Facing the Music

Posted by Paige Oxlaj on Sunday, September 2, 2012 Under: self-development
It started as a dare... All around the wooden bar, people swayed to the karaoke with their rear-ends firmly planted in their stools, feet on the floor. I couldn't contain my desire to unchain myself from my bar stool. I couldn't blame alcohol, as I was downing Diet Pepsi at the same rate that others chugged Michelob. I just had an overwhelming desire to move.  So, as a friend started to wow the crowd with her amazing voice, I scooted myself closer to an inebriated barfly and commanded "dance with me."

"No," he said. "I don't dance."  "Oh, come on. Please."
I must of been louder in my pleading then I thought, because all around us people started taunting him.  "Chicken," they said. Within seconds, he drug me off the bar stool wrapped his hands around my shoulders, and we were swaying to a long forgotten lullaby. 

Victory, I thought. But as I smiled and swayed... I heard this sharp whisper in my ear. "I danced with you, now you're going to sing." "No, I don't sing," I whispered back. "You are tonight. Go pick your song."

Crap. Ever since I was young, my musically talented siblings have told me I was tone deaf. I patently refuse to sing in front of friends because I can't stay on key and even my daughter shushes me when notes poor out of me.  And now, I had to sing in front of a bar full of people, or been known forever as a chicken, .

I procrastinated for hours. Last call came and went. And I started to breathe easy. Until, my dance partner looked at me and said "you're up." I smiled beseechingly at him and he shook his head. Then wild eyed, I begged a friend, "please sing with me.:

She nodded. And on trembling knees I inched toward the microphone. "Who'll Stop the Rain" started playing, and her voice rang out loud and clear. Mine,however, was too far from the mic to be heard. She grabbed a new mic, stuck it in my trembling hand and pushed my hand toward my mouth.

Then she stopped singing... It was just me... every eye turned to watch me. And I took a deep breathe and let go. The words came out and no one laughed. The song ended and as I walked toward my stool, hands reached out to high five me, people hugged me, and said I'd done great.

It took a dare... and three minutes to face my fear - singing in public. And as I gathered my purse and left the bar, I stood a little taller. I'd finally faced the mic - and nothing bad had happened. In fact, good happened. As I drove home that night, I thought about all the things I avoided in my life out of fear and decided that if I could sing to a crowd of people, I could do those things too. 

I believe we all have things in our lives that we avoid because we're scared. Sometimes they're small things- like singing in public - that don't have much impact on our lives. Other times whole portions of our lives are cut off because of fear. My challenge for you is to tackle one of these fears  and push through it.  I promise you will feel empowered...

In : self-development 

Tags: singing  fear  "facing fear"  empowerment 
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Living Life of Adventure, One Breath at a Time

Paige Deiner My life is a wild carpet ride full of unique experiences and one of a kind adventures. I sometimes find myself holding onto the tassels, rather than sitting squarely in the middle of my "magic carpet" - but so far I haven't fallen off and I'm loving the ride. I am a Licensed Massage Therapist and a Yoga Alliance 200 yoga instructor. I have been a Reiki Master for 8 years, and have meditated since childhood. My daughter thinks I'm a hippie, I think I am a very organized dreamer. The truth may be somewhere in the middle. I would probably be a vegetarian but I fear mutiny... But I do try my best to practice what I preach. I yoga everyday and meditate nightly. I am lucky enough to have a fantastic Reiki partner so I receive some universal wisdom each Tuesday. And I am an avid, nerdy reader. I clean to books on tape, and usually read about two non-fiction and one fiction book a week.