This was not the post I intended to write this week.
But with everything that is going on in the world – from wildfires and hurricanes, to economic instability, to racial and cultural discrimination, and serious acts of misogyny and sexual harassment – I felt it was important to take the time to pause and reflect on all that is surrounding us right now.
With all this chaos, change and destruction it natural for us to want to retreat from it, to go into ourselves and to disengage to find some sense of safety and security.
Even if we want to stay connected, it’s hard to figure out the boundaries we need to have with all the news that’s coming at us. It’s a challenge to know when to take a step back, or even how to do so. It makes our heads spin and our minds race, and our hearts stagger to keep up with it all.
And for us performers, this is even more of a challenge.
As we step out in front of others, we are met by audiences or viewers who are also shaken up and wrestling with the state of the world. Their thoughts and expectations are driven by emotions and are ever-shifting as they try to sort out how they feel about everything that’s going on. This can make them tough critics and can cause unexpected backlash at what we as performers are putting out there.
Even deeper, it can be difficult to find the motivation for us to step out there in the first place. How do you find the energy to dive into playing a comedic role when you’re feeling so negative yourself? How do you get your head into the race when you’re distracted by the latest natural or humanitarian disaster? How do you motivate your team when you’re finding it hard to be optimistic about the future?
But as challenging as all this is, here’s what I know.
The world needs us.
The world needs you.
The world needs performers to share our voices, to speak from our hearts, and to help call on others to stand up, to speak truth and to help move the world forward.
So how do we do that?
How do we keep our minds and hearts safe, as we step out into the world to do the important work we’re meant to do?
There is one practice that has been helping me a lot lately, and I hope it’ll help you too. It’s a simple exercise to quiet the mind, listen to your heart, and invite into it the qualities that make you feel strong, grounded and centered. It also explores some imagery to help you establish a protective boundary around your heart, so you can keep yourself safe as you step out in front of others and into the chaos of the world.
I’ve made a recording of me leading the exercise, along with some words of encouragement, that you can listen to below or download from my Facebook page.
It’s short and easy to do almost anywhere. It’s a good one to have with you on a day when you’re feeling down and searching for the energy to keep putting yourself out there.
So take some time to try it out, and let me know your thoughts if you do.
Sending you so much love and encouragement in these times – we’re in this together.
This blog is a part of my work with Five Winds. It’s a space where I share thoughts and ideas on performing and wellness, and offer tips and ideas on how to stay balanced and healthy (body, mind, emotions and spirit) while living the life of a performer.