Embracing New Ways of Being through Performing

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Last weekend, Vis and I headed to Nova Scotia just for one day to perform at the first annual Berwick Yoga festival. This was the first time that Vish and I traveled to perform as a duo, and I was surprisingly calm and centered. One the one hand, I knew that Vish can pull out a killer kirtan from his vast bag of magical tunes. On the other, I can’t quite say the same for myself. I’m a moody performer, or sensitive, shy – i’m not quite sure how to describe it. When I am in the groove, I can be free and on-fire, rising and falling with the waves of energy around me. My problem is that I’m not always in the groove when I’m supposed to be. My inner machinations get jammed up and I’m more like a stiff robot. At least that’s how I feel. And often it’s when I most need to be on my game that I’m not. So I don’t have full confidence in my ability to show up for the show-down (I really should not be calling a kirtan a show-down! But I suppose it sort-off illustrates my mind-set or how I’m approaching it sadly) Recently, however, I’ve felt a change within where I want to grow beyond my limitations. I’m inspired from many directions to change. One of them was seeing Revati, Gaura Vani’s 7-year old daughter, sing:

If Revati has the courage to simply sing, why can I not have this courage?
So yes, there is a growing willingness on my part to simply go for it.

Still when I heard from the organizers at Berwick that the participants were new to everything Yoga and still timid about opening their hearts, I felt my alarms go off. It became less easy to take deep breaths and the fear that I had awaited took its chance to slink in. What if they would fear the kirtan and judge us? What if they would feel uncomfortable? What if they would close off from me and remain unresponsive? Questions like these began to pelt me and my calm dissipated just as we arrived at the festival. It was taking place at the United Church’s summer camp in Berwick and the significance of that struck me in a different light now that my breath had less room in my body. But I tried my best to respond to the warm and friendly greetings by each of the organizers who went out of their way to make sure we had all we needed. Their friendliness did much to put me at ease, but I continued to be nervous about our evening performance. It was a strange nervousness because I knew that we could and would perform well. What I was nervous about I can’t quite say, only that I couldn’t talk myself out of it.

The most beautiful occurrence for me was the beginning of our offering. I was waiting outside for my ‘dramatic dance entrance’ and Vis was singing the invocation prayers acapella with flute in between each verse. He held the space in an unhurried way simply allowing his strong voice and the prayer to be enough. It was so beautiful.

Soon after I had my ‘tadaa!’ moment with our Bells & Bols dance, and our evening was in full-swing.

Radhe-Govinda bhajan:

Final kirtan:

With all humility, the evening was a real success. I can honestly say that time has never disappeared so quickly for me in a concert before. I could not believe two hours had gone by. Everyone showered us with love and appreciation through continuous applause and joyful faces.

I never imagined this would be my life. But it felt so satisfying that Vish and I could really pull-off an entire show by ourselves. With gratitude to the open-hearted audience and to the warm friendliness that I now think of as Nova Scotian 🙂

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