June 17, 2007

Overcoming Fear (Part 1): The Way to Personal Power

It was the end of the dress rehearsal, and Al came up to me with a new plan. He said, "Rosemary, I'd like to try something new. I'm going to do a few rifs at the end of the song, and you can just improvise around me. Cool?" The performance was less than an hour away, and he was changing what we had been rehearsing for over a month. No, I did NOT think that was cool at all.

Okay, so let me back up a little bit. I had been chosen to sing a duet with Al Jarreau for an L.A. benefit concert. We were doing a jazzy version of "My Favorite Things" from The Sound of Music, which he had recorded for his album with opera great, Kathleen Battle. I was so excited about it, and I had been working SO HARD to make sure that I could keep up with what was probably the world's greatest improvisational singer. I knew he was going to ad lib here and there, but this was more than what I had bargained for at the 11th hour. Honestly, when he said that to me, I felt like throwing up. I had no idea what he would throw at me, and there was no such thing as walking away.

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain." --Frank Herbert

Oh, if only I knew then what I know now. After this experience, I became fascinated with fear. It can help move mountains or keep us paralyzed with inaction. In the end, nothing significant is accomplished in our lives without facing fear, including building our own personal power. Now why might you want to build your personal power? Your personal power is what drives you to go beyond your limits, to experience more, to live life to the fullest, to be happy. And who doesn't want to be happy? So just how do you overcome your fears?

Well, that’s what we’ll be covering in the next few posts. Check back soon for the continuation of the story…Go to Part 2

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