Breaking the Pattern of No

Do you feel like you are stuck in a pattern?

Do you feel like you are experiencing the same disappointment over and over?

Rejection letters from publishers.
Booking agents never returning your call.
The people you thought you could count on not showing up.
Low attendance to your events and shows…

Basically, you are hearing NO a lot.  And that can be so disheartening!  I imagine you would love to scream out to the universe,
Can I just get a BREAK?
When is it MY turn for success?

It can feel deeply discouraging, especially when you CARE so much about your work. I imagine deep in your heart, you KNOW what you have has value, but have felt blocked on how to end all the rejection and experience your fans and a team that promotes you saying YES!

Imagine them saying,
We LOVE what you do!
We WANT what you have!

Imagine stepping into the beautiful flow of actually hearing YES to your dreams and being fully supported.

Feels amazing, doesn’t it?
Now, how do you make this a reality?

I was recently in a car accident.  It was more of a fender bender, but really startled me.  I was in a traffic circle, and realized too late I was taking the wrong exit.  Between my confusion with the navigation, night driving, and not being familiar with the area, I was clipped on my left side by a pick up truck.

I knew it was my fault, and immediately got out of the car to speak to the other driver and apologize.

Then I looked down at my car and was shocked.

It had felt like the impact was so light, but looking at my car, you would think otherwise.  The whole front left light was crumpled in, and my headlight was hanging precariously inside from a wire. My hubcap had come off, and was somewhere in the traffic circle. The pickup truck looked as though nothing had happened.

Within minutes, my husband had arrived and the cops.  I was on the phone with insurance, filling out forms, and trying to take care of everything legally.

Once it was over, and we had pulled off into a parking lot, I started to weep.

I felt embarrassed.
I felt self conscious.
And I felt angry at myself for allowing this to happen.

We went to grab some groceries, and I could feel I was in shock.  And then something arose in my mind…..
I’ve been here before.
Six years ago, I was in two car accidents in one day.
Six years ago, I was taken advantage of by the towing company
Six years ago, I was threatened by the  car lot owner to dismantle my car without my consent.

I could hear his voice in my mind, in a dark tone saying,
I will take your car apart piece by piece and there is nothing you can do about it.

I remembered my insurance having to send out a private investigator to get my car back. It was a nightmare, and the two car accidents were the last horrible thing that happened to me in one year’s time. Before all that, I went through a divorce, was robbed, and lost a dear friend to a heart attack.  It was a rough year.

I haven’t been in a car accident since then.

Would it be the same?
Was I doomed to repeating the same scenario?

Leaving the grocery store, I was very guarded. 
Would I get in another accident on the way home, just like six years ago?

When we got home, the left side of my back was starting to seize.  I knew this was where the fear had lodged itself, as I was hit on the driver side.  My amazing husband gave me a loving massage and Reiki and I went to bed.

What would tomorrow bring?

Have you ever felt this?
The fear of what’s to come based on what you’ve experienced?

I was so scared I would go through another horrific experience post accident because that was what happened last time.

It can be so easy in those moments to want to manage any possible disappointment in the future, by trying to FEEL the fear of what MAY happen.  We can believe that if we just prepare ourselves for the worst, perhaps it won’t be as bad.

I used to do this all the time with big auditions.  If I had not danced well for a particular choreographer or not been kept by a specific casting agent, I would try to manage any possible disappointment by EXPECTING IT.

Well, they just don’t like how I dance.
This casting director doesn’t like me.
They never keep me, so why should this be any different?

Sound familiar?

I was anticipating the disappointment in an effort to actually protect myself.
But what I didn’t realize was I was also shooting myself in the foot by setting myself up for failure instead of success.

What if I had gone it believing,
Today is a new day, one I have never lived before!
I am going to dance my best today.

Very different energy, than walking in trying to pretend as if I KNOW the outcome. With this intention, I would actually be in the PRESENT, instead of trying to manage the future.

And when I approached my auditions like this, the outcomes were VERY different. I could release what the casting directors thought of me, and instead place my attention on just doing my best.

Which usually meant I was kept and booked the show.

The day after my recent car accident, I woke up and my back had relaxed in the night.  I had a small window of a few hours to take care of getting a rental car, and dropping my car off at a shop to be worked on.

Everything flowed.
Everyone was so helpful.
I was able to take care of everything I needed within a few hours.

Very different from six years ago.

As am I.

I am not the woman I was six years ago. In the morning after the accident, I stayed present to each task, instead of spending the morning worried about what could happen.

Because the largest lesson I have learned is the simple truth,
Change is constant.

I got scared.  My mind went right back to the trauma of that first accident.  And then, I was grounded back into reality, and reminded by everything around me that things change. I focused my energy on the moment.

Things change.
Thank goodness.

So, whatever accident you have suffered, take a moment and love yourself.  You are allowed to feel what you feel.  Once you have brought love to the frustration, now ground back in reality.

What if this is your opportunity to make a new choice?
If change is constant, then you are not doomed to repeating the same disappointment.

Release managing your future, and instead focus your energy on what you are doing NOW.

Your point of power is in the present moment. The past is over, and we don’t know the future, so use what is right in front of you.

You can change your life right now, and end the cycle.

When you say YES to the power of being present, you will hear YES all around you.

Photography: Caitlin Cannon Photography

Born This Way

Do you feel like you have to have it all together all the time?
Do you feel stressed out by the pressures of being seen?

Do you find yourself thinking,
What will they think?
Is this good enough?

In an industry where you are constantly evaluated and criticized, this can be deeply challenging.

And you may find yourself stuck in a perfectionist loop, where you get paralyzed because you are so afraid your work will be rejected.  Or you may find it takes you hours, days, even weeks to complete projects because it has to be JUST right.

Either way, I imagine you feel exhausted, and that can feel pretty frustrating when you came to this work because you love it.

Where is the joy?
Why is doing what you love creating so much stress?

I remember auditioning for a Broadway choreographer and feeling so strong.  I walked in with a smile, and danced my best.

When the choreographer went to make the cut, he looked right at me and said to his assistant,
NOT her.

His look went through me, as if my insides turned to ice. It felt violent, the look on his face, as if he was so disgusted by my dancing, that he felt absolutely repulsed by the very notion of having me stay and dance and sing some more.

I could understand being cut.
I could understand not being what he was looking for.
But, I couldn’t get over HOW he did, and the WAY he looked right at me.

It felt so MEAN.

And because this was years ago, I internalized his reaction and the look on his face.  I didn’t know what else to do with it.

I walked out of the room feeling completely dejected, and my conclusion was,
I’m not good enough.

Have you every felt this?

How do we deal with our overactive inner critic, and all the feedback we get?

Two weeks ago, I went to Las Vegas to see Lady Gaga in her Jazz & Piano show at the MGM Park Theater. It was my first time seeing her in concert, and I was so excited!

The energy was incredible.  Everywhere I looked was another fabulous outfit, glitter, and even a woman who had put a blond wig on her dog and was posing in pictures with other fans.

There was adoration and anticipation in the air.  5200 people had gathered to see this show, and I was pinching myself I was one of them.

After buying a sweatshirt, I was approached by a young man who asked if I wanted to make a button for the Born This Way Foundation.  Not knowing what that was, I eagerly walked over to the booth.

Led by Lady Gaga and her mother Cynthia Germanotta, Born This Way Foundation was founded in 2012 with the goal of creating a kinder and braver world.

Their mission:

We seek to support the mental and emotional wellness of young people by putting their needs, ideas, and voices first.

We celebrate the individuality of those we serve and we revere the bravery it takes to reach out and start the conversation. Together, we’re building a community that provides approachable resources, fosters genuine connection, and drives action.

I was handed a blank circle with the opportunity to create a button.  The paper read,
This Way ________________.

Taking a moment to connect to how I believed I was born, I wrote three words,
You are Love

The button now read,
This Way You are Love.

Attaching the button to my jacket, I walked into the theater feeling more than excitement, but inspired and grounded.

Lady Gaga exploded onto the stage, her voice filling the huge arena.  In between numbers, she shared the many challenges she has faced, and the importance of mental health.  She shared how lonely she feels, and all the pressures of her work and felt there was really only one answer,
Kindness.

This was why she created the Foundation.

This resonated deeply with me, and for a moment I imagined hugging that younger dancer who walked out feeling so dejected.

I imagined hugging her in that moment when she wanted to make herself small and be equally damaging to herself.

How amazing that would have felt.
Something so simple, and yet deeply powerful.

In moments of criticism, it can be so easy to just take on what that person, or your audience is saying and believe it is true.

Their anger, their unhappiness can seep in so FAST and rob us of our confidence.

The truth is, you can’t control another person, so how do you keep your power and not be taken out by someone else’s harsh words?

Kindness.

And I’m not talking about outward kindness, but inward.  When you feel that negative energy, approach your  FEELINGS with kindness.

The shock?  Allowed.
The feeling of being unsettled?  Allowed
The feeling of dejection?  Allowed.

You are allowed to FEEL what you feel.  This is ultimate kindness.  This is compassion, and really, this is the core of mental health.

When we make an enemy of our feelings, we are in constant conflict.  Allow your feelings to arise from the criticism, and then instead of fanning the flames with your own self criticism, and letting your inner critic go crazy, connect to your feelings with kindness.

Even though I feel dejected, I deeply love and accept myself.

In fact, it was when I started to approach myself with kindness that I stopped caring so much what other people thought. When I received criticism, it didn’t take me out, and I felt free to be me and take risks.

This WAY you are love.

Because the truth is, you ARE love.  This is your nature. It’s inherent to your humanity.

And as they say in the This Way Foundation,
“Where individuality is encouraged.”

There is only one you, and the way you bring your work to the world is beautifully unique.  Bringing kindness to yourself in these moments is what grounds you in the journey and allows you to drop what other people think.

Because who you are is far more interesting than who you are trying to be.

What a relief:)

You were born this way.