Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Bearable Heaviness of Fear

Tulip Angelique
This may seem strange coming from a blogger who shares quite a bit of herself, including lots of photos (got over that one!) and now videos (another fear marked off the "defeat" list), but I still have a lot of resistance and fear around being seen.

It's even stranger when you know that I went to college initially as a theatre major and have spent a fair amount of time on stage (in various capacities) and in front of lots of cameras.

It's strangest, though, when you know that the most recent time I have performed, the second I started, I knew with my whole being that that was exactly where I was born to be, what I was born to do.

But since that moment over two years ago, I have not performed again (unless you count the video work and other things I have mentioned).

I don't count that video work. That is video of me teaching, which is a sort of performance but also not at all the same thing.

As I work with my choreography group, as I create work for them to perform, I feel myself slipping further away from that thing that was so clear. It gets lost in a sort of day to day busy fog.

I am 44 and I have this sense that there really is no more time for pissing around.

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been -- in a few ways -- diving into the depths of this particular resistance and fear, and I have discovered, deep in the vents of that vast and dark ocean, shame.

Shame overcomes me when I think about allowing my Big Presence out. When I think about even showing this level of passion and desire and effort, shame rears its ugly head.

WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? is Shame's main mantra.

Regardless of where this comes from (and I am clear on that, for sure), I have to make a choice: allow it to control me or move on in spite of it.

Of course, I am choosing the latter.

Today, when I was journaling, I finally came up with the tool -- a mantra of sorts -- with which to respond to that shame when it decides to mouth off.

Now I will look at Shame squarely in the face and say, "My love of dance is bigger and deeper and way more sparkly than any fear could ever be!" At which point, I will stick out my tongue, make a face, and LEAP in the other direction.

Here's my question for you: What in your life is bigger than any fear? To what are you so devoted that fear has no chance? (Notice I did not ask "to whom?")