Sunday, 5 March 2017

Portugal! Parte dois

Morning came too quickly and it was time to get my Moon in Leo out of the cupboard with my gold and black jacket and leopard print brogues (oh yes). I also had to give myself a serious lecture about positive thinking and to stop worrying about not measuring up to other people. I have my own research, my own style (I finally convinced myself) and my own path in astrology (which I found when I stepped away from the well trodden path of astrologers before me).

On the bus to the venue, I read my lecture for the final time. And found a mistake (thankfully before I started to lecture) and was able to fix it before everything kicked off. I also made an unprecedented decision: I was going to sit down for this lecture. No pacing around like a nervous kid who doesn’t have the experience in lecturing. I was going to be cool. I was going to be calm. I was going to speak slowly. I was also going to say a few sentences in Portuguese.  And I certainly wasn’t going to freak out because I was the first lecturer in the main auditorium. I took a quick look at how my powerpoint looked on the big screen: gorgeous!

And then it was time to speak.

So I opened my big mouth, spoke in Portuguese and started the English part of my lecture when I realised there were people calling out to me.

“Alex, we can’t hear you!”

I looked out in the audience and saw Lynn Bell calling out: “Turn your microphone on!”

Now here’s when I realised that I don’t have just one inner voice. I have two. And here’s what they sounded like:

Voice one: Why didn’t you check the bloody mic before?
Voice two: That’s what sound engineers are for. Just switch the thing on.
Lynn Bell: Turn the mic on. Press the button!
At this point I’m sure I looked totally gormless.
Voice one (as I stare at the mic): Where’s the fucking button?
Voice Two: Try the other fucking mic!
Me (reaching for the other mic): What? This?
Lynn Bell: No. Just press the button.
Voice two: Alex, just calm down and look for the fucking thing. You got this.
Struggling not to burst into giggles, I found the button and pressed it.
Me (VOICE MAGNIFIED): IS THAT BETTER? OOPS!! (another struggle not to giggle)
Voice one (face palm): Oh my God, can’t take you anywhere.
Voice two: Well you found the button...
Voice one: For god’s sake. About fucking time.
Voice two: Now take a nice deep breath.

I started speaking in Portuguese and I got a round of applause from the Portuguese audience. I got laughter from my eclipse joke and I found out later that my references to being an English teacher went down a treat.

So what did I learn about myself as speaker from this experience.?

Check the fucking mic beforehand and tell voice one to take a bloody hike. Knuckle bump to voice two.

And what a difference to be sitting down to lecture! I felt calm, grounded and I had prepared so well nothing went wrong. Despite the hiccup at the start, I did manage to shut out voice one and just focus on voice two. Sure there were times when I wanted to jump up and start waving my arms around and making crazy lecture faces like a lunatic but I held myself back.

Voice two said: You got this.

Voice one: The audience is awful damn quiet. Are you sure they didn’t fall asleep?

Voice two: These are adults, not children. They can sit still for an hour.

Of course I was relieved to be finished (I tried not to show that too much). I left the auditorium and went to get some fresh air and bumped into Christian Konig and Rod Chang who told me I did brilliantly (thanks chaps). But the biggest surprise was that Margaret told me I sounded “elegant”. Trust me when I say I’ve never been called “elegant” about anything in my life. And I was extra pleased because I was reading my own writing. I also got a few compliments about my voice—and that has never happened before. So it was all a very good exercise in extending myself and learning about how I function as a speaker.

I wasn’t really up to doing too much listening after my lecture. I had coffee with Roy, Wendy and Carolyn (always great to hang out with the Brits) and just chill for a bit before my workshop. I wasn’t really worried about the workshop at all as it’s essentially material from my book. I didn’t even flinch when I learned two minutes before I started that my audience didn’t need for me to be translated. It immediately doubled my lecture material (because I wouldn’t have to stop after every paragraph to be translated) but that wasn’t a problem at all. And Glenn as my victim was brilliant and I got some feedback on how I can make some of the graphs I use more readable to non teachers (I still need to do a little work  on not assuming my audience knows more about my subject material than me). But I was pretty spent and left after my workshop to get some rest before dinner.

For part 1, click here
For part 3, click here 

About the Astrologer

Alex Trenoweth was voted Best International Astrologer, 2015 for her dynamic presentation on her innovative and original research into Astrology and Education. Her book, "Growing Pains" is an exciting development in astrology as it combines classroom teaching experience, sound investigation and the potential to have a positive impact on struggling adolescents, parents, teachers and those who have been labelled "at risk". She writes the weekly and monthly horoscopes and other articles for the Cosmic Intelligence Agency, one of the largest astrological social media groups on the web and was also a speaker for the AstroSummit, a guest lecturer for the London School of Astrology and has spoken at several UK local astrology groups. Upcoming international events include Breaking Down the Borders, the Kepler Conference, Congresso Internacional de Astrologia (Portugal), Kepler College, the Mercury Internet School of Psychological Astrology, NORWAC and the San Francisco Astrology Society Alex is also Vice Principal and Secretary General of International Affairs for the Krishnamurti Institute of Astrology and will will be taking up her residential post in India 2017. For queries, consultations or syndications, please contact Alex via or leave a message in the comment section.
"Growing Pains" can be purchased in paperback or kindle format on Amazon or can be signed and posted directly to you by Alex.

About the New Book

There are two wolves fighting inside of me, the old story goes, one wolf is good and the other is evil. “But Grandfather,” asked the child, “Which one wins?” The Grandfather answered, “The wolf I feed.”

We might like to think that being good is a natural instinct. In fact, doing the right thing takes a conscious decision. Every day, we are met with temptation to get ahead at the expense of someone else, to get away with something we know is wrong or to cut corners if we think no one is watching.

Following on from her powerful book on astrology and Education, “Growing Pains”, Alex Trenoweth explores the benefits of using “the bad guy” of the solar system: Saturn. Often avoided and seldom understood, if we understand our own Saturn then we can help others to understand theirs. Using case studies of  highly successful people contrasted with convicted serial killers, Trenoweth deftly demonstrates the dire consequences of feeding the wrong wolf.

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