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Re-Vision the Fail

[image width=”630″ height=”472″ lightbox=”true”]http://christinecastigliano.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/sing-fail-e1305831683975.png[/image]Are you willing to Fail in your quest to grow into what you know you must become? How do you handle the inevitable imperfection that comes with taking risks?

Right now, I am taking steps to create a life that’s Big. In the past I nurtured a fantasy of the post-bestseller lifestyle, on some Greek island, sipping champagne as I drafted the next big blockbuster.

Fantasies may help you endure the tedium of writing, the endless search for just the right meaning, the long lonely chapters. But at some point you grow out of them. You say damn, that’s not gonna happen. You may decide it’s more satisfying to figure out what becoming Big really means for you. On your terms.

My big dream is to create a new shape for my life. To bring all my loves together: songs, art, stories, and to fan the spark of transformation. It’s exciting. And terrifying.

One aspect of my new shape looks a bit like performance art. I was in a jazz-pop band before having kids, and I sang with an amazing gospel choir, but only sporadically since. My performance muscles need a workout. So I’ve been singing. Several times lately, the flow of energy through my voice has carried me – and others – to very real emotional heights. This inspired me take risks, to sing in non-traditional places, to bust it out whenever song moved in me. To feel free enough to sing when the muse speaks is a gift… and it felt good to stretch my wings.

Until the other night, when I. totally. bombed.

It was a fire circle of old friends, an important occasion marking the anniversary of a dear one’s passing. These moments call for big emotions, when music can lift and carry us to higher planes of feeling. One could imagine a strong voice with heartfelt emotion being of service. If the intention and timing is right.

I’d missed a similar opportunity, and didn’t want fear to hold me back. So, even though the circle had organically begun to disperse, and our lovely host had moved on, I went for it. Called to her, offered the gift, sang my song. I saw a look on her face that I didn’t expect: Confusion. Disappointment. Irritation? I saw that … and promptly forgot several lines of Latin. Recovered, shaken.

I hadn’t listened to my deeper knowing… of timing… of sensitivity. When we are off our game, people know. Music is perhaps the least forgiving, because when it’s not so great, it’s obvious.

She graciously hugged me, and a few others thanked me. Still, I felt bruised and vulnerable. I seriously wanted to get the hell out of there. But I stayed, breathing, working with my emotions. The desire for flight persisted until I was home in bed. Truly, I wanted to escape my shame and embarrassment, that I had forgotten to listen deeply to what was needed. That my desire to give, to share my voice and build my experience took over.

Next morning, upon waking, I got the “Aha.” At a fire circle, people need Kum-ba-yah, group experiences where everyone can join in, to strengthen the mutuality of the experience. My song, while well-intentioned, didn’t fit. It was too much of a performance.

One of the greatest joys is to learn to be gentle with one’s self. To acknowledge the voice that says “You may as well quit now,” and then jump off that groove and hop into another pathway.

I actively turned to the voice that said: “You are learning and growing. It’s okay. You probably won’t do THAT again.”

Grace is simply this: shame and fear transformed into a nurturing willingness to move through it.

This probably never happens to you! But if it did, how would you move through it?

By christine

Iā€™m a singer, coach and creative facilitator. I work with people who want to open their full voice so they can connect, create and communicate from the Heart. I offer heart & voice workshops, circles, HeartsQuest retreats, Summer Spark Camps, HeartsVoice coaching and sound healing sessions.

4 replies on “Re-Vision the Fail”

I facilitated a course I was not excited about once. It was someone else’s material. One attendee told me he didn’t see the value of my presentation. It was like he’d knocked me in the stomach. I forced myself to ask for more detail and he said that it seemed like I didn’t believe the message I was sharing. I was SHOCKED that he could see through me. I ended up feeling really bad about it for a couple days. And then I decided it was a learning opportunity, that everyone has experiences like that, and that I really need to listen to my gut when accepting opportunities. Reading your article here made me feel better about it. so: i.totally.bombed. too!

Thanks so much for your comment. I can TOTALLY relate. Didn’t it feel great once you gave yourself that kindly encouragement?

And with that bomb in your background, you’ll never experience the particular shade of shock that comes from speaking something you don’t believe in.

And then the next lovely learning opportunity comes ’round šŸ™‚

Oh it has indeed happened to me, Christine! The most humiliating moment was sharing info in a workshop, not being sensitive to the fact that the instructor was extremely insecure, and actually felt threatened by me.

She had originally expressed interest in info that I had, even asked me to share it with the class. I was aware that she was the one in charge, not me, and was careful not to step on her toes.

But apparently I didn’t do a good enough job, because she turned on me the next day, stopped the class for several minutes and gave me the worst dressing-down I’ve ever had. Utter humiliation.

I learned an important lesson that day: no matter how sensitive I think I’m being in the way I share info, not everyone will be receptive to it!

I’ve gotten a helluva lot more careful about sharing info since then!

Yes. Yes. Sharing your real self – your knowing, your power – can be a risk. Especially with people who are not in a place of solidity. It happened to me recently, too – and their lashing out at you really, really hurts.

Next post, I’ll be working with my “Subtle Knife” – developing the extremely sensitive discernment that will tell you when to share and when it’s not a good idea.

Listening to the Spark!

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