“Screeech!!!!!” The shrill tormenting sound sent a shock wave through me. My heart pounded. The heart wrenching noise had come from the chook house.
“Was that one of our Spice Girls?“
Feet found their way into the closest pair of shoes. I raced across the creek in time to hear another ear-piercing shriek. A Spice Girl for sure. Hurt by whatever was in the chook house.
The sounds had come from the overgrown end of the enclosure. Chook heaven for scratching the earth. Also the ideal place for predators to lie in wait.
Grabbing the biggest rocks I could find, I heaved them at the long grass, still unable to see what was attacking our Girl.
This gave her the opportunity to make a dash away from the gnashing teeth and claws of the biggest goanna I’d ever laid eyes on. Our chooks were nowhere to be seen.
With the goanna gone, the Spice Girls cautiously came out of their hiding places. Nervous and on full alert.
After applying first aid to Posh’s leg, she limped slowly back to join her friends for breakfast. Her appetite, at least, was unaffected as she tucked into the radish leaves, vege scraps and mince.
As I watched her, I thought how brave she had been. Even though she had been very frightened, she hadn’t given up. She wasn’t going to give up without a fight.
Have you ever been faced with a fight or flight situation?
What did you do? Flee or stand your ground?
The fight or flight response refers to a physiological reaction that occurs in the presence of something that is terrifying, either mentally or physically.
American physiologist, Walter Cannon, realized that a chain of rapidly occurring reactions inside the body help mobilize the body’s resources to deal with threatening circumstances.
The flight or fight response can also occur when there is a perceived threat, such as, standing up to speak in public. The physiological and psychological effects can include a dry mouth, shortness of breath, pounding heart, trembling knees, feeling sick, stomach churning and forgetting your words.
Can you relate to any of those?
These responses are essentially involuntary with the exception of breathing. How you choose to breathe increases how relaxed you feel and helps you overcome your fear of public speaking so that you can speak from your heart and share your message.
Dr Milton Wood, a professional trainer and award winning public speaker, uses the following breathing technique.
1. Create a fantasy image in your mind of the most relaxing and enjoyable situation you can imagine.
2. Place your hands on your chest so that you can monitor your breathing
3. Slowly exhale. Breathe out all your anxiety
4. Slowly inhale the calm air surrounding you. Think to yourself “calm, relaxed, secure”
5. Hold your breath for two seconds as you visualize your fantasy image
6. Repeat this cycle at least three times. It‘s important to repeat the exercise so that you can feel the relaxing benefits
7. With regular practice, this technique becomes easy and effortless
Perhaps you’d like to try this technique the next time you’re public speaking so that your ability to communicate feels more natural and authentic.
“The breath must be enticed or cajoled, like catching a horse in a field, not by chasing after it, but by standing still with an apple in one’s hand” B.K.S. Iyengar
Here’s to breathing in the moment as You speak from Your heart and share Your message!