Working with “Performance Anxiety”
Performance anxiety exists, at the level of the body, to improve performance, yet performance anxiety is also an enemy of performance itself. We have taught Vivation to hundreds of actors, performers, speakers, and martial arts practitioners specifically to overcome performance anxiety. The perceived “anxiety” really is an added burst of energy, from adrenaline and other bodily resources for the exact purpose of giving a better and more conscious performance. It is not something bad at all; in reality something extremely good. If this feeling of added energy is resisted, then the resistance both prevents the energy from doing any good, but also diverts attention away from the focus necessary to speak or act well or take appropriate physical action. The skill of Vivation ensures that this energy will be received as the prize it is: our body’s natural way of preparing us to do our very best. All anxiety is caused by the restimulation of suppressed fear and other emotions. Vivation permanently integrates the underlying emotions and makes it possible to receive the benefits without any hint of harm or discomfort.
You’re breathing anyway….you might as well be Viving!
The easy guide to Vivation-in-Action, everyday
One of the most basic components in doing everything, enjoying any experience, (and this is so basic, it should go without saying, but I’m saying it anyway) is Paying Attention. Yes, being mindful or paying attention to the thing that you’re doing and the strongest feeling in your body as a result of the experience. It’s the strongest feeling in your body that is the most obvious and the most connected with the here and now. This basic skill of Paying Attention is also described as Presence, Being in the Moment, Focus, or The Zone.
So, if you are paying attention to the strongest feeling in your body as a result of the thing you’re doing, then it is easy to begin to apply the 5 Elements of Vivation. You will either glean every drop of pleasure from whatever it is you are already doing; or, “integrate” the negative emotions and feelings that are preventing you from enjoying what you’re doing, so either way, the experience is giving you more pleasure.
This is pretty easy to do if you know how to Vive. Since it’s probably safe to say you’re already breathing to some extent, you can begin to apply the First Element, and make your breath circular. Becoming sensitive to the First Element sometimes will make you aware of how shallow your breath is, and therefore, simply taking in more air and energy, will begin to make a difference in your experience.
Often, if I am having an intense conversation or contemplating something unpleasant, I become aware of how SMALL my breath is, and merely changing the depth at which I’m taking in my important life force energy changes the experience dramatically.
Then, as part of my “integrative lifestyle,” sometimes I jump directly to the Fourth Element, the use of which allows me to feel good about, and gain benefit from my experience, whatever it is. If I’m doing something enjoyable, I get to find many more ways to enjoy the thing I’m doing. If it’s not enjoyable in and of itself, I can explore different Fourth Element techniques, until it “integrates” into pleasure or benefit. One of these techniques that almost always works for me is gratitude that things are as good as they are, and that I don’t have to look very far to see how much I have to be grateful for. Another is the integrative idea that, no matter how bad things seem, they could always be worse. Somehow that thought always cheers me up.
So if you want more laughter, enjoyment and joy in your life, consider scheduling a time to learn the 7 Basic Lessons of Vivation.
With warmest regards….keeeeep Viving!
Patricia Bacall and Paul Hughes