I've been feeling extremely fatigued for days. Trying to understand "what's up", looking for reasons and solutions outside of myself. Now, as I'm dropping a layer deeper, I allow myself to arrive at a very simple truth:
I am scared.
Tomorrow we begin an event for almost 100 people (live+online). I am supposed to play my music "on stage" - something I haven't done for quite some time. In the recent years I have found a different, more organic way of sharing my music in circle.. leading people through a journey, an embodied experience.. but playing, performing on stage has a very specific frequency to it: needing to prove myself, being perfect, showing up in a very specific way, and... never ever making a mistake...
When I first started performing on stage back in high school, my stage fright would get so bad that I would not be able to eat for days before the performance. This extreme fear of making mistakes on stage is also what cost me my exams to music academy. And it seems that it is also the reason why ultimately I stopped pursuing career in music altogether - something I am beginning to be brave enough and honest enough to finally admit to myself. I have found my own ways of sharing my gift here and there with people: in bars, small festivals, on youtube, and most recently in Heart iQ retreats. All of these things have felt more intimate and more informal than an actual "stage performance". I've been able to handle that.
For years I'd been asking myself how is it that I have allowed myself to "waste my talent".. (that's the more critical, harsher version). But basically I've always wondered, why is it that I love singing so much and it seems to be the most natural thing that I do, something that actually touches, even serves people, but I don't seem to be able to make it more central in my life..?
Sitting today with this simple truth: "I am scared", is bringing tears to my eyes and a tight contraction in my heart starts to slowly release... Could it really be this simple? It's not that I haven't considered this option in the past: the fear of failing, as in "not making it in the music business". But there's a much simpler, more direct truth here: the deeply painful experience of anxiety that comes up in my body when I am supposed to play music. The deeply painful fear of messing up on stage, embarrassing myself and being laughed at.
Sitting today with this fear of failing, not just myself, but the event, the team, the 100 participants... All of the stories are up: how I'm not good enough, how I haven't been practicing enough, how my guitar skills are definitely not good enough, how my voice will for sure crack and be not good enough to hit those notes I want to hit, how I'm simply just not worthy of being on that stage altogether, taking up people's time, taking up space with my imperfect unmastered skill...
I am scared.
I long to share my gift with these people, but I am scared.
Because it's the most vulnerable and tender thing - to take my raw open heart and display it on stage for the whole world to see. To make it into a "thing" for the whole world to objectify it, judge it, have opinions about it, like or dislike it, accept or reject it..
So today I am scared.
And maybe the most loving and compassionate thing I can do for myself is simply speak it out loud. Say it like it is. Honestly. Without pretence of putting up a show of a "confident artist".
I. Am. Scared.
Maybe if I'm courageous enough to keep admitting this simple truth to myself (and others), I will actually be able hold space for these scared AND protective parts. And maybe if I manage to love on them and provide them with safety, maybe, just maybe, one day they might start relaxing a bit more and maybe.. just maybe.. I will be able to share my gift more freely, openly and joyfully..