How do you begin to forgive yourself for being unforgiving?
How do you begin to forgive yourself for being unforgiving?
surrendering to life
a gentle caress
a sensual kiss
a reassuring glance
a rollercoaster ride
a pool of confusion
foolish in the eyes of many
sad for those who know it not
an emptying of souls
a filling of hearts
wings of freedom
bare feet on warm silky sands
bananas in your cereal
a good beer and Mexican food
chocolate on ice cream
a popsicle in the summer
orange juice with breakfast
sunshine on a crystal clear stream
a day off in hectic times
dancing in the rain
swimming in the moonlight
making love under the stars or in the sun
feeling the open air on your skin
embracing your life
finding your way in the darkest of times
Knowing you are not alone
…This all is Love
I have always loved words and in that of course, quotes. When people can put into words a concept, philosophy, idea that feeds my soul or makes me take a step back and think it arouses me in such creative and intellectual ways.
I heard this quote years ago that made me take pause and begin to look at my life in a new way. These words literally became a personal philosophy I have striven to integrate into my life, and when I have it has always led me in ways that are unexplainable.
“At the moment of commitment the entire universe conspires to assist you.”
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Each and every time I have made a decision and committed to a path, new doors open. Opportunities are laid before me like a kings buffet and all I have to do is acknowledge the gift and step into the life I want.
This week has been just that. When I committed to write daily, I also made other commitments to myself. Two of these commitments were to meditate every day and to nourish and care for myself. In making these commitments (which terrify me by the way) there has been a distinct freedom. Whenever I have to make a decision I simply ask myself, “Is this nourishing me?”. If it is not, I don’t do it.
In turn, this has been an incredibly busy week and instead of feeling depleted I feel energized. I feel like I want to accomplish more, but that more must have purpose and intention, it must fuel my soul. I have had doors open. I started taking a wonderful class to both refresh and deepen my knowledge and skills, and for the first time in too long I am excited to learn. Not only that, but two days after I started I received an offer for another class I had wanted to take free. Then I got another offer to take part in an initiative with an incredible group that I love working with and that has given me so much in the way of getting to where I am.
The concept within Goethe’s quote is no less than miraculous, yet it is telling us that it is all in our own control. I have realized so much of getting the most out of life is all perspective. How we perceive and choose to live in our worlds so often creates our worlds and sadly often we choose to either see only the negative or to not see at all.
I admit sometimes I have been blind; I’m human. However this is a time my vision is simple and it is clear.
This year has been an interesting one for me as an artist. There have been both epiphanies and regrets.
When I started as an artist, it was all about the visual. I remember being encouraged every step of the way by my family. A number of family members are artists, though none pursued their amazing talents for various reasons. But not me in college I dove in. My mom tried to convince me to get an Art Ed degree, I had no interest. When asked, “What will you fall back on?”, my attitude was “ART” that’s what.
In my second semester I decided to take a leap and try theatre, I failed miserably at first as a performer but my perseverance encouraged the stage manager to ask me to assist and a theatre rat was born. I had no boundaries, I used everything I was learning to create, to put together performances and events without a worry as to whether or not it was the norm …and I thrived! The ideas came and I found a way to make them happen. I directed, wrote, choreographed, produced, designed lights and sets, I made art and managed projects with others – I was referred to as a “renaissance woman”. I had the all-around skills to understand one side to the other and I reeked of creativity in the best possible way.
Then I fell in love with the craft of acting. I knew it would be difficult because I had a certain look and not a perfect body (as I was told more than once). I thought, “It’s a challenge”, a challenge for me to get past my body image issues and become free. I had some amazing teachers who helped me through blocks, read books, performed and had fun. I was so excited when I got my first headshots, but it was the first lesson I learned hearing over and over, “we have too many like you” (ie. tall, blonde, and blue eyed). I grew out and dyed my hair black, got new headshots and started getting roles. I had to change to fit the industry.
I came to NYC after realizing RI wasn’t going to make me a career, it was a dream I never thought would happen for so many personal reasons, but it did! My first year here was amazing; auditioning, meeting people, the independence of being away from family, having our first dog. I didn’t have to work and got to take classes and discover Manhattan. It was exhilarating! Then somehow toward the end of that first year things shifted, I found myself questioning everything; my choices, my talent, my body (which was the healthiest it had ever been), and my abilities. I broke down. I loved acting but instead of seeing that it had nothing to do with my talent or abilities I focused on all of the personal criticisms that come with the business; not thin enough, not pretty enough, too tall, too young, too old, my resume not full enough with the “right” names. I believed I was a failure.
I decided to turn it around and took the advice I had heard over and over, “do it yourself”. I created a theatre co. and it was successful. Over a number of years I gathered great talent; actors, writers and directors. We did incredible and moving work, so good it got to a point where I had to make a decision to take the next step and grow or pull back and rethink what I really wanted. I again focused on the wrong things for my own success. I created the company so that I could play the roles I wanted and I did, but being the leader I was the one running the company, taking on the admin work and the communications and everything else. I didn’t know how to ask for the right kind of help and I wasn’t getting what I felt I needed. I pulled back and thought about it, stepped away from the company and decided again to focus on acting.
Reality check…acting wasn’t making me happy. Through all these years it never fulfilled what I thought it would. I’m not sure what I was looking for but as much as I love being on the stage or in front of a camera, something was missing.
I had it all wrong.
What happened for me is that pursuing a career that requires so much work and relies so much on who I know, what theatre I have on my resume and what I look like personally goes against all of the creativity in my being. Though the rush and freedom of the moment as lived out on stage is exhilarating for me, it doesn’t last. I started reflecting on what I fell in love with about theatre, reminding myself that what I wanted was to create worlds that touched people; I love the stories, the characters, the big picture, the artistry of the stage; it is versatile and ambient. The stage can be anything and all encompassing, it can swallow you if you let it. As an actor I was focused on my character and the moment I was in instead of the concept and creation of the world around me; I wanted a hand in the big picture, I missed it!
I was stifled.
This year I’ve started writing again; something I had blatantly left behind. I picked up my pen and inks and opened my paints. I am allowing my brain to stop focusing on my next headshot, my “look” and what my type is and start allowing the ideas to flow again, releasing my judgments of art and myself. I am once again letting go of the outcome to allow the genius within to escape unafraid of failure because there is no failure in a lesson, only wisdom.
I don’t regret the time I’ve spent pursuing the dream I thought I wanted, the people and experiences it has contributed to my life are essential to who I have become, but I’ve come full circle. I am in true transition. I feel the world reopening and restrictions disappearing. I am strong; my lessons have been both hard and well earned. It’s time to simply create and follow my gut (which has served me greatly) and change my paradigm. The future holds no boundaries.