The ghost of the mad professor

This day has brought a bit of this:

and a bit of this:

I can’t remember the last time I had a chocolate bar. (A chocolate bar – not chocolate – that’s different!). I found myself buying one when I filled the car with petrol this morning. I knew it was comfort eating but I’d just got back from playing tennis so, what the hey! One thing I promised myself though – if I ate it, I wouldn’t feel guilty. I didn’t. Result!

So clearly I still had the comfort urge but at the same time I was ready for something more active. The only problem was I didn’t know what. Cue two great ladies – Kelly, my amazing coach and friend and Nicky – my PR coach. (I just love that I have a PR coach now!)

Both Kelly and Nicky at different times of the day had me tune into myself to really get to the bottom of what’s getting in my way right now with the prep for the talk on Tuesday. Kelly used something called ‘Focusing‘ which is an amazing way of connecting with all the different sides of ourselves that may be in conflict with each other. You do this by tuning into clues from your body – in my case, this morning, a tightness in my upper chest, a soreness in my throat and a queasiness in my solar plexus. Each part has a story to tell and it’s just fascinating to listen to what they need. Through this work it became clear that there was one side of me that needed me to relax, another that wanted to get on with it and get it sorted, and another that was afraid I would humiliate myself if I wasn’t properly prepared.

When I was in my early teens I got a couple of solo roles in school plays. Each time I forgot my lines and made a real hash of things. You know the expression “to fall flat on your face”? Well I literally did. In a play simply entitled, ‘The Ant Play’, I was given the role of a mad professor. I forgot my lines midway through and so just ran around the stage shouting the same line over and over again and promptly fell off the stage! Suffice to say, I never acted again. I suppose it’s little wonder then that these ghosts have come back to haunt me.

Sometimes just to name something is enough to start to heal it. Funnily enough, realising that some of what’s been stopping me has come from this buried place has really helped.

The other visualisation I did was this afternoon with Nicky my PR coach. She had me project myself into Tuesday and through her skillful guidance I really could see that I had enormous fun with it all – interacting with the audience, using great visuals and most of all keeping it really simple. In fact I realised that the way I got over my performance anxiety was by splitting the evening into 4 sections each of which could be treated as stories. It’s funny, I have a problem with learning lines but recounting stories is no problem at all. Hey presto, problem solved!

I have yet to work out what my ‘stories’ are but weeks ago I arranged for an actor friend, Marc, to come and help me prepare tomorrow night, so what could be more perfect? Don’t you just love it how these things work out?

As I said yesterday, I am truly blessed with some amazing people in my life.

When I told Marc earlier today that I was tying myself in knots about how to structure the talk, he wrote back to me and said, “Knots are good!” I love that … and I love it all the more now I feel them starting to unravel!

3 Responses to The ghost of the mad professor

  1. You know, I never had the FULL story about the mad professor, you have only ever told me the part about falling off the stage NOT the part about forgetting your lines and running around..Somehow, the way you shared that this time was very funny:) Thanks for making me smile. Keep discovering happiness…your friend on the journey, Kelly

  2. Sorry I just re-read it and it made me laugh again! What a gift to take an experience and make something of it for others and yourself to learn from…K

  3. The picture of you running around the stage, shouting out the only line you could remember and then, falling off the stage…too funny. What a metaphor for how life sometimes is. What happened AFTER you fell off the stage? Did you just lie there? Did you get back onstage and keep going…?

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