A crucible is a vessel, originally made from clay, strong enough to hold a material subjected to extremely high temperatures without breaking. Think of melting gold in a metal brazier for instance.
The past few weeks have moved at a dizzying pace, a flurry of emails exchanged with strangers that I would meet at a future date online, to share a conversation that would then be shared with hundreds if not millions of others. To say that I was and have been scared is an understatement.
You see, I've entered a new stage with my first book, the stage of publicity. My publisher assigns a publicist to work on promoting my book to as many people as possible. In an allotted time, they send out requests to a list of their contacts, some of whom return with interest to meet me. These meetings are interviews for radio, television, podcast, and YouTube.
To date, I've completed four interviews. The first three were the most challenging. It was a mixed bag of emotions - excitement, anxiety, trepidation, worry, and fear. I don't remember the last time I was this nervous. I stumbled, a lot. Definitely sweating.
After the third interview was over, I sat on the sofa, judging myself in my mind, thinking I could not possibly do another interview. How could I be so comfortable teaching groups of 20 to 30 people yet come undone talking to one person?
I realized, thanks to the reflection from my husband, that I had entered a crucible moment. And I remembered two important lessons.
New experiences are messy.
We stumble, we fall, we may even scrape our knees and cry hard. But, eventually, like learning to ride a bicycle, we learn to stay upright, and with each turn of the pedals, we move forward. Being interviewed is a completely new experience and I'm learning what that means, how to show up and be myself. As I continue to become what I call a Recovering Perfectionist, I'm reminded that when I worry about how I'll be perceived by others, I fall into the trap of needing to be perfect. Perfection is in complete opposition to learning because learning is a process and we're always evolving.
It gets easier.
With each repetition of learning something new, it gets easier as we improve, gaining new skills, abilities, and capacities. Giving in to the fear and challenge only delays needing to learn the lesson at some future date. The challenge is the fire of change and I had met my crucible moment.
Going through this experience has felt like my spiritual skin was being stripped away, burning in a fire of trial and initiation. Life has initiated me into a new Self, capital S for Soul or Highest Self. Burning away fear, an obstacle and an illusion to the growth that awaits, this spiritual fire has begun to transform me into a new expression of Self and Being.
The fourth interview was easier, and the interviewer, a delightfully warm and kind woman who welcomed me into a space of free expression and an opportunity to learn and grow. As I felt the nerves melt away, the words flowed freely with natural ease and clarity. By the end, I felt that I had come through the other side, transformed by all the other uncomfortable experiences to become a new Self.
My crucible was to be burned in the spiritual fire of transformation, to allow for a new Self to emerge and take flight.
We all have crucible moments that transform us. Let's remember this not only for ourselves but for our fellow human beings.
May we all be more compassionate and kind with ourselves and to others as we are transformed in the fire of life.
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