Me : "How are you ?"
Other Human: "Im amazing, super busy. Haven't had a break its crazy just so busy""
Since when did "busy" become a feeling??
Im not sure about you, but this reply makes the sound "ugh" fall out of my mouth. It highlights the fact that we live in a society where extrinsic moments such as a busy work life is the basis for our feelings and thus happiness. So of course when we aren't busy.... Yep thats right... life sucks. Life is pretty much still the same as it was- same friends, same weather, same apartment, wednesday coffee at Red window (my favorite local spot) but for some reason we feel down, lost, doubtful and that spark we had last week between rushing like a mad woman to three rehearsals, catching your best friends show and taking class has quickly faded into a glimmer until its blown out completely.
Don't think Im pointing my finger at people who live like this, because trust me that finger is pointing right back and poking me in the eyeball. I raise my hand confidently as a culprit of this. Not of saying "Im so busy" because Id slap myself in the face and hope my friends would join also.. but of basing my happiness off how busy I am at times in my life. Of course I realize this and then put in my self practice to get a grip on life and my values, but sometimes its really bloody hard not to question "what is my life" and feel low when we aren't living the full hustle and bustle.
For those of us who have moved across the seas to chase some dreams this situation can pop up a lot more than usual, we don't always have a weekly routine of stability and income like we would in our home towns so its even easier to fall into it. At home if I wasn't on a job I still had weekly teaching, inter state travel, meetings and things to keep me on the run. As much as I would love a stable work life here and would happily serve you a coffee its not that simple on an 01 visa. A friend of mine who has recently moved to London gave a suggestion for my next blog post. She wanted to hear what I do on the "mundane/stagnant days while you are pursuing your dreams but not much is happening and you question your path and purpose". What a terrific question !!
We can all talk about the highs of the entertainment industry when we are "busy" and kick it in the ass.... but its the days where the auditions aren't coming, your funds are running low (thanks mum and dad for paying rent) and you keep questioning "what is my life". Unfortunately these days are the struggles that we chose to accept and push through to go after what sets our soul on fire... we could always quit, i mean YOU CHOSE THIS but of course quitting isn't an option for most of us that want it too much. So what do I do when I find myself in moments like this to keep me feeling alive, fueled, passionate and overall happy ? Let me share a few things
1.Cry it out baby
Hand me a tissue please friend and let the good times roll. The first thing people do wrong is 'pretend they are ok'. For those of us who are bubbly and outgoing sometimes we think oh ill just keep positive and it will all work out. We keep saying the mantras, looking in the mirror trying to convince ourselves are happy and then one day a tear sneaks up on us at coffee staring at a dog and then all hell breaks loose. Please don't do this to yourself, instead when a few days go by of not feeling yourself let it out. Light a candle, cuddle your teddy and cry, share a wine with a friend... whatever environment works best for you to speak your truth. Be brutal, don't apologize and really let it all unleash. Then take a giant breath in and...
2.Dont take yourself so seriously
What better way to react than laugh. Laugh at life and find the humor in the things you cannot control. I used to spend days devastated over things I can't control until I realized what it was doing to me and how simple it is instead to let go and sometimes just laugh a little. WE take our lives, days, and moments so seriously!! We overthink, we obsess, and we hurt over things way out of our hands. If instead we chose to focus on what we CAN control, we could learn to see our "failures" as "fabulous mistakes" and the stepping stones towards our bigger picture. So when you notice yourself taking life too seriously - laugh it out. Laugh at all the minor first world problems that are making you miserable. See life as a child exploring and finding the fun and move on with a smile on that face and a lighter heart. After all a bad day, does not mean a bad life
3. Take a break
In those moments where my career path is making me question myself I take a big fat break. I step away from the class, the training and take a me day or a few. A skate at the beach, Sit at a cafe for hours reading, head for a sunday fun day of mimosas with the girls or get in the car and drive to a new city for the day. Find a new hobby? Make new friends? You don't constantly have to be bashing yourself into the ground and bettering yourself. You are human and you need downtime and most importantly playtime. Just like kids need recess and lunch to play handball and refocus their attention for class , you too need to do the "life" things you enjoy.
3. Journal and meditate
The best thing to rewire my brain and perspective is scribbling a blur of all my thoughts and taking 10 minutes in the day to sit and ground myself. The journalling allows me to get out all the worries and jitters and work out what I need to focus on more and then I usually centre my meditation around this. A lit candle, fresh air and maybe a mantra to whisper and I re align myself to feel. Crazy or not- the next day something usually flows into my life that makes my smile even bigger
5. Baby Steps
Be a beginner again. Remind yourself what it is that made you fall in love with your passion. Why did you start in the first place? What has made you keep at it ? Who inspires you ?
Take a new class that allows you to feel that spark of being a beginner again or pick up a hobby that makes you excited to improve at something. Allowing our selves f to be a beginner again and see that there is always room to improve and that that can be exciting is a great way to kick start out motivation.
I hope these steps help you anytime life feels slow and you need a hand to get that inspiration and dedication flowing again. Remember all the wonderful things you have already experienced in this life and let it remind you that is more is coming real soon my friend.