You're actually being celebrated...
Sav'ry June is alive and bein' loved up on!
My oh my, I have some more exciting news to share....
Last Monday night, Jodi and I were excited to participate in a songwriting/performance contest called Hidden Voices -- organized by Asheville Poverty Initiative as a fundraiser supporting those at many levels of financial need.
We were pleasantly surprised by the results:
Our new song, Savory, was chosen as the 1st place winner! As a reward, we've been offered 1 fully recorded song as Echo Mountain studio.
This was a tremendous gift, as we've been dreaming up visions of creating an album together this spring anyway.
But as wonderful as "winning" things can be, it felt important to share a little more about the personal process I went through that evening -- which inculded a lot of, well, other things....
Along with excitement, I also had the following experiences:
- Fear of "messing up"
- Anxiety in preparation for potentially "messing up"
- Shame while I thought I actually was "messing up"
- Frustration when I realized how I had "messed up"
- Terror that I was going to be punished for "messing up"
- Harsh self-criticism for the ways I "messed up"
- A belief that I disappointed people I cared about by "messing up"
Basically, I forgot some lyrics to the song we sang and it sent me into a pretty big shame spiral during, right after, and for about a week since the performance.
Although this definitely triggered a deep trauma response in my nervous system rooted in a hard early childhood experience, I was grateful to have cultivated enough self-love, compassion, and inner peace through the years to keep moving through each moment knowing I was ultimately safe, and going to be ok.
The message I want to relay to anyone else who may be suffering from trauma-related performance anxiety is this:
It is perfectly acceptable, to be imperfect.
Even when it seems impossible that you could actually be loved, celebrated, and valued based on what your mind is telling you -- actually, especially during these times -- you are worthy of that care and appreciation. Both from yourself, and from others.
This was a wondrous, awe-inspiring reminder for me of just that.
Beauty is relative, and art is such a mysteriously powerful channel, one we can't always pin down based on our limited perceptions. After the show we thanked the judges for their recognition, even in the face of some obvious "mistakes."
With puzzled looks, they each said, "What mistakes? We thought you were great."
Check out the winning performance below, and enjoy the affirmation we're soaking up right now....
We are loved exactly as we are, and so are you.
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