Stella Terrill Mann said, “Desire, ask, believe, receive.” The definition of desire, pertaining to wanting to become an actor or an artist, is a wish as expressed or stated in words – a request or petition. So, what is it that I’m requesting or wanting as an actor? Do I desire to be famous? Do I wish to be a movie star or become the lead in my own television series? No. I desire to be the best actor I can be. I wish to be present and “in the moment” as much as I can. Fame and fortune are results of my desire to be my best. My desire is better served if I am present and focused on what is needed in the moment. This does not mean to be stuck or frozen. It means to be freed up to listen. I can’t effectively listen if my mind is full of thoughts of what has happened and/or what might happen. What is here and now is what you have the best chance of controlling – Easy to say – tough to do.
“Learning is movement from moment to moment.” – J. Krishnamurti
A coach of mine once said, that he didn’t suffer. I, along with the rest of the group attending the seminar, cried, “Bull!” He went on to say that whenever he had a problem or an inconvenience, he immediately either took care of it himself or asked someone else who is an expert to solve the dilemma for him. He didn’t suffer. Integrating this simple practice into our daily living can be challenging, but very effective and useful. It’s a practice that must remain a part of our awareness if we hope to be released and free from suffering. He would achieve this moment-to-moment presence by asking the appropriate question in the present moment and taking the action necessary to get what he desired. By focusing on being more present, this not only frees me up as an actor but also profoundly improves the quality of my life.
I’m amazed at how defensive I am and full of judgment and fear that doesn’t even exist. I make it up. This way of thinking takes me away from my present experience. This is also true when I’m acting. Self-criticism and fear lead me astray from truly and authentically living through my character.
When I live in the past or future, I miss out on the freedom and peace in the now.
I must stay present as if my life and my character’s life depend on it, because it does. When I truly look at my resentment with clear eyes, honesty, and an open heart, I can recognize my part in everything—even if my part is just that I am still holding onto it. When I look beyond my petty resentments, I become aware of the fear, shame, disappointment, and pain that lie at the root of each grudge and judgment. With this kind of awareness I can see how I continue to carry heaviness and fear with me from the past, allowing it to project anxiety into my future. I can see how the past keeps creating my future, and when I am conscious of this, I get to make another choice. I get to forgive the past and embrace the now. I see, anger, resentment, fear, jealousy, envy, worry, doubt, mistrusting—these are all things that can feel very real to me at the time I’m experiencing them. However, they are of the mind, and just excuses to hang on to yesterday or to live in tomorrow. We should allow ourselves to really feel our feelings, and not avoid them, try to change them, or suppress them in any way; but some thoughts we must reject. When my ego starts convincing me that I am not attractive enough, smart enough, or good enough, I remember these thoughts are not reality. These thoughts distract me from being in the here and now. They take me out of the present and away from reality. When I notice myself spinning out in some dramatic story in my head, I become aware that I am no longer present.
So, I am learning and remembering to simply ask myself, “Where am I now?”
This helps remind me to forgive myself, take a deep breath, and to come back to the present, to the truth—to return to love and freedom, and to show up fully for others.
The Vacuum Law of Prosperity states that “two things cannot take up the same space, so we must let something go before the new can enter.” In other words, there must be a space for incoming gifts before you are available to receive. There is also the law of attraction. If I hold a particular thought for over seventeen seconds the law of attraction kicks in and attracts a like-minded thought. Thoughts are things. Things that can have a profound effect on what is or is not attracted to the last thought. This consciousness is always available to us in the here and now. If we breathe, get quiet, look around, and simply observe, we will understand that by being right here in the now we don’t have to hurt.
Suffering is not in the fact, but is my perception of the fact.
My perception of suffering is usually based on anger, fear, lack, doubt, past, or future, or information given to me by someone or something other than myself. There was a time in my life when I would have blamed everyone and everything for all the things that did not go my way or turn out the way I thought best. I would have been too fearful to fully embrace the slow unraveling of my vision.
When I make a decision to let go of the past and to not worry about things that haven’t happened yet, I experience a paradigm shift in consciousness.
Today, I know I am not losing anything. I know that I am, in fact, gaining everything I never knew I always had.
As I rise up into new levels of consciousness, what is no longer in alignment with it or my highest good must fall away.
This can feel scary so it takes courage, meaning from the heart. Courage is not having no fear at all, but it’s feeling the fear and doing it anyway.
When I feel the anger of the past or the fear of the unknown, I simply and gently guide myself back to the present.
If I truly seek freedom, then I should embrace the wonder and mystery in the present. I should look around and ask, seek, and discover that which is waiting to be discovered by me and expressed through me. I want to be aware of the reactive mind and ask myself, “Why am I feeling this?”
Whatever is showing up in my current experience is meant to be there or it wouldn’t be.
The point of this thought is to feel more alive and in command of the moment. This helps put things into perspective and allows me to move from victim to the victor in every situation.
Surrender to knowing nothing.
Sometimes I just need to wash my thoughts clear of everything I have ever learned or think I know, and just surrender to the guidance of a power greater than myself. Surrender to my higher knowing within. Knowing nothing makes me teachable and directable. I try to let go of my perceptions of the facts and just let everything be as it may. Example: There is no suffering in Monday but only in my perception of Monday.
“Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.” –George Bernard Shaw
Let go of what I’m still holding on to that needs to be released.
In order to be available, I must create a vacuum by cleaning out the stuff I no longer need or is no longer serving me. What negative feelings, resentments, bad habits, or old ways of thinking am I holding on to? What relationships should have ended months or years ago? What clothes and shoes are cluttering my closet that I haven‘t worn in over a year? What junk is taking up space in my filing cabinets or kitchen drawers? Cleanse, clear, release, and in my emptiness I shall be filled with good. I mean all of this literally and metaphorically.
My desire is best served when in complete listening to what is happening NOW. All of this is to remind me to stay focused on what is important – THIS MOMENT – to be a better actor by being a student of moment-to-moment presence. I must stop thinking that I need to add anything; that my work, and my life is supposed to look a certain way. I need to trust in the now to achieve my goals of becoming the best I can be in my work as well as my life.
“A man’s work is nothing but a slow trek to rediscover, through the detours of art, those one or two images in whose presence his heart first opened.” Camus
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