Speaking of “coping with anxiety” …
Remember when I mentioned the other day feeling just the tiniest bit anxious around the whole “Hmm, I wonder what I’m going to teach at the yoga festival this weekend” thing?
Well, that got resolved pretty quickly. In what’s probably the most ridiculous way ever.
I was sitting on the couch, wondering which technique of mine would sort it out the fastest …
…when I got distracted by the unexpected news that RBB (German television station) wanted to interview me for their evening news program that oh, everybody in Berlin watches.
Nothing like perspective to knock you over the head.
So, yeah. All of a sudden the idea that I would feel even the slightest bit of anything about teaching on a stage in front of a gazillion people seemed pretty silly.
After all, — or so went my stream-of-consciousness autopilot rambling — I’ve been teaching for years. I’ve lectured in German plenty of times. How could that be the slightest bit intimidating? What was I thinking?
In fact, why even bother getting nervous about some silly festival when you can get nervous about your first television appearance ever being an interview in a foreign language?
And isn’t is so typical that my first television interview would be in German? I mean, that’s so the story of my life.
What’s that? A learning curve? Is it steep? Oh, well then, take me straight to the top of it and drop me … hahahaha … it’ll be fun!
Then the silliness kicked in …
It suddenly occurred to me that if my nervousness about Unknown Thing #1 could disappear so completely in the face of Unknown Thing #2, it couldn’t really be all that deep a pattern.
Which made me laugh out loud because the whole situation was just so absurd. Scaring yourself out of the scary? What, it’s like hiccups?
Apparently it does work like that sometimes. Because: hey, no more Schmetterling im Bauch (butterflies in the stomach). No feelings at all, other than: Alright, let’s do this thing!
Report from my first ever television interview:
Because of course you want to know how it went, right?
It was fine. They loved Selma (I’m telling you, my duck is a superstar). They were thrilled (thrilled!) that I speak German. They asked me seriously difficult questions. And they filmed part of one of my workshops.
But the weird thing is, I’d always imagined that during a television interview it would be impossible not to think about everything that you’re probably doing wrong.
You know. Stuff like … “I wonder what this looks like. Is my hair a mess? Am I smiling like a maniac?”
Except, because it was all in German, I was mostly thinking about nailing all my prepositions. Which was actually kind of a welcome distraction.
Report from the Berlin Yoga Festival:
First of all I have to warn you that yoga festivals are full of yoga people.
Normally I’m pretty much the wackiest person on the block. But the nice thing about being at a yoga festival is that even I get to feel pretty darned straight.
Your obscure brain training techniques seem way, way less bizarre when the person teaching right after you is a European-lookin’ dude in orange robes, with a beard down to his pupik, as my mother would say. Who’s the weirdo now, huh?
Like I said, perspective is everything.
Also, in case you’re wondering: no, I didn’t make it to the class on not being judgmental.
Anyway, it was raining cats and dogs but luckily, since both my programs took place inside tents, they were still full. *blows kiss to programs coordinator*
So yeah. I managed to deliver a 60 minute lecture in German without looking at any notes, answered lots of interesting questions, didn’t knock over the microphone and enjoyed the hell out of the 90 minute practice session that Selma and I taught.
1. Be German
No matter how many times you give people your bio, they can still (and will) make up an entirely new and nonexistent way to spell the thing that you’re teaching.
→ Get someone to go over all the brochures and posters that other people produce.
2. Make fun of Germans
Yoga-ness trumps German-ness. Just because you’re supposed to start teaching at two in the afternoon doesn’t mean you will.
→Bring a book or something.
3. Be accessible
It’s always good if you don’t have to shrug your shoulders in bewilderment when people ask you excitedly when your next workshop is.
→Glue or staple a little info sheet to your gorgeous postcards.
4. Get a raincoat that a grownup would wear
I don’t care if you do carry a duck. You need a new raincoat.
→ I think that says it all.
5. Avoid potential embarrassment
Let’s suppose you’re (hypothetically, let’s say) going to be demonstrating an incredibly complicated movement technique in front of an audience and television cameras.
It’s probably easier if the thing you’re standing on isn’t made of rickety, widely-spaced slats covered with felt.
Which might just be the least stable thing ever to be danced upon in the history of dancing upon things.
No, I didn’t fall down. That’s the benefit of being the #2 world-expert in a coordination technique.
→ Have someone check out anything that has a suspicious name like the “other” stage.
6. And finally: Take notes
No matter how many times you’ve learned all these lessons before, you haven’t.
→ Write them down somewhere where you can find them. Like, oh I don’t know, online?