Ask Parvati 39: Overcoming Stage Fright and Performance Anxiety – Part 3: To Risk Speaking Up

PART 3: TO RISK SPEAKING UP AND SAYING HOW YOU FEEL

Hiding, not speaking up and playing it small may feel like a safe option. But in most situations we face throughout the day, when we hide and silence ourselves, we lose touch with the voice of our soul and our true source of power. When we hide and remain mute when we are inwardly called to express, we are acting from a place that believes that the world does not want us. We are acting from a place that
believes that love does not exist. When we act from a place rooted in those beliefs, we strengthen them.

To overcome our deep core beliefs takes humility, determination, and a self-kindness so that we may look within, understand our inner patterning and make different choices. When we go within and embrace change, we are taking a risk. We are moving away from the familiar into the unknown and new. We must admit to ourselves that this is scary and treat ourselves with appropriate patience and tenderness.

When we go deeper into what holds us back from growth, we face the grips of fear. When we touch that fear with gentleness, and begin to accept it being there with love and attention, we notice that what we deeply fear, ultimately, is that we will not be loved just as we are. This quickly transforms from our unconscious thoughts into a physical experience when we are called to express ourselves in public. We fear,
deeply, that when we express what we want to express, we will not be loved. We can say, we fear that we will be judged, not accepted, and ridiculed. But all of these are part of the same fear of not being loved. When we are judged, we don’t feel loved. When we are ridiculed, we don’t feel loved. When we feel cast out, we don’t feel loved. If we can remember that this deep fear of not being loved stems from our
past and has no bearing on the present moment, we begin to free up our voice and overcome stage fright.

Stage fright is normal. So cut yourself some slack when you feel it. Almost everyone would, when faced with putting themselves out there. It is true, that as a performer, I have had to look deeply into this, and overcome my own tendency to feel afraid. There is not one show I do that I don’t feel nervous. I mean, let’s think about it. I dress up in gold spandex, wear a crazy outfit, sing positive, electronic songs while dancing around on stage in an alternate universe… yes! I am afraid of being judged! But what I have come to find, is that my love for what I do, that my need to express who I am, is greater than the fear that would hold me back. I have also come to understand that the fear that causes stage fright, when I dial it down, also comes in part from a place that really values what I do. I do want to communicate effectively. I do want to be heard. I do want to reach out and touch others. I don’t want to be randomly rhyming off gibberish on a soapbox on a street corner. I am here to communicate. So I value what I say and the fear keeps me alert to that. If I were to let that fear get the better of me, I would not perform and would lose contact with the voice of my soul. I would also not be a vehicle for the joy my shows bring to those who attend. So overcoming the fear is a win-win.

I believe we are all on this planet to shine and shine brightly. Remind yourself of this. Your light is your natural self. Sure, we cast a shadow. Being able to be humble and self-caring when we face our shadow helps us find a rooted strength. Being open to our light and humble faced with our shadow helps us to get out of our own way and enjoy the God-given talents and voice we each uniquely have. When we show up for life, life shows up for us. By playing it small, we give power to our small beliefs. By saying how we feel, and expressing ourself, we risk appearing a fool, we risk upsetting the status quo, but we find a freedom and honesty that transcends adversity. As I say in one of my songs “Love Is Real”, “You find your wings when you risk the fall, and you see there never was a drop after all, ’cause love is real.” Here is a quote that I really like that speaks of the value of risk:

To Laugh is to Risk Appearing the Fool

To laugh is to risk appearing the fool,
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental,
To reach out for another is to risk involvement,
To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self,
To place your ideas, your dreams before the crowd is to risk their loss.
To love is to risk not being loved in return,
To live is to risk dying,
To hope is to risk despair,
To try is to risk failure,
But risks must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to
risk nothing.
The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing.
He may avoid suffering and sorrow,

But he cannot learn, feel, change, grow or live.

Chained by his certitudes, he is a slave;
He has forfeited freedom,
Only a person who risks is free.

— William Arthur Ward, “To Risk”

(Continued tomorrow with “The Inner Critique And Self-Love”)

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WHY YOGA IN THE NIGHTCLUB

I am often asked what inspired me to bring yogic expression into the club scene. I answer easily. Yoga In the Nightclub is a natural expression of who I am as a musical artist and dedicated yogini. Yoga is not a physical practice but a way of life. It is about learning to be present in all one does, to see the divine here, now, in this moment. As such, yoga is everywhere. It is about feeling connected to something much greater than our limited ego or will. It is about being in service to life, feeling interconnected to that very life force. Yoga In The Nightclub is a celebration of life and a reminder that we can find awakened presence everywhere.

Yoga in the West is mostly known as a series of bendy physical exercises. Yet there is much more to it than fitness. Yoga’s systematic breath and body exercises, designed to clear the subtle channels in our energy system, prepare us for meditation, through which we may experience a life inspired by our interconnected, multidimensional true nature. Our body, that once was seen as “mine”, is no longer our identity, but a gift on loan from the divine. We care for it, but we are not attached to it. The practice of yoga offers us the opportunity to experience the transmutation of matter into pure light, embody the multidimensional and rest in the eternal.

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WE ARE ALL CONNECTED

Hatha yoga, the physical practice of yoga, is just one of many aspects of yoga, which range from selfless service to astrology and prayer. The Sanskrit word “yoga” most simply translates to “union”, implying that the practice of any yoga will bring together our perceived sense of separateness. As a whole, yoga is an ancient science of life. It is a practical method of shedding excess and bringing us back from the self-delusion of separation from the divine so that we may realize our inherent interconnection to and ultimate oneness with it.

As we begin to understand that yoga is everywhere, we come to see how we are all connected in vast ways far beyond the limitations of our personal will and ego. What I do affects you, and vice versa. We are one earth family. At the heart of it all, we share the same heartbeat. Breathe to be. We are one.

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AWAKENED LIVING

When we are open, life blossoms, just as a flower opens to welcome the morning sun.  We see that the sun, though it is millions of light years away, has a tender yet powerful relationship with the flower, as do the rain and the clouds. From this perspective we see that we are part of the whole. Life is a symphonic masterpiece with which, when we are open, we are completely resonant.

As we come to understand our oneness, we can revel in it with wonder and joy. We can consider in awe how immense it all is. We can let go of the idea that an illusory, isolated sense of self could possibly be in control, and open to an exquisite unfolding of life in absolute perfection. Our actions become not about “me” but about the whole. Each moment is integrated within the whole. No one decision is separate.

When we begin to see that each decision we make affects not just ourselves but everyone and everything on the planet, we act with more compassion. When we have more compassion, we realize the impact of our actions and we naturally want less and practice more kindness. As stewards of the Earth, we each are called to learn to live in harmony with ourselves, each other and our planet. We all breathe the same air and live on the same living organism, our planet. Varied in race and creed, we are all one family, children of the same mother, the planet Earth.

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THE OPPORTUNITY FOR GRACE

In each moment, there is infinite grace. By becoming more conscious as we practice yoga on the mat, at work, at play or in the nightclub, we let go of the unnecessary and develop greater internal spaciousness which blooms throughout our lives. In this space new life and possibilities arise.

As we rest our awareness on the simple purity and grace of the breath, we realize - we are alive! We let go of wanting things from the future and the past and open to what is here and now. We feel as vast as the sky and rooted in the richness of this moment.

When we “breathe to be”, we understand our interconnection. We see that we are not the doers but a part of the whole, the same energy that is in the flowers and in the stars. We know that our essence is divine - from which we have come, to which we return.

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PARVATI'S NEW SINGLE - MARCH 2016
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I AM LIGHT

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SHARE YOUR YOGA
I am light!

Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
Gone, gone beyond. Oh what awakening!
Gone, gone beyond. Swaha!

I am light, dancing in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!
I am light, in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!

Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
I am the light, liquid gold light
I am in delight! Swaha!

I am light, dancing in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!
I am light, in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!

I am the light (gate gate), liquid gold light (paragate)
I am in delight (gate gate) transforming the night (paragate)

Gone, gone beyond (gate gate)! Oh what awakening! (paragate) (I am)
Gone, gone beyond (gate gate)! Swaha!

I am light, dancing in delight
I am light, dancing through the night
I am light, in delight
I am light, dancing through the night

I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light (gate gate)
I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light (paragate)
I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light
I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light

I am light!

© 2015 Parvati Devi
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