Alright, less than three months between posts this time around (I’m getting better about this, I swear).
Since last we met, I closed one show, and opened and closed another one at Oil Lamp Theater. Tons of fun playing two different characters (a lost and confused 30 year old mathematician and a mid 20s up and coming Broadway star and, incidentally, a murderer). I’m excited to be starting my next venture, working as an understudy and completing an apprenticeship at First Folio Theatre in Oakbrook, IL. Not only will I be receiving weeks as an Equity Membership Candidate (thereby making Equity auditions much less of a nightmare), but I’ll also be challenged in a capacity I’ve never tackled before as an understudy. I’ve come to realize to embrace these challenges as they come into my life, since there’s not really much point in fighting against a difficulty in our lives. If I’ve learned anything from the writings of Dan Millman, it’s that we have to learn to become as adaptable as possible, flowing with life’s changes, rather than being inflexible to them.
I also recently completed another year of Teen Service Week and a trip to Toronto with a friend of mine to visit another friend of mine. All of these occurrences led me back here to write a bit about where I am and where I am ideally headed. During Teen Service Week, I was blessed enough to spend the week with 39 other people to dedicate a week to serving others, living in community, forgoing some of life’s luxuries and reflecting on how all of this impacted our lives. On Monday morning of the week, I led the group in prayer to prepare them for the coming day. My primary focus was on the concept of self-love. Now, self-love is not you rolling out of bed in the morning, walking up to the mirror, doing the winking-finger gun combo and saying, “Who loves ya, baby?” I mean, it could be that, but that’s kind of the most superficial sense of self-love possible. I’m talking about the concept of being able to show love to yourself, first and foremost, especially given the fact that you are the person spend the most time with (if you’re not, this is not for you; in fact, if you aren’t spending the majority of time with yourself, you should probably contact some sort of professional). If you think about it, we’re usually our own worst critic about everything. Developing a healthy sense of self-love allows us to temper that voice that cuts us down.
It was during my planning for this prayer and the idea of self-love that I came upon a fun little mnemonic device to help along the way. It’s as easy as ABC.
To begin to develop this sense of self-love, we first must acknowledge the difficulty or criticism we face in that moment. This is not to fight it, or to judge it, but to simply say, “I know this is here, and I am aware of it.” Next, we do what all humans must do to survive; we breathe, so as to bring our awareness into that moment, as it is the only moment we have any influence over (for any Millman fans out there, this is definitely a “you are here, the time is now” idea). Finally, we create a new moment; a positive thought, idea, word, anything that brings a smile to your face.
Hopefully, by doing this, we can string together many moments of positive, healthy self-love. As we do this, we kindle our own flame, which we can then use to help light that flame in others.
I’m hoping that, by writing about it, I can help bring some practical application to some of the concepts and ideas I’m currently using in my own life to yours. The way I see it, we’re not alone on this journey; we’re all on our own paths, trying to find meaning in whatever way we can, and it’s up to each of us to help one another on the way.
I leave you with a song I came upon recently by Marie Miller, entitled “You’re Not Alone”. If you’re reading this, thank you for doing so.
Until next time,