I'm an actress and this choice of career is the most rigorous and perfect place for me to work on getting over every kind of fear and neurosis I have. It brings up things in me that nothing or no one else ever has, while it is something that I am passionate about and committed to and get crazy joy from. In other words, it's perfect. It's a place where I can have my ass kicked and then decide how I'm going to get up and come better than ever. It's a place I get to practice over and over again letting go of others' perceptions, keeping integrity no matter what, and being braver than I want to be sometimes both in doing the work and going after it. My soul was smart when it decided this was what I wanted to be when I grew up.
February was tough. I didn't go out ONCE for weeks. Not ONCE. I have busy and slow periods, but nothing that dire in a while. At first I was OK with it; used the time to do other things. By week 2 1/2 I wasn't so at peace. I was worried, restless, jealous, and frustrated. I have done this long enough to know that acting out on those things I just named doesn't serve anyone, but knowing something doesn't always mean I'm not going to do it. I was testy, irritable, a little distant, mostly because I was stuck up in my own head worrying about my little world and was the Universe/God/Fate going to give me my way or not. As much I might try to glorify it, in its crudest form it was self-obsession.
A very wise woman in my life called me on it. Me?! Self-obessed?! No! Gasp! I really really didn't want to own that one.
She was right, of course. All these hours spent obsessing on my life and was is going to turn out when there are earthquakes that have devastated Haiti and Chile, when I live in a city with so many people in need of food, when I am healthy and have a home. Yuck. I was being yuck.
She gave me the advice I was loath to hear: go out and be of service.
I wish I could tell you I was ecstatic at the proposal. But I wasn't so noble. I wanted my life sorted out first. THEN I'll be a saint! But I knew she was right. When I'm scared I get really selfish. Even if someone looking at me from the outside wouldn't know that, in my head it's all me me me.
So I took her suggestion, begrudgingly at first. I called people I knew who were having hard times, I volunteered my time where I could, I focused on Sky and my mom and anyone close to me when I was with them: did my absolute best to do what would be nicest for them even if that just meant fully listening instead of half-thinking about my stuff. Of course I started to feel better.
Then that last week of Feb. the phone rang. And rang again. And rang again. I had 7 auditions in 2 days, I had callbacks and more auditions the next week. Some of them were for bigger things than I've ever gone out for. I booked a great job that I did last week. I have more to look forward to in the coming days. Everything turned around so fast I was kinda spinning.
Moral? Do not go be of service so you will get jobs and goodies. If I start playing that game it's just another version of selfishness. Do be of service because 1) it makes you feel better and 2) I really believe it gets us out of our own way so we're not blocking whatever good is coming down the pipes. You've heard, I'm sure, that what you give is what you get. If you're angry and frustrated you get more of that. If you're light and joyful and in the world you get more of that. No one has ever proved this of course, but JEEZ there are a lot of people writing on it and a lot of evidence out there. I don't know what the connection between being of service and getting jobs was, but I know I was a happier person when I took the focus off me, let go, and got into life. And I think Happy is the thing we're all after.
When you feel bad, be of service and you'll feel better. And when you feel good, be of service so you are sharing that. Joseph Seeman, another spin teacher I really like, reminded me in class last week that if I make my body strong and healthy I can give that strength to someone that needs it even if they're on an island in an ocean far away. By being strong, happy, healthy, brave we promote that in the world. Plus you can't give away what you don't have, so actually the GIVING of the thing affirms that you yourself already have it which can suddenly make you profoundly aware of and grateful for all you do have and are. John Friend was reminding me in a class I took with him yesterday of the interconnectedness of everything. At first when you look out at a sea of people you see all the differences. At first at an audition I can see the other girls I am threatened by, the casting people I want to please, the producer who hasn't looked up at me. Then, if you're willing, you look again and you see the sameness. You see the Oneness. You see how we're all on this planet in this time together. And those scary people are your friends.
Whenever we harvest something we don't get to take sole credit for it. A lot of people and a lot of energies were involved. This
did not happen all by itself. And neither do we.