Shrinking Apology

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The shrinking apology is my goal.

That is, I want to stop apologising, especially in ways that cause me to shrink. See, I want everyone to know that I know my own faults before they judge me. For some reason, I think that they will judge softer when they know that this isn’t my best work, that I had a cold, that I know I could be better, etc, etc. But the truth is that I need to be able to stand by my work and expand my shrinking self.

I suppose in part this is because the very work we do as artists is vulnerable and exposed. And rather than feel exposed, I’d prefer to share a nice hard shell that is already justifying and defending any issues that could come up. “Ha, I know you aren’t going to like my work and here are three reasons why.”

This hard turtle shell exterior doesn’t help me though. In my own mind, it reinforces my smallness, my inadequacies, my failures.

So to counteract this I have been practicing just being out there, no excuses. Submitting self-tapes (auditions that you tape on your own and submit to a casting director directly or via your agent) with no apologies — such as — “well, I have other takes” “sorry for the lighting” “I could have done this differently” “it was early in the morning” “excuse my allergies” “I know the words aren’t perfect” “I could be stronger” “I can do it again” “sorry if this isn’t good enough” (the list goes on and on). At the moment, I usually write an email full of apologies and then re-read it, and hesitantly start editing out the apologies. Then I get my husband to read it and he edits even more!

I no longer want to shrink with every apology, so now I’m working on shrinking my apologies and though I feel more exposed, I am also telling my artist self that “I stand by your work. We may not be perfect, but we are trying our best and can be proud of what we share.” This is where I am at. Recognizing when I am apologising and belittling myself is a huge step. Editing it out of my emails and conversation and body language is the next step. And after that is celebrating my imperfect offerings and standing by them with pride. Whooeee, that feels scary! It also feels empowering and enables me to take more artistic risks. After all, it is those very imperfections that make us unique. That make us, well, perfect.

#shrinktheapologynottheself

Lucid Truths

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The past two mornings as I’m coming into consciousness I’ve had the most delicious truths come to me. They are not earth shattering and not things I couldn’t know without these lucid moments, but there is something about the timing and arrival in my consciousness that gives them a full bodied veracity.

Yesterday the truth came loud and clear: anything is possible. I knew without a doubt that there are no limits. Absolutely nothing stopping me or anyone else, but our thoughts and fears. Wow, anything is possible. I want a house. My head tells me, “You don’t have the down payment, let alone a full-time job, who is going to give you a loan? How can you compete with all the shirts to get the house you want, it is too expensive.” My heart tells me “anything is possible.” Some people will read the litany from my head and agree and ask themselves what planet I’m on to think that I might actually be able to have a house when I don’t have the traditional requirements. But I ask those people, for just one moment, to stop and just entertain the idea…what if anything was possible? I don’t know the hows and I don’t know the timing, but I do know that somewhere there is a house just waiting for me and at the very least I’m willing to believe that it is possible.

This morning the thoughts swirling around my waking brain were about worth. See, I’m one of those people that, though for the most part my self-esteem is pretty good, I still have this deep down dark kernel in my heart that believes I’m not worthy. Not worthy of what? I’m not sure…love, success, money, work, following my passion, having my dreams come true? But this A.M. I saw the infinite plain of existence and the connection between all of us. If one is worthy, all are worthy. There is no separation. Why do “good” people get hurt and why do “bad” people succeed? Because there is no distinction between “good” and “bad” or worthy/unworthy people. We all in our lifetimes will be exposed to pain and the potential for great success. It is how we deal with all that life offers us that makes the difference. So, if I’m not inherently unworthy, where does that belief lodged in my heart come from? And I see a little girl trying to make sense of the world, trying to understand and coalesce what she sees in the world and experiences at home, trying to process the whirlwind of words, thoughts, beliefs, lessons and stories. And this little girl somewhere along the way came up with the understanding that it was her fault. The pain, the poverty, the fighting, the hurt and the anger were her fault. If only she could be more perfect, if only she wasn’t flawed – she didn’t know how to make things stop and how to help people feel better. And if she couldn’t do that, how could she possibly be worthy of joy, of love, of financial abundance. That little girl grew up with a very compassionate heart and now it is time for her to turn that loving heart to her own. To shine love and acceptance on that dark kernel. You are enough, my dear, you always have been.

What does a woman do, now that she knows she doesn’t have to wait to be worthy? How now will she live her life?

I’ve always loved this Marianne Williamson quote, felt it calling to the deepest parts of my soul, but today it holds something more, a quiet truth, a glorious freedom.

I’ve always loved this Marianne Williamson quote, felt it calling to the deepest parts of my soul, but today it holds something more, a quiet truth, a glorious freedom.