I cook dinner for my family just about every day, but when my mom starts to watch me cook something that I've cooked 1000 times, I start to fumble around and forget steps. Or what about when you are eating something in peace and then someone starts to watch you eat? Eating is easy! You know how to do it! But all of a sudden, eating becomes super awkward when you have an audience.
I've had to learn how to perform well under pressure during my training as a musician. Every Friday afternoon for four years, I attended a class called "Recital Hour." It took place in the recital hall. Each week, a handful of students would perform a prepared solo.
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In the spotlight...
For an audience of their peers...
Talk about nerve-wracking. I had to perform in recital hour at least twice each semester. This class was supposed to teach us how to perform for an audience.
I was super nervous on the days it was my turn to perform. What if I messed up? What if they laughed at me? What if I humiliated myself? What if I forgot the music? What if the music falls off the stand? (That happened to me once during a Scholarship Contest. I survived. I also won the scholarship.)
I always practiced at least three hours a day during the week. I always did my best to prepare for recital hour. But no matter how prepared I was, or how great I sounded in the comfortable solitude of the practice room, I always messed up on something during the performance. I just didn't perform the same way in front of an audience as I did when I was alone. I eventually learned how to overcome my performance anxiety, but it still feels very different to perform for an audience.
So when I visited some clients a few weeks ago, I was reminded of what it feels like to perform for an audience. I often remove my shoes and leave them at the front door of a client's home when I go visit them. This was such an occassion. After the visit was over, I walked to the door to put my shoes on. They were sneakers, and I know how to put on my shoes. I really do! I've put on shoes so many times that there is no way I could ever keep track of how many times I've put on shoes. All of a sudden, things got really quiet. My clients were watching me put on my shoes. And I felt really weird. Awkward. So I sang, "I am putting on my shoes right now. And I feel really awkward!"
We all had a good laugh at my silly song.
But still. I felt awkward. And watched. I wanted to run away, or clam up. This experience reminded me of Vag TV. What is Vag TV? Vag TV is:
- That awkward moment someone asks you how dilated you are. And you've never met the person before. Or maybe you have.
- When you get asked when your due date is for the 1000th time. That day.
- When you walk around at church, and two people exclaim "You're so big! You're so small!" At the exact. same. time.
- When your friends/family/facebook friends from highschool you never even talked to so why are you facebook friends start asking you at 36 weeks if you've had your baby yet.
- When your sister/friend/cousin asks if they can attend your birth...just to see what it is like...
It is feeling watched. Inhibited. Uncomfortable. Awkward. Rushed. Ogled.
Most people don't mean to do this. It happens, nonetheless. I know I've accidentally contributed to my fair share of Vag TV. I do my best to be mindful of this and stop as soon as I realize what I am doing.
I learned recently that the conditions for birth need to be like that of a date night. The same hormones that flow during a nice intimate time with your partner are the very same ones we want flowing during birth. These hormones don't flow as well when we feel watched, inhibited, uncomfortable, awkward, rushed, or ogled.
Rowan TwoSisters, Urban Curandera and creator of the Labor Whispering protocol, based the protocol off of Vag TV.
Simply put, Vag TV can stop labor.
Let's not do that.
Turn off the Vag TV!
Schedule a Labor Whispering Session if you need help with that.
Read more about Vag TV from my fellow Labor Whisperers:
Birth Announcements by Maureen of Apple Tree Doula Services
Why Your #32Weeks Post Might Be Delaying Your Labor by Jessica of Illuminated Revelry
Ever Heard of Vag TV? (Pronounced Vah-Juh) by Erin of Mothering Nature Birth Services