Oh, for the sake of momentum
I’ve allowed my fears to get larger than life
And it’s brought me to my current agendum
Whereupon I deny fulfillment has yet to arrive
And I know life is getting shorter
I can’t bring myself to set the scene
Even when it’s approaching torture
I’ve got my routine
But I can’t confront the doubts I have
I can’t admit that maybe the past was bad
And so, for the sake of momentum
I’m condemning the future to death
So it can match the past.
This was what was playing in my head over and over again.
I had my routine.
Snooze once or twice in the morning.
Take a shower and listen to the radio.
Do some light stretching.
Warm up my voice.
Set my hair in hot rollers and put on my makeup.
Pin my hair into place, pack up my backpack with my audition book and dance shoes, and then grab my headphones and blast music into my ears as I walked out the door.
Drown out the outside world, and then come home at the end of the day and watch 2-3 hours of TV.
Day after day.
Audition after audition.
Dance class, voice lessons, on camera classes.
Callback…..don’t book it.
Callback…don’t book it.
Callback….don’t book it.
I had come to New York City to be on Broadway, and come close SO many times, and yet it remained elusive as each year went on.
I worked in every other venue there was, Off Broadway, National Tours, National Commercials, Regional Theater, and yet…this was my ceiling.
I was so frustrated.
But I couldn’t stop.
I had to keep going.
I had to go to the next audition and the next, and keep up my classes, because that was what was going to GET me there.
There was great momentum behind me, and I wasn’t going to slow down. Time was swiftly passing by. I was approaching my late 30’s and freaking out. And what was playing over and over again in my head was a record saying,
You should have BEEN there by now.
My marriage was falling apart, but I had to keep going.
I was drinking too much, but I had to keep going.
I was trying to get pregnant and it wasn’t working, but I had to keep going.
Until it all fell apart.
In one year’s time, everything I knew of my life changed. I went through a divorce, was robbed twice, lost a dear friend to a heart attack, and was in two car accidents.
I didn’t work in my profession. There weren’t any Broadway auditions. No one was calling, and even if they did, I was a mess.
I remember going in for a regional production and having to sing the classic ballad, My Funny Valentine. The words choked in my throat, and I barely made it through the song. The casting director knew I was going through a divorce and came out after to give me a hug. Everyone in the biz knew, I was so embarrassed, and I thought,
Will I be able to sing again?
Will they ever hire me again?
The momentum of my life came to a screeching halt, and something radical came in.
I started asking for help, and found Zen Buddhism which taught me that,
Change is constant. Nothing is permanent.
I started to meditate, took the headphones out of my ears, and truly took the time to ask,
HOW did I get here?
What led to this?
I stopped snoozing my alarm, and found I actually had time.
Time to understand the WHY and HOW of my journey.
Time to face my doubts and fears, and actually transform them.
And time to wake up and make new choices.
I realized I had been condemning my future to look JUST like my past, by not stopping and actually asking the question,
Why am I here?
And when I finally had the support to ask this in a loving way, and had skillful guidance to move forward, my life transformed.
I started singing again, and sang the best I had in my whole career.
I booked a ton of work.
And the industry now saw me for ALL of who I was, and most importantly, they saw me for my strength, not the ordeal I had gone through.
The fear that I would never “make it” literally disappeared, and in it’s place was just inspired action and creating a new life that fulfilled me.
I stopped chasing the dream, and instead woke every day to create it.
So, what is your routine?
What have you decided will just “always be”?
Complacency can be deeply destructive, and rob you of your confidence, and the longer we try to shove our fears and doubts under the bed or into the closet, the larger they become.
They don’t go away until we acknowledge them.
And that begins with the single most important tool you can cultivate to create change,
We first have to FEEL the disappointment in order to transform it to powerful action.
We can’t skip over this step, because it’s always running underneath and playing out in subconscious ways. It’s playing out in your small audience, in colleagues who are untrustworthy, in low-balling your prices and never asking for what you are actually worth.
So, what if this momentum is purely driven by your actions?
This is great news, because it means you have the ABILITY to stop it.
You have the ability to CHANGE your actions.
You have the ability to make different choices.
What if your future could look different than your past?
Start by acknowledging it and allow it to be a teacher. Allow your past actions to point to what hasn’t been working, and most importantly, accept this with compassion. This isn’t about making you wrong or bad.
There is no problem here.
You are just waking up, and that’s when you access your power.
Today is a new day, one you have never lived before.
With compassion and skillful guidance, stop and ask,
How did I get here?
The answers are within you, as is your greatest power.
Photography: Caitlin Cannon Photography