I do not like having to speak in group settings. Especially when they are people I do not know. I get massive anxiety. I don’t like being the centre of attention in groups. I don’t like lots of people looking at me. I got married abroad twice, to avoid being centre of attention.
Yesterday, I went to a meditation with a friend. There was about 25 people. I didn’t know any of them, and the friend I went with, is a new friend I have not known long.
The meditation, was in a former church. There were stained glass windows, with the cross, the Bible and other Christian related images. The meditation people, were clearly Buddhist type people, and having studied Buddhism in the past, I know their language. But, I ignored that and focussed on my own faith. I know these people are probably good, nice people, just not at the point/stage I am at, in spiritual journey.
The meditation was good. There was a guided body relaxation first, then a guided visualisation. That part was what I had expected. We were asked to visualise a guide as we walked through this path, and through doors, that all represented something in our life. My guide was Jesus. He was holding my hand, throughout this entire visualisation. And it was pretty powerful, particularly about emotions, of anxiety, anger, sadness.
After this, they had a ‘circle’ and everyone had to say their name and what they were doing over Easter. After that, there were two cards to read out. So, I had to speak out within this group, three times.
When I realised I would need to speak, I immediately felt the anxiety rocket. But, I decided to just remain calm, asked Jesus to help me with anxiety and rather than panic, just remain calm and speak. And I did. I spoke calmly, with some humour about eating too much chocolate.
No-one would have guessed I have anxiety about speaking in a group. Continue reading