around something new is normal.
If the new thing we are doing really matters to us, if we really, really want it or it has a deep, personal significance, we may feel even more fear.
And...if we've had a negative experience in the past...an embarrassing moment whilst performing, if we failed an important test, if we received feedback that was less than constructive, if we were teased or laughed at, talked about, criticised...the list goes on....let's add another few layers of fear on top of the original 'newness' fear as well.
For me, I had already made my baby steps. (You can read about them here.) I was both ready and eager for the next step and I still had my fair share of personal challenges to get there.
What did I do? Well, I did the best I could, honestly.
Here are a few tools and tips that I found helpful for dealing with any anxiety or fear that came up for me....
1. Journalling, particularly free writing. I would write whatever popped up in my head, longhand, even if it was just my shopping list at first. After a few minutes of random thoughts, the juicy, raw stuff would often come up to be expressed and dealt with. I sincerely found (and continue to find!) that putting my worrisome thoughts down on paper stops them from running amok in my head.
2. Rescue Remedy lozenges....thank you dear Robyn for this 'lolly of calm' at rehearsals and at the show.
3. Prepare. Now, there might be a time and a place for 'winging it' but for me, this was not one of them and I would say that if something really matters to you, like a performance or a job interview for a much longed for position, winging it is not a great idea :-)
I steadily worked through my 'to do' list before the show, sometimes it was long and a little overwhelming, especially if there were other personal things happening. Other times it was slow and steady, mostly involving a 10-15 minute practice after the kids were in bed to learn the song lyrics and then later some story lines/stage direction. I knew I wouldn't regret that I had not rehearsed enough, no matter what happened on the night.
4. Visualisation. In the couple of days before the show I had crazy butterflies in my tummy so I attempted to reframe my thoughts. I chose to remember that the butterflies were not 'bad', I didn't need to get rid of them, instead I saw them merely as a reminder that I was keen to do my best. I would take deep breathes and visualise the butterflies slowing down their crazy fluttering, landing calmly on a log and just fluttering their wings every now and then. I didn't make them disappear...we chose to become friends instead :-)
5. Get support! I found that effectively communicating my desire to be a part of the show and how important it was to me, family and friends were keen to support me, whether by attending the show, sending positive words of support or in the case of The Man of the House and the kids, freeing me up for rehearsals...a huge thing if you have a family.
Ask for help if you need it...I asked my hairdresser for help with a costume and she gladly provided things to try on. I asked members from the local Rock and Roll dance club to dance in our act. I asked my friends to buy tickets, attend and vote. I texted my singing partner Jonny on the morning of the show some silly, anxious questions that were stressing me out, nothing major, just little things that were bothering me. Fantastic mentor that he is, he phoned me and calmly talked me through the logistic stuff that had me concerned.
6. Celebrate your success. Please, please don't forget this important step.
Even if your success was just having a go, celebrate it.
Celebrate that you had the courage to try.
Celebrate your very first, teeny, tiny, baby step.
Celebrate when you totally achieve your goal, when you hit the mark and then some.
Life is too special and amazing to just move on to the next thing.
Enjoy the afterglow.
I consciously decided to truly hear and receive compliments that people gave me. At first my knee-jerk reaction was to point out the errors in my act, especially when I watched the video recording on facebook.
But it didn't feel good and I'm guessing it didn't feel great for my friends to have their compliments thrown back either.
So....I decided to go the other way...to graciously receive compliments, thank the giver and remember the words they said. I wrote a heap of them down in my journal, along with some memories of the night, and they are fabulous to reread already. What a wonderful memento for the future.
Celebrate in whatever way that feels right to you. Mine definitely included a little bubbly...after my performance ;-)
Celebrating with friends and flowers below.
More flowers, lucky girl.
So that is all for now...in two years there will be another show that will surprise and entertain local music lovers...I can't wait to see it and perhaps even help out in some way.
I'll leave you tonight with this video by the immensely talented Tania Allen with fun footage of the contestants, professionals and crew preparing for the Make A Wish Foundation "Singing with the Stars" contest of 2014.
Yay us! (See, there's a little more celebrating for you ;-)