The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Exhilarated Ellie
Exhilarated Ellie

During her introduction to The Vagina Monologues last weekend, the fabulous Moaning Monica (more about her when we get to M!) explained to the audience that much of the cast was new to the stage. It was true. A few Vagina Warriors had quite a lot of acting experience but for most of us, being on stage in front of an audience was a new and extremely challenging thing. And it was the newness, I think – and the fear – that made the experience so utterly exhilarating.

One of my fellow Vagina Warriors was the lovely Ellie. Like me, Ellie was worried about how she’d go about memorising all her lines. Like me, she took to the stage for our dress rehearsals with shaking hands and a slight quiver to her voice. But then something magical happened…

Ellie became her monologue.

The young woman who strode out onto the stage for all three performances last weekend was calm, confident, energetic and self-assured. She paused in all the right places, soaked up the laughter that the warmth of her delivery encouraged, and made the audience feel that they were there with her in the Vagina Workshop that she described so well. She coaxed us all into feeling along with her as she described her character’s beautiful process of self-discovery and self-acceptance. And, according to many an after-party conversation, she also prompted many a woman to later lie down on her own hypothetical little blue mat and engage in her own very real process of self-discovery!

Ellie had had the courage to push herself way outside of her own comfort zone and the reward was the discovery of a talent that I’m not sure she knew she had.

And that, I think, is something that I want to remember in my day-to-day life. Living within the limits that you usually ascribe to yourself is delicious and sometimes we all need to rest in that lovely, familiar, comfortable space.

But pushing yourself beyond your own limits is thrilling. It makes life more vivid and more memorable. It makes life seem longer.

It makes life exhilarating.

I miss the exhilaration of being involved in The Vagina Monologues so I’ve been looking for the next big thing. And I think I’ve found it. Watch the video here.

Perhaps some of my new Vagina Warrior friends would like to join me? Let me know and I’ll set up a Doodle schedule!

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