Overcoming Stage Fright, Reading My Own Poetry in Public for the First Time, and Talking with Women

Across an ocean in a foreign land,
Words of the guru fell into the man’s hand.

Mystery cried for him in the darkness,
Her tears, eons old, waiting for him to wake.

Feeling her warmth night after night,
Vulnerability was her power.

He would eventually learn.

Love and light is a perilous path,
Darkness may kill you but it’s the Mystery you seek.

While She grinds beneath you urging you on,
Slowly destroying you so you may be born.

–Me 🙂

Part I – First Poetry Reading

Last night was Poetry Night in Bellingham and I read my own work for the first time. Second poet in the second set if you wish to listen to the podcast. I haven’t checked to see if I am in the recording, yet. If you listen to the podcast and I am on it, please let me know as I’m avoiding listening to myself speak.

Yep, bright lights, a stage, a microphone, and an audience of very good poets. My heart was pounding and my voice trembled when I got up on stage to introduce this poem, written mid December 2011. How good the poem is I have no idea. My goals were to be on stage, share something I created, and feel my voice project from my heart as I spoke.

How did it feel when I was done? I felt like I could get right back up there! In retrospect, the nervous feeling was a mixture of excitement and not really all that much fear. Given I didn’t feel like throwing up before hand, really, the reading went very well. It may have helped that I had not planned on reading when I decided to go to poetry night. I brought my notebook to do some writing before the show. A friend persuaded me to give it a go.

Part II – Talking with Women

Afterward, the poets meet up at the Copperhog for beer and great conversation. This is where I got my second chance to deal with fear and insecurity. Between massive stress, depression, divorce, general instability in my life, and spending so much time doing the introspective work over the last 5 years, my social skills have really atrophied. Like in the toilet. Really.

Anyway, a charming, attractive woman I had never met before sat down next to me at the Copperhog. She had been at poetry night last night. I have no idea if she is in a relationship or not and it really makes no difference. The fact is, she’s the type who can make my brain shut down. Immediately following said shutdown, typically an awkward silence builds as I run screaming into myself.

Not last night though! While I still have a ways to go, I don’t feel I did terribly during the conversation last night! Woohoo! I’m relearning! Eventually, I may even be able to be the goofy smart-ass in public that I am with my kids and sisters in private.

What does this have to do with you?

The mind can get in the way of the heart. We learn to control the mind so we can experience what it is to live by our hearts. The mind is a tool. The heart is supposed to be in charge. Fear and insecurity come from the ego which lives in the mind.

Love comes from the heart. These days we spend most of our time living from the mind with no balance from the heart. Your heart whispers to you. When you quiet your mind you will be able to hear its message. Once you learn to listen to your heart it’s time to learn how to act without fear, according to its guidance. Take action in the world you were born into, as well as the inner worlds. Act with balance and ease.

Find your edges. Those place you fear to get to close to in life that are holding you back. Explore them. Your heart is waiting for you to feel the joy of being free of the limitations of the ego.