- What Are You Scared Of . . . Success Or Failure? What If It’s Neither?
- The #1 Thing To Do When You Think You Might Be Going Thru A Mid-Life (Or Quarter-Life) Crisis!
- The #1 Thing To Do When You Wake Up And Realize Your Feelings About Acting Have Changed.
- The #1 Reason Why The Foreplay Is Better Than The Orgasm.
- Vancouver: A Great Place For Actors
Monthly Archives: December 2011
Q = Quantum.
Let your thoughts dwell on that which you are: cosmic, expansive, huge. You are not your fears, your challenges, your obstacles. You are made up of the same stuff that birthed our planet 13.7 billion years ago. Tap into that scientific truth and your “challenges” will seem to be a tiny blip on the screen of your magnitude and magnificence.
R = Relax.
Truly, things take time. And patience is a virtue. So just relax, if you can, about those things still unsettled in your heart. Relax that you haven’t yet fulfilled all the things you set out to do. Great things take time. Relaxing doesn’t mean stopping. It’s surrendering to greater faith that things will work themselves out accordingly.
S = Sell The Goat.
The goat represents the albatross around your neck. The thing you keep carrying around with you that you’ve obviously outgrown (a habit, a negative thought, a toxic person, an inattentive lover, an outdated belief) but for some reason, you can’t quite let it go. Out of fear, out of habit, you hold onto this thing that is not only weighing you down, but keeping you from making room for what you really want. You know what it is! Sell it to someone else who’s ready to buy it. You’ve paid for it long enough in more ways than you realize.
T = Totally.
Do things totally. Be with people totally. Share totally. Give of yourself totally. Be out in the world more fully. We’re so not invested in living fully that when you begin to give yourself over to doing things totally, you’ll find you have more energy than ever before. Attention Deficit = Doing 10 things at once. What if you just tried to do one thing at a time? And did it completely?
U = Ugly.
Who me? Yes. Actually, we’re all beautiful, but what makes us so is that all the things we judge and are scared about (our shadow self) are not only the parts we want to see, but they are the parts that reveal our beauty. To us and to others. In short, our humanity. And it’s also the part that gives other people the permission to share all of themselves.
V = Vehicle.
You’re not the source. Not the fount. Not the creator. Let yourself be this amazing channel that we all are for something greater to move through you. Stay plugged into the creative matrix and let your TV-set broadcast something fantastic.
W = When In Doubt . . . Do It.
Do it now. Fix it later. Get out into the world and try things. If it all falls apart, that’s OK. At least you’re out in the world in an alive way.
X = 10 In Roman Numerals = The 10 Chapters Of Your Life:
Watch the video from May of 2011 to see:
Y = Just Say Yes.
Do the things that scare you. Take an acting class. Go out on a date. Stop coming up with reasons why you can’t do something or it’s a bad idea or why it would never work. Watch how often you say “no” to something out of habit. Broaden your horizons. Say yes.
Z = Zymurgy.
Is the branch of chemistry involved in making wine or brewing beer. You are like a fine glass of wine! Which means, the process of your life’s unfolding is alchemical. It’s a process of creating and trying things and experimenting and attempting. You are the scientist and the experiment. The wonderful thing about alchemy is that it’s always a work in progress. Just like you and me.
Your journey is a never-ending art form.
And you are the art.
Now that’s something to celebrate in 2012.
Happy New Year!
J = Joy.
Our natural state of being is joy. But you’re often your own thief of your own joyful experience. You rob from yourself that which is innately yours. Thankfully, joy is a never-ending commodity and it can’t be diminished entirely. But you do compromise it when you continue to re-write history and tell yourself stories that are not only blatantly untrue, but also make you feel like shit about yourself. Stop it. Tell a story of joy instead.
K = Kinesthetic.
Learning by doing. Get in the game of life. Stop sitting on the sidelines bitching, complaining and bemoaning. You learn by doing. Try. Crash. Burn. Do things that scare you. Attempt. Fail. This is not only a kinesthetic experience, it’s an experience of being alive.
L = Laughter.
Keep things in perspective. Stop taking everything so seriously. As long as you’re moving forward and experiencing new things in your life, being challenged and moving beyond your comfort zone – there’s progress. Celebrate what’s working. Stop being so dramatic about what’s not.
M = Mistakes.
Make them. The younger you are the easier it is to do that. As you get older it gets scarier because you become invested in what you’ve become, how you’re perceived, what you earn, what’s your identity and what you’ve created. These illusions can trap us into not taking risks because we’ve become so identified with the stuff we’ve amassed. Be like a kid: scab your knee, overreach, get yourself into a pickle. You’ll discover that you’ll survive.
N = Navigator.
You are the pilot and the co-pilot. You are setting the path and driving the vehicle. You have your own inner GPS system. If you don’t like the co-ordinates you are putting into your system, change them! No one is making you take the paths you don’t want to drive down. You decide where you want to go and you start moving in that direction. Follow your heart. Be a rebel.
O = Occam’s Razor.
The law of economy, the law of succinctness. The law of simplicity.
Which means, the simplest explanation for something is generally the correct explanation for something that may seem to have many hypothesis. The answer that has the least amount of assumptions is usually the truth. Stop assuming worst-case scenarios and doom-and-gloom stories about your life.
The agent didn’t sign you. It doesn’t mean you sucked.
You didn’t get the call-back. It doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you.
The agent didn’t sign you because you reminded him of his ex-girlfriend.
You didn’t get the call-back because they already made an offer to someone else.
K. I. S. S. = Keep. It. Simple. Silly.
P = Purpose.
The purpose-driven life? Not sure what that is. I know it’s a best-selling book. Your life already has purpose. Purpose is created by showing up in our own lives more totally. More fully. It’s created by being more present with what’s in front of us right now. It’s not about being with someone and also answering our phone and responding to texts and sending emails and tweeting and watching an episode of 30 Rock and worrying about what’s going to happen in the future. It’s not about placing ego demands on yourself that you have to change the world or become famous or make millions of dollars.
True purpose transcends the ego-labeling of what we do as a career or how we define ourselves or the descriptions of what we do. Purpose is created in the minutiae of the moment. And it changes moment-to-moment. But we’re constantly missing the calling of purpose because we’re so distracted by our ego needs of, “How do I look?” “Will this sell” “Am I popular?” “What will they think of me?”
Mother Teresa said it best: “Let no one come to you without leaving happier and better.”
Holy crap. If you can just do that with every interaction you have in life, your life will rip open right in front of you, your ego demands will fall away, you’ll stop focusing on the ego self and its fears and maintenance of the status quo and your life would become one of the most joyful celebrations you could ever imagine.
Now that’s purpose!
“If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the facts.” ~ Albert Einstein
E = Essence.
Essence is who you are. That’s what we want to see. That’s what wants to be shared. It’s what makes you unique. It’s your life currency. And when you share it, it changes relationships, it inspires, it heals. It’s waiting for an opportunity to be expressed. Stop bottling it up. Let it out. Or rather, simply let it be.
F = “F It!”
Stop doing it for everyone but yourself. We are constantly seeking approval and support and love from out there. We expend so much energy wanting to be liked and do the right thing and give people what we think they want. We try to please our parents and our teachers and our lovers and our siblings.
What if you took a radical new approach to your life? What if you started doing things for you? What if you did the things that made you feel good? What if you stopped letting other people define you or categorize you or limit you because you feel they have some sort of power over you? You might think, “Well that’s selfish.” But to authentically listen to your Self and show up for that part of you first, you will then be much better equipped to show up for other people in a much more selfless way.
G = Grace.
Walking through life with even a modicum of grace is truly the art of letting go. It is, to me, one of the inherent, governing principles of life itself. We’re not here forever. There’s nothing we will ever be able to hold onto. Not things or money or people or even our own existence. So to understand that truth – that everything is transitory – actually helps us to cultivate grace, because without it, life is very painful.
Practice the art of letting go now. Empowerment comes from this process.
I know it’s hard because we get stuck on the “idea” of what we’re told life is supposed to look like. And when our life looks different from those pictures of what we’re told we must have to be successful or happy or liked, we start to feel badly about ourselves. We compare ourselves to an idea. They are illusions. All that we will ever have is what’s in front of us. Right now. It’s great to have mind-pictures of what we desire to work toward, but having grace also allows us to make room for what actually shows up on our plate even if it’s not exactly what we thought we ordered.
H = How.
You don’t have to worry about the details.
You just keep moving forward. As you move forward living the artist’s journey, the “how’s” will reveal themselves. You simply have to take action; take risks. Show up in your own life. That’s half the battle right there. Just showing up a little more fully in your life and thereby you’ll become aware of the information, the insight, the signs, the assistance that’s trying to aid you on your journey. What you then decide to do with it is up to you.
I = Inspire.
It comes from inside. Outside events, experiences and people are the catalysts to help you awaken something inside you, for sure. A lover. A teacher. A piece of art. Transcendental acting. But what it ignites is already inside you. It’s perhaps been lying dormant or, like a pilot light, has remained unlit, but it’s always stirring that which is inside us already. It evokes our own inner spirit.
So try and cultivate a little more time with the inner. As you do, you’ll take that into the outer and discover that you too have the innate ability to inspire.
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
When the idea came to me last year to write a weekly blog covering 52 weeks and 52 ways to change your life I had no idea the year would go by so fast. And I also had no idea what those 52 things were – except they were all predicated upon the truth that we’re all artists and that who we are is greater than the limited things we tell ourselves and the lies we’ve been told to believe.
To finish out these remaining 4 weeks, I’ve broken down my last lesson of the year (from last week’s acting class) into an A to Z primer on how to get unstuck, become more hopeful, get out of your own way, stop apologizing for who (and where) you are and learn the art of self-actualization.
Some of these ideas are repeats of themes we’ve discussed throughout the year (Sell. That. Goat!) and some are new. I hope they inspire you into 2012.
A = Affirm & Confirm. Not Compare & Despair.
The dialogue you have with yourself on a daily basis doesn’t support the Truth of who you are. You’re amazing simply because you are uniquely you. You’re not egocentric when you’re affirming that you’re talented or beautiful. Ego is actually the voice in your head that tells you the opposite: you can’t do it, you’re untalented, you’re a loser. Dump the junk thoughts. They don’t serve anyone but your ego.
B = Belief.
You don’t get what you wish for in life, you get what you believe. So if your belief system is not in alignment with what you want, don’t freak out. Simply start with smaller beliefs that turn into goals that are reachable and actions that are doable. As you master these smaller life goals, you’ll get to the other side of the experience and realize your belief system has started to create newer, more exciting beliefs and will continue to expand accordingly.
C = Challenges.
Without them, you’d have no victories. Learn to ride with them. They’re here to evoke qualities within you that you don’t realize you possess: greater strength, more patience, deeper faith. Instead of running away from your challenges, face them and explore what it is they’re trying to show you. They inherently possess a gift of everything you’re wanting. They create the fertile soil that gives rise to your life’s successes. But you can’t realize those victories if you don’t understand what the challenges are trying to teach you and why you punish yourself for having them.
D = Desire.
The entire universe is born out of a desire to create. It’s creation itself. So it’s a part of who we are. The science of the universe continues to evolve and expand to create life in myriad form. It has an encoded DNA to survive. Your existence is proof of that. So desire is at a deep level a part of your essence.
In our personal desires, we struggle, however, when we have an intense desire and a belief system that’s incongruent with that desire. Whichever aspect has the greatest energy charge around it will win out. So if you have a strong desire to be on a TV show, let’s say, or have a lover, but your belief system doesn’t believe that can happen, you cancel out your desire’s order, neutralizing it when you don’t believe you can have something. Creating then sucks.
Again, simply work smaller. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. As you align simpler desires with their fulfillment, you will automatically start firing off greater desires that you then have a belief system in place that will support its manifestation.
Next week E to I.
“You realize that all along there was something tremendous within you, and you did not know it.” ~ Paramahansa Yogananda