341 | Practice Makes Peaceful (with Emily Agnew)

Emily Agnew is the founder of SustainablySensitive.com, where she supports sensitive people through Focusing and Inner-Bonding practices. She is also a professional musician having auditioned and performed at the highest level.

One of the characteristics on Elaine Aron’s HSP self-test says, “When I must compete or be observed while performing a task, I become so nervous or shaky that I do much worse than I would otherwise.”

Emily and I both relate to this within our experiences as musicians.

For Emily auditions have created difficult to manage adrenaline spikes, and for me I have experienced it in live performance settings. Even when I’m not overly nervous, the release of stress hormones can lead to physiological reactions that make performing difficult.

In this week’s Extended Play episode I talk about specific examples of times when I’ve become so shaky that it’s been impossible for me to play my instrument. And I share some of my own trial and error practices that have worked for me over the years.

You might be wondering what this image has to do with this week’s episode. To be honest it didn’t come out as I hoped – it was supposed to our inner selves and the anxiety that comes when the wrong characters occupy inappropriate places in the car. Except, they both look like they’re having fun. Maybe it has a meaning that I’m not yet aware of. That’s why I’m not changing it…well, that and the fact that I can’t be bothered to re-do it!

In our conversation Emily and I talk about:

  • How performance anxiety and overwhelm can impact us in highly stimulating environments
  • How to develop practices that root sustainable energy in everyday life, and keep us grounded in an intense spike situation (such as an audition or performance)
  • Psycho-physical reactions to stress and what I might be telling myself when I get sore throats before gigging
  • Inner Relationship Focussing – how Emily helps clients to create inner space for healthy self-awareness and engagement
  • How the tiny traumas of everyday life leaves hermetically sealed fragments of our ‘selves’ steering the vehicle of our lives, like ghosts stuck in a state of limbo
  • How focussing our inner relationship helps get the different ‘selves’ in the right position to drive life more sustainably
  • Why sensitive people might struggle to speak clearly to the needs underneath the emotions they feel so deeply
  • The importance of working with someone else who can help us ask ourselves the right questions and discover answers beyond our default thought patterns
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