Closer to the edge

Most of the time I’m comfortable in my existence and can fairly accurately predict my reaction to most situations. As an introvert I’m not usually emotionally demonstrative.

Writing helps me see things with clarity and put my thoughts into words. It is my strongest form of expression and communication.

Recently I stepped outside my internal written world when a writers group held an open microphone event for people to read aloud their work to a like-minded audience.

As the event coincided with the first year anniversary of my blog I eagerly signed up to read Zen Moments that summarizes the highs and lows of my year of self-discovery.

Listening to the other readers was motivating and I didn’t feel nervous. Soon it was my turn to step up to the microphone to read.

The moment I began reading the reality of speaking my truths hit me like a brick and my voice started to falter. My vulnerabilities and insecurities erupted and involuntarily flooded my body. I was completely thrown by my unexpected emotional reaction.

As I spoke tears sprung to my eyes and words choked my throat.  I couldn’t go on. My heart thumped like a ticking time bomb and I wanted to run out the door, but I stayed still.

Another writer kindly came forward to stand beside me and continue reading my piece. As she spoke my words it was if I was hearing them for the first time. I felt like I was standing naked on the stage.

She had almost finished and invited me to resume reading, but as soon as I spoke again my tears returned. Again she kindly continued to finish reading for me while I stood beside her.

The audience applauded as I self-consciously left the stage.  Immediately someone who I have wanted to become closer with for some time gave me the warmest hug and told me she was proud of me. This made me very happy to know she cared.

My old self would have lamented my awful public speaking experience  but I chose to accept what happened for whatever it was.

That day I was proud to have satisfied my intention which is

Letting things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.

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36 thoughts on “Closer to the edge

  1. As someone who shares a fear of public speaking I truly admire the courage it took to not only face that fear, but also do it with the vulnerability factor at it’s highest by sharing such a personal part of yourself in your writing. Yes, we write and share via blog, but it is a MUCH different animal when we give our own “VOICE” to our work in a public setting. Much admiration and respect to you.
    Keep Inspiring

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  2. We grow the most when we stand to face that which we fear…and find ourselves on the other side. You and your daughter rock! I’m glad you stopped by my site so I could read your words.

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  3. Just beautiful…”standing naked”, I could relate to how you felt..that is very scary, but you did a great job! It is funny how afraid we are for people to really see and know who we are inside…it is like wearing our clothes inside out all day:-)

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    1. Thank you Robbie. Yes many of us are scared to show who we really are to others because perhaps we think we are not interesting enough. It helps to share these insecurities. Love Jenna

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  4. I have had that happen to me too. It’s so unexpected and unsettling. Good for you for not running away. That took courage. So glad you had someone kind enough to step in & read your words – your truth still got out. Thanks for sharing your vulnerable moment with us – Brene Brown would be proud. 🙂

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    1. I’m not sure what I would have done if someone hadn’t come forward to read for me. But I am forever thankful for the writer who came and stood beside me to read my piece, it was my beautiful daughter Laura who inspires me every day. Love Jenna 🙂

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  5. Jenna, you were so brave! Well done! It sounds like you had an angel there also, in the form of another writer, who stood by your side to help you through when emotion took over. I love this story, it’s just beautiful.

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    1. Yes is was a memorable day and I’m glad I stepped outside my written world. People are very kind and accepting which warms my heart. Thank you as always for your wise words. Love Jenna

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  6. Wow – thank you for sharing this courageous moment Jenna! When we feel vulnerable and exposed we forget the power of love and letting things flow through us naturally. Congratulations in your realization and personal growth 🙂

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    1. I felt my raw emotion was there in the room for all to see and feel, but rather than feel embarrassed I am at peace with it now. Thank you for your comments which are always valued and appreciated. Love Jenna 🙂

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  7. Jenna thats fabulous. Bringing out our innermost thoughts and feelings before an audience is very confronting.. having done some public speaking I know how it affects you. You were heard and that’s the beautiful thing. Well done. 🙂 I’m so proud of you. Susan x

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    1. Thank you Susan, I have new admiration for people who speak so confidently in front of an audience. I think my reaction was so strong because I was speaking personal truths. I wonder if I read another writers’ work whether I would have experienced the same emotional response? Love Jenna

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      1. The first is always the hardest – emotionally it may have been easier, but I had an awful case of nerves. I had on a formal dress and I was certain I was going to trip up the steps to the stage, fall flat on my face and disgrace myself before I reached he podium/ I will never forget that one.
        Love Susan x

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