About four or five years ago, I started my "bucket list". You know, the list of things you want to do before you die. On the list was to play my guitar and sing at an open mic night. Now you have to picture this, I am the oldest of five girls, and they are all very good singers, they have all been at one time performers in one way or another. Each one at their individual high school graduations, were selected to sing at the graduation ceremony. I love to sing, I love to play my guitar, but I would not say I am at their level of ability.
I also have severe performance anxiety.
So I went to a therapist and underwent a therapy called EMDR.
I sat down in the therapist office and she explained the process. I had the choice of, either, hold in each hand a alternating pulsating disc, or look at a box that had blinking lights flashing back and forth for your eyes to follow, or wearing headphones that alternated in each ear, back and forth. Because I was well acquainted with the severity of this challenge and chose all three. I knew it was going to take something short of a miracle for me to overcome my extreme shyness.
She began to guide me through a relaxation technique, and then she led me through a visual scenario.
“Imagine yourself as a horse, confident, strong, and fearless.” And so I imagined it. Then she said, “you are running through a field, the wind blowing through your mane and you feel good and confident and strong and fearless." My imagination was fully present and I was a horse and I was running through the field.
" Now you are running through a forest and you are feeling strong and confident and fearless and you are jumping over logs and," suddenly while in my mind's eye, I blurted out, "my horse fell" I had in my mind really become the horse and while jumping over the logs I tripped. We both started laughing and I explained what happened. She helped me get back up and we brought the session to an early conclusion.
Oddly, what I took from the session wasn’t talking myself into being confident, strong and fearless, but it’s ok to trip and get myself back up and go on.
A week later I did perform and right out of the shoot, one of my guitar strings went out of tune and I had to retune before I could go on and I was amazingly calm. While tuning my guitar, I told the audience my EMDR story and they were thoroughly amused and it was a good experience.
And I got to take performing at an Open Mic Night off the list. Not to mention, it was alot of fun.
I picked up a book at the book store the other day, "How to think like Leonardo DaVinci" Seven steps to Genius Every Day. Wow, what a great book. I have only started it but I am totally hooked already.
Yes I am one of those self help junkies. Self Help, self taught, self diagnose self-help junky.
In the book it describes seven Da Vincian principles they purpose for everyday use to lead one to their full potential.
The first principle is Curiosita'- An insatiably curious approach to life and an unrelenting quest for continuous learning. (i.e. my blog)
The second principle is Dimostrazione- A commitment to test knowledge through experience, persistence, and a willingness to learn from mistakes. Now there's an ego buster.
When I started this Blog, quite honestly I thought no one would be reading it and just the imagining that someone might stumble across it was good enough for me and anyway this whole project was like singing in the shower, I was doing it for my own personal pleasure and learning. I did not expect much attention about it. Through circumstances, the museum expressed interest and we set up a show for the work produced from my studies when I am done, July 2012. Immediately the walls started closing in., well I'm over it now, I have climbed back up on the horse and we are one and going full steam ahead, lesson learned through another experience.