I did something that I thought I would NEVER ever ever ever ever (be able to do)! That is, be a guest on a podcast….
What might that be for you?
I have had a deeply engrained public speaking terror/phobia since I went completely blank, forgetting my lines in the school play in grade 6. After that, doing a presentation in school and being seen became excruciating for me. As a result, I would fiercely and diligently try and avoid speaking publicly and being the centre of attention at all cost! Avoiding, retreating, and staying small and hidden had been my go-to solution for decades! But teachers and professors would NOT ‘let that happen’ (grrrrr), which brought up MANY things in me. So, this traumatic experience -turned phobia got more and more deeply entrenched as the years went by! It made my life narrower and smaller- and consumed a lot of energy being on high alert and trying to avoid ‘danger.’ Part of me resigned to ‘this is how it would always be!
My recent writing contribution to a chapter in ‘I AM: Releasing the Shame of Narcissistic Abuse…..” has brought up quite a few opportunities to be more visible, to be seen and heard. The other 13 authors and I have done a few Zoom events/interviews, which was definitely out of my comfort zone, but feeling the security of the group made it much easier! Also, the opportunity to do podcasts on my own began to spring up. YIKES! That felt TERRIFYING! I so DEEPLY wanted to be able to do this, but it seemed pretty impossible- for someone else, not me.
An opportunity presented itself to work with someone with Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), looking to do a case study to complete his certification on just this, the fear of public speaking! Thank you, universe, for orchestrating this one! I did 5 EFT sessions with Brian (his contact info is below), and the results were PHENOMENAL! I also did some EFT in-between sessions when things came up. This was something that I NEEDED the assistance of someone qualified, patient, and empathic to help guide and lead me through this minefield.
I had so many fears and hesitations. In the first session with Brian, we worked on my feeling around being forced by so many teachers/professors to speak in public/in front of the class, do presentations, be put on the spot to answer questions. I had deep and unhealed trauma- so this approach by my teachers/professors was NOT helpful! It felt like I was being overpowered, controlled, and violated – I was forced to do something very unsafe for me. It was too much! What I needed was someone to help me to overcome this phobia, not push it deeper! I felt angry, resentful, and deeply resistant. I could not say no; ‘I am not comfortable with this’! I was not heard, respected; my boundaries were constantly trampled on. I felt powerless.
At the end of the session, I saw an image of myself on a cliff, and I had a choice to stay small, fearful, and hidden or to be seen and step out of the shadows. I knew that I wanted to step into the newness, the new me…that was a good sign!
The morning of the second session, I woke up in a complete (inner-child) panic. I felt like she was around age 6. She was trying to shut down the idea of even thinking about doing this upcoming podcast! I/she felt consumed with fear and the feeling that I /we did NOT want to be pushed out of my comfort place!! It was a 9/10 intensity. At the end of the last session, we put the remaining left-over aspects in an imaginary box to work on during the next session. So, this is where we started with the third session.
The left-over contents in the ‘box’ felt very difficult for me to look at! What came to the surface was a time 15 + years ago, I worked up the courage to do a radio interview regarding Tail Blazers: Health Food Store for Pets (my past business) with my friend Corinne, a veterinarian. I was not at all prepared for the terror that it brought up in me! I was shaking so badly. I left my body and went completely blank during the interview for a period of time (I don’t remember how long). The announcer noticed and tried to help me/take the focus off me. Finally, some of our lovely customers called in, and it brought me back. I felt foolish, embarrassed, shameful, and humiliated about going blank, feeling like letting someone down and how paralyzed/frozen with fear I was. I wanted to disappear- precisely how I felt when I forgot my lines in the school play (grade 6), which also came up in this session, and I remembered declaring to myself that I will NEVER do this to myself again! Wow!
This earlier trauma was still locked in my nervous system/energy system, and it was doing its job of alerting me to the ‘danger’ of the podcast!
At the beginning of session three, I felt terrified to put myself out there, feeling like an imposter- that I don’t have anything valuable to share, say contribute. No one wants to hear what I have to say. Podcasts are for experts in things and have lots of degrees- hmmm, I now know and believe this is not true!
I usually see clear visual images during EFT sessions; filled with hidden symbolism, answers, clues and meanings. In this way, we can work on difficult things, but it’s more indirect as the ‘energetic makeup’ is encompassed in this form instead of directly looking or focusing on the thing or event. So even if we don’t know what it is all about, we are ‘working on it.’
In this session, I saw a black magic carpet really close to my chest, and it felt like it was pushing on me. So, we did some rounds on that, and then it felt like it moved (and changed) into a giant black jellybean-type image in my right neck (an area that I have had a lot of pain/problems with). Two things came up, a memory from about three years ago where I felt called out in public for not doing something ‘right’ (in their opinion). We also tapped on a scene that I saw when I was young and my feelings around it. This is what came to me:
When I was young, someone needed me to need them, so they created constant disapproval to control me and meet their needs. So, therefore, I learned to look to them and others for constant reassurance and approval to tell me if I’m doing things ‘right’ because I have believed that other people always know more than I do. That was a massive realization that a part of me was still locked into- a lot of energy moved/cleared with that understanding.
I could now see it all differently and have compassion for that young part of me who could not safely and freely learn and figure things out independently. After the session, I no longer felt that podcasts are just for ‘experts.’ There are, of course, all kinds of different types of podcasts out there! In EFT, at the end of a session, we go back and check ‘our work.’ The long list of things that felt true at the beginning did not feel true anymore! Amazing!
So then came the day of the Healing Playground podcast! I was going to be with Tammy and Holly (also authors of “I AM….”). I liked that it was more of a conversation style than just being given questions. I did not worry about it every second after I booked it as I had done with things I was nervous about in the past! Big progress! I felt a two or three out of ten nervousness the evening before, so I did some EFT. The morning before, it was about a two or three out of ten as well. Definitely manageable!
I was greeted by two supportive, kind friends who have been on a similar journey to me. We had an incredible conversation! I was able to feel relaxed, present and myself, and I enjoyed EVERY moment of the time spent with them talking about healing/healing modalities, playfulness, being ourselves, self-care, love- some of my favourite topics!
The toxic and harmful residue of these past events, trauma, and beliefs were no longer holding my nervous system hostage anymore!! I was and am free to write a new story!! It feels amazing to have been able to do something that I would have actively worked against and avoided before!! I am so grateful to Tammy, who came up with the collaborative book idea, Holly and Brian!! I am now wondering what is possible in the future, and I am excited about the possibilities!!
I am so grateful for this experience and the assistance of a very skilled EFT Practitioner (*Brian Rohr) to help me do some deep-level healing and the personal courage to excavate and go beyond years of paralyzing fear, trauma and limiting beliefs.
What would you do if you were not paralyzed with fear and terror? How would you feel if you could overcome or accomplish this/something that might seem almost impossible to do in your life? What would it mean to you? What if someone could gently assist, guide, and support you with EFT (and patience, skill, safety, and empathy) to get to the root of the energetic obstacles and things working against our dreams, goals, hearts desires, truest and deepest expression, peace, and wholeness? This is what I am SO deeply passionate about; supporting and assisting people to achieve and manifest their hearts’ desires!!
BIG change is possible and maybe even fun!!?
*Brian is a professional storyteller who also offers coaching in public speaking and the art of storytelling. You can link to his storytelling website: www.brianrohr.com or his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/brianrohrstoryteller.