I’ve done it! I’ve done it! The first of my #12outofmycomfortzonechallenges for 2013! I sang in public 🙂
So, in January 2013 I decided to set myself #12outofmycomfortzonechallenges for 2013, inspired by Natalie (who I met again whilst running a course at UCLan). Natalie had been doing something similar with her family in 2012 – choosing things to do which they’d never done before and then supporting one another to do them.
So, knowing we need to feel the fear & do it anyway, (thanks Susan Jeffers!) I thought I’d create a list of 12 things to do in 2013… roughly 1 per month as it was already the end of January when I decided to do it.
I felt that in 2011 and 2012 I had faced a number of fears; come through them and grown because of my willingness to face them and of course because the more fears you face… the less fear you have! Because the more you step outside of your comfort zone… the bigger your comfort zone gets, I was on my way to feeling I could do anything… and I wanted more! And also, because I now have a tool, a technique, which allows me to free myself from fear …“effortless meditation”.
It seems fitting then that the first of my #12outofmycomfortzonechallenges happened at Dent Meditation Centre during my 6 day intensive Iuna Meditation Teacher Training…
Each night of the course we had homework… usually to go home to prepare and practice a talk which we would then deliver to the group the following day, but the previous night’s homework had been slightly different… it was to practice sounding aloud our meditation mantra – a sound, a vibration we were all very familiar with …in our heads.
I’d done my homework and practiced saying the sound aloud, but as I came into the meditation centre in the morning I was aware of feeling apprehension and anxiety. I put aside the feeling (as we all do all the time… instead of staying with it and truly feeling it!) and the course began.
The morning was focused on how we would lead people into meditation for the first time and as part of that we would each say the mantra aloud. As we read ‘parts’ of the ‘leading in’ I got more and more nervous thinking about saying the mantra aloud – as it needed to be chanted… it needed to be sung. Aaarrrggghh!
I was so nervous I started counting the people in front of me and how many ‘parts’ there were to read and realised that I was to be the first one to say the mantra aloud. I couldn’t sit still… my feet were moving as if they wanted to get up and run away; my heart was racing; I had a churning feeling in my stomach….and just as it got to me… Eliza, our teacher, said to stop and we would all sound the mantra. Phew! At least I didn’t have to do it alone.
…or did I? Eliza then announced we’d go round in turn and each person would sound the mantra 3 times. We started to the right of me and as it was coming towards me I felt shear panic even though the voice in my head was saying “you can do it…come on!” and as it finally got to me, I tried, but I really couldn’t… my fear, all the emotions on top of that and my limiting belief stopped me from taking the action and I suddenly realised how enormous this actually was for me.
The sound continued to echo around the room… without my voice. When the group came back to me to give me another chance, this time I did manage to open my mouth and the sound did leave me… in a very weak and wobbly way which made me feel ashamed of how pathetic it was …how pathetic I was (oh hello gremlin… I knew you were around here somewhere!).
I knew to sing in public was a challenge – that exactly why I’d made it one of my #12outofmycomfortzonechallenges for 2013 (not knowing at the time when or how I would get the chance to take it on), but I hadn’t realised how difficult it would be or how much stuff it would bring up for me about singing in class at school or feeling ashamed of my singing or (one that’s just occurred to me as I write this) the fear of humiliation of pronouncing a word wrong (something that no doubt holds me back with speaking foreign languages).
This is why I meditate… meditation allows me to break these patterns by dissolving my insecurity and tapping into my true security deep within me. Meditation is what will help me achieve my #12outofmycomfortzonechallenges 🙂
Suffice to say we did the mantra chanting exercise again twice more during our 6 days together, with a larger and larger group each time and each time I voiced the sound it became stronger and stronger …reflecting my inner security, and each time the sound left me, it touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes …in some new way I’d found the voice of my heart!
• What will you put on your #12outofmycomfortzonechallenges for 2013?
• How will you overcome your fears?
• What will facing those fears open up for you in your life?
I’d love to hear your thoughts… either by leaving a comment here or on twitter @ThePensiveCoach