unfolding acceptance

Yesterday, I practiced shifting my post-performance shame into post-performance acceptance.

This is how my performances have gone, the last three or four times:

I start off excited and confident, as normal, rehearsing and getting ready. About thirty minutes before performing, I start getting "stage nerves," which seem good, because they get me into stage mode.

(I have never experienced stage fright. I get a bubbly sort of excited giddy nervousness. It's nothing like stage fright, which is a real phenomenon. The last time I performed, my nervousness was higher than normal, in part because I went right after an internationally renowned dancer.)

And then after I perform, I have an immediate let down.

My mind starts internally going over every single thing that went wrong or didn't happen. And this is intensified by watching videos or looking at photos of my performances.

I have been working on getting out of this shame spiral for about five years ago, since my last performance in Alabama. I wrote about that experience here.

And I wrote about it again in my Roots of She guest post, in August 2013. Since Roots of She has since closed shop - Jen Gibson is now blogging at embrace your holy - I've added the post I wrote to the announcement post on my blog, so you can read it and be inspired to dance your dance.

So, big breath. Yesterday, after my performance, I practiced letting go of that internal eye rolling.

I practiced letting go of that post-performance shame.

M helped me tremendously, by gently reminding me that I had fun and that was really all that needed to happen. (And also, as a performer himself, he reminded me of a few more specific things - including the fact that my focus on small isolations is really something that maybe a lot of people aren't trained to notice.)

But really, what it was about was stopping the internal shame-spiral feedback loop.

Gads, that's difficult!

But it can be done and I've been practicing getting out of shame spirals for a long time.

And today, I'm not having as much of an issue looking at my photos as usual. (It helps that Remy took over 100 photos!)

We'll see what happens when my friend emails me the video she took.

I think it will be ok.

Yes, it will be ok.

It is ok.

I had fun.

I may not have remembered to keep my shoulders down or had the best dance posture ever (I never do). I may have gotten expectations too high with my crazy-awesome make-up and not been able to deliver on them. I may not have grabbed everybody in the audience. And that's ok. It really is.

It really is ok.

I had fun. I love dancing and I (hopefully) made some new dance friends and I enjoyed watching all of the other performers. And now I am inspired to perform more, instead of feeling like I never want to again (like I did after the last three or four performances).

It was a good day.