Sometimes, after years of being in the arts professions, we have to get reacquainted with ourselves. We are not the actor, the dancer, the comic, et al, we were a year ago, much less five or ten years ago. Hopefully, we’ve grown. Sometimes, we have growing pains. With arts imperiled by corona virus, artists of all disciplines can lean into this cultural and social pause and do some self-care.
Starting last year, I went through a period where I felt I needed to take stock. One of the things my self inventory yielded up was the need to forgive and release past experiences on stage and screen. #MeToo and #TimesUp have us sharing our stories, and I also came to the conclusion I needed to re-write, by releasing and forgiving, my narrative of myself, particularly in my profession. I also needed release negative, defeating beliefs about “how things are”. This is what I came up with for myself:
“I release myself from all past and present pain in acting. I release myself and surrender times of overwork, over-stress, humiliation, body image issues, hurtful and invalidating comments and all other pain and trauma I’ve experienced during my life as an actor.
I embrace a vibrant, creative life that I love, where I do the acting work I’ve always wanted, needed and been called to do. I am a happy and healthy artist who’s thriving. I love communicating verbally and non-verbally to the best and peak of my abilities.
I release all negative, harmful, self-defeating patterns and thoughts around acting. I am a sane, healthy, happy, holy person who makes art. I am loving, kind and compassionate and that radiates throughout all my performances. I honor my unique needs and challenges and honor the needs, challenges and contributions of others. I am here, now, today, firmly rooted in the reality of my chosen profession.”
Artists, if you’re not already, utilize this valuable time. Practice, create, innovate and experiment! So often we’re too rushed and rely on technique and well-honed skills and don’t have the precious silence that cocoons inspiration. There are gifts in this experience. It’s also a great time, to challenge your beliefs and get present to yourself, the artist today.
Questions to ask yourself:
- What assumptions do I make about myself based on my age, gender, etc., in my field?
- Do I have a teacher, coach,mentor in the arts, that I have hurtful memories with? What did they say or do? What toxic lesson did I learn from that? How do I re-frame this to empower me, now, today?
- What are my culture’s harmful beliefs about my arts profession? Stereotypes?
- What are my family’s harmful beliefs or invalidating comments about my arts profession?
- What do I feel I lack as an artist? Discipline? Depth? Re-frame that belief.
- What do I truly desire for myself in my arts career?
Identify patterns. Re-frame your beliefs to empower you. Claim the power in the present–whatever the present may bring.
May you be happy, safe and well, now and always.