Can I Really Do This?

If you read the blog entry before this one, you will have learned how I recovered from my paralyzing fear through the support and guidance of dear friends.  But the story didn’t end there, it continues here….
That day at the Bodacious Goddess Breakfast and the intervention in my car, was a Thursday.  That following Monday, I had lunch with Francine Raften.  In my first blog, I mentioned that Francine had read ROAR! and approached me with the idea of having my own radio show.  Francine also has thirty plus years of experience in radio, TV, and standup comedy; in other words she is a rock star is this world of unknown to me. 
My purpose for lunch with Francine, was to ask her one very important question: “What about ROAR! made you think it could be a show and CAN I REALLY DO THIS?”
Her answer made me sit up an pay attention.  She told me that when she read ROAR! ((here), she couldn’t stop thinking of it.  It had awakened something inside of her, and that something was powerful, important and potentially altering.  If she felt this way, others had to as well, and if others experienced this same awakening, then what kind of impact could it have on the women of the world?  And, she believed that Earth2World Broadcasting Network was just the ticket to make this happen.
Francine’s sincerity and surface emotions could not be ignored.  I knew I had to listen, and listen I did.  I heard her on so many levels – the level of professional (“I know what the hell I’m talking about”), the level of friend (“trust me, I won’t steer you wrong”), the level of one woman to another (“this will change how women behave in the world”), to the level of Spirit (“this is bigger than the both of us could ever imagine”)!  By the time I left, I knew for sure, finally 100%, I was ready to commit.
That night, at 7:00pm, I emailed Trudi Morrison, founder of Earth2World, and quoted my Goddess friends from the car, “Yes, I have my own Radio Show!”  Trudi replied instantly, “We are filming tomorrow for the promos. Can you meet Wednesday or Thursday?  Congratulations on taking the leap.”
At 3:30 that next morning (a time of night I ritualistically wake up to meditate and pray), I heard an inner voice tell me, “You need to be part of that taping!”  Waiting until 6:00, I emailed Trudi and asked her, “I know you have your scrip already written and your schedule for the day is full, but do you think…..do you think, I could possibly be part of this taping?”  She replied with a heartfelt,”YES, join us at 11:00 and we will squeeze you in!”  This was a gigantic leap into the sea of bravery; I was diving right in, and hoping I could swim with the best of them.
When I arrived to Earth2World, the “ON AIR” sign was on and blinking, I could not enter.  Oh my GOD, this is F’in real!  What am I doing here?  Something about that sign landed in my gut and my insecurities decided to have a field day with it, fortunately, not for long.  Trudi, expecting me, open the door and quietly invited me in.  Francine Raften and Janna Lopez of the Fran & Jan Show were just wrapping it up; I got to see two pros at work.  Margie Boule, of The Oregonian journalistic and Portland TV celebrity, was there to help with the taping.  She immediately zeroed in on me, great, just shoot me now, is there a freakin’ “L” on my forehead or what?  Her advice to me, “Speak to the money Cinda!”  OK?…..

There were two cameras set up, run by Jim Griffith and Bob Pallotta, of the Portland Trailblazer behind the camera fame, and they knew what they were doing.  I had been there maybe 15 minutes when Trudi asked me to do my 30 second “I’m tuned in” promotional bit (E2W’s tag line is, Are You Tuned In? so they wanted us to repeat the tag line and let them know what we are tuned into).
Bob pointed the camera at me, counted down and without much thought and most certainly no practice, out of my mouth came, “Hi, I’m Cinda Stevens Lonsway and I’m tuned into ROAR! Are you ready to ROAR!?  Come join me and let’s ROAR! together!” or something like that and THAT wasn’t so hard.  Next, Trudi wanted me to introduce my show, which is what I thought I just did…. Oh God, I already screwed up, WTH? Can I really do this? So I just did it again….
Janna did her two 30 second spots, she’s a perfectionist and did them both twice (I didn’t know you had that ‘do over’ option, I took mental notes).  Francine was next, and she, in one take, decided to spice it up.  She said she was tuned into extraordinary shoes at great prices.  I didn’t know you could mention shoes? Hell, I would have mentioned I was tuned into dark chocolate and Oregon Pinot, had I known…..
Byron Beck, an online gossip columnist, and Karol Collymore, who ran for Multnomah County Commissioner, came in next.   They are doing a fun, gossipy, talk show called “Have You Heard”.  They were charming, funny, and just plain great!!  Genevieve Beatty-Tinsay was next, “Girl About Town”,  she was young, irresistible, and darling.  After a quick break for the camera crew, Trudi recommends that I go next. 
All these show hosts are known in their profession, they are respected, admired and qualified.  Genevieve might be young and new to the scene, but her youth made her unstoppable. I was now being asked to do a 20 minute sampling of my show, TWENTY F’IN MINUTES!!!  Having just agreed to do this the night before, I HAD NO IDEA what I would do. Nor what I would say, or how I’d possibly fake my way through this one….   
They positioned me to sit on the studio’s couch, put a microphone up my shirt, and pointed the two cameras at me. Jim, behind camera One, gave me the instruction, “Cinda, I want you to start by looking directly into my camera.  Then half way through your twenty minutes, I want you to look at camera Two, and right before you are ready to wrap it up, I want you to look back at camera One.  When you are done, look directly into the camera and smile for five seconds. OK? Ready?”
Ready, are you shittin’ me? Crap!  Can I really do this?  All I knew in that moment, was that there was no WAY IN HELL, I was going to remember to switch cameras, and that there was no way I had twenty minutes of material to talk about.
But, I also knew, and I could not deny, that I was here because I had invited myself, and it was MY time, right NOW (both literally and metaphysically)!  I took a deep, deep breath, looked into camera One and out came, “Hello, my name is Cinda Lonsway and last May my life was changed forever.  I remember the moment, late at night, I was inspired, motivated and moved, literally moved to the kitchen table at 1:00 in the morning. Frantically writing with pages flying off the tablet, I wrote down the words for an article, prose, poem, parable, whatever you might call it, but I call it ROAR!”
And so it started, this message – I spoke directly to women, to empower them to stand in their truth, their light,  to tap into their personal power…..  and then it happened, my nightmare.  (ROAR! is so personal and the power of that moment, speaking it out loud, well, the well of emotions got stirred up).  My voice cracked and I started crying – not that pretty cry with one single tear rolling down your cheek, no, that ugly cry where your face gets all distorted.  I was horrified, and yet no one came to my rescue, and I knew I couldn’t continue like this, so I stopped.  I said “Cut?” isn’t that what one says when they are on camera and need a do over?

I don’t know if Jim stopped the camera, but he told me it was alright, just to catch my breath and pick it up where I left off.  Surprisingly, I remembered just where I had stopped.  “Take TWO,” Jim said, and with his fingers counting down from five, I picked it up right where I left it off.  My chest hurt, it burned as I tried to keep my emotions inside of me, my voice cracked and sputtered.  With much determination, I pushed through it.  With every swallow, I forced down a tear that was trying to creep up.  I stared deeply into the eye of camera One, and just as I knew I would, I totally forgot about camera Two. 
Somehow, someway, I came to the end, and I stared into the camera with a false smile plastered on my face for those 5 requested seconds.  It took Jim a few seconds to realize I was done, because I had only gone for seven minutes (yes, 7 minutes, not twenty!).  He mouthed to me, are you done?  I pleasantly nodded, yes, I sure as hell am!

Those five seconds, were horrific.  I sat there listening to an inner dialogue of which I hope to never hear from again.  Those five seconds of staring into the camera, knowing I would need to do it all over again and knowing I didn’t have a single emotion left in me to even try – felt intense, filled with disappointment, and the sick, sick feeling of failure. It consumed me. 
When Jim gave me the signal that the five seconds were over, I finally could breathe, something I hadn’t done for those seven painful minutes. I released my gaze at the camera and focused on my knees. Well, Cinda, at least now you know, you know that you were not meant to do this, you tried, you failed, you can now go home. I wanted to throw up.

A small audience had stayed to watch, maybe six people, and they started clapping. I could hear them, I thought it was sweet, they had clapped for everyone that had gone before me.  But out of the corner of my eye, I saw Bob on camera Two, the camera I chose to ignore, dramatically flopping his arms backwards and I heard him yell, “That’s IT! You Nailed It!!!  That’s the Money Shot we’ve been looking for all day!” I raised my head slowly to look at him; did he not see how horrible I was?  Behind him, I could see Trudi dancing in her stocking feet, arms in the air, hooting it up.  Next to her, Francine was crying, wiping mascara from her cheeks.  She came up to me and gave me a huge hug, “You did it.  I am so proud of you!” she said.
To this day, to be really honest, I don’t know what they saw or heard or experienced, I have not seen the sponsor promo bit, and I am not sure I want to.  I do know this though, I couldn’t have been, or done, or behaved any differently.  I was as authentic and honest as I have ever been about anything I have ever done, EVER!  And if I can’t learn to embrace the feminine inside of me, the side of me that needs to cry when she speaks truth and taps into her genuine self, then how in the hell can I even begin to ask it out of others.  That moment, that was my ROAR!  Despite the fear, the tears, the shaky voice, I did it anyway.  Perhaps they could see all that, I am just now figuring it out for myself.
And you know what, I think it mattered.  I think it mattered that I wasn’t rehearsed, or polished, or professional.  I think it mattered that I was me, just plain me, a suburban stay at home mom, PTA volunteer, doing something out of her comfort zone, and without even being aware, I shined. 
And you know what?  You can too!  You have it within you to shine when you have convinced yourself that you are so unworthy of such light.  Within each of us is this power to be who we are meant to be.  To tap into the power of the feminine (women and men) and let our emotions show our truth, guide us to speak it, even when our voice shakes and quakes, people will listen, they will learn, and they will be altered.  They will throw their hands back as yell, “You did it!” or they will dance in their stocking feet and celebrate with you, or they will grab you, weeping tears right along with you and say, “Good job, I am so proud of you!”
It is all possible, I am living, breathing, freaking out proof of it!!  
Can You Really Do This? 
Hell, Yes You CAN!!!
Francine after the taping

Byron Beck and Karol Collymore getting instructions from Margie Boule

Trudi Morrison, Byron Beck and Karol Collymore

Janna Lopez, Margie Boule, Francine Raften

Fran and Jan doing their taping, Genevieve Beatty-Tinsay in the background 

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