Rising to the Top

Do you feel like the “good guy” finishing last in your Art?
Do you watch others rise to the top, achieving stardom, who are essentially egomaniacs?

Why do THEY succeed, and you feel like you are barely being noticed?

You come to your Art from the deepest part of you, desiring to evoke change and emotion.  You want to make a difference in this crazy world, amongst so much current turmoil and pain.

Meanwhile the latest Transformers movie is raking in millions of dollars.
A song about killing and violence is top of the charts
Shady Artists are getting the record contract, movie deal, and gallery opening….

And it can be really easy to start going down the rabbit hole of,
Is this the ONLY way to make it today?
Is this what it takes to stand out from the crowd?

How do you stay in integrity with your Heart, and actually receive the acclaim you desire?

Are these two mutually exclusive?

It certainly can feel like that……

 

This week I watched a dear friend and colleague suffer.  She entered a contest where she created results that were astronomical.  She came to this contest with a pure heart, and pure intentions.

But her competition used bribery.
Her competition used dirty tactics.

And her competition won.

I found myself re-living so many moments of absolute frustration from my performance career.  I watched fellow performers rise to Broadway stardom, and behind the scene they were ungrateful, complaining, and in some extreme cases, were abusive.

I remembered a dancer who joined the Evita National Tour who showed up drunk and high for work.
I remembered a middle aged character man who sexually harassed several chorus women in my show, at a very highly respected regional theatre, and WASN’T fired.

How did we get there at the same time?

Did it matter WHO I was being, and HOW I showed up?

I found this week really coming into contact with a very strong need,
INTEGRITY

And I began to remember several other stories of success,

The Broadway star who welcomed me to his dressing room and posed for a silly picture.
The Acclaimed Director who shared stories of her children and gave me freedom to play in rehearsal.
The TV/Film star who shared his story with my whole tribe, offering free teaching and mentoring.

And I remembered sitting in a healing circle five years ago, my hands shaking as I wept, sharing my own story of shame and vulnerability and being shocked to the core when in this state, something truly special happened….

I wasn’t rejected. The group moved closer. And I experienced what I had been WANTING to experience all along,

CONNECTION.

I let the walls come down, and realized there had been a part of me I had kept hidden.  I kept it hidden behind blame, complaining, and comparison.

And I had a complete resurgence of my performance career.

The biggest difference?
HOW I FELT.

Tapping into this allowed me to build a whole new life from scratch, and build a business.  It allowed me to become the decision maker after years of feeling like my career and Art were completely out of my control. I wasn’t asking permission from the casting directors, or agents……I realized I actually had the power all along.  It took letting down the walls to see this.

I came into contact with HOW I wanted to succeed.

HOW I wanted to show up.

I was clear I wanted to affirm not only my life, but the lives of every Artist out there, as many as I could reach and touch.

It became clear I wanted to affirm you.

 

Indeed, there are going to be Artists out there who rise to the top without integrity.

But my question will always be, for how long?
Is that sustainable?

Our industry is filled with suicides, addiction, and misplaced obsessions.  There are so many Artists who have no idea who they are, they are so busy chasing an image or an idea….which is why they suffer so deeply and after a quick flame, burn out fast.

So, the power lies with YOU.

WHO do you want to be?
HOW do you want to show up?

Turns out, you don’t have to rise to the top one way.

You can rise in a way that affirms life FOR you and FOR your audience.

Take a moment, and ask yourself deeply,
What does SUCCESS mean for me?

 

Now create and connect to that every day.

Surround yourself with evidence and give yourself the support you need. We were never meant to do this alone.

You can create Art that rises to the top, and do this in a way that feels good; free, joyous, and full of connection.

Clarify how you want to show up, and watch your audience roll in.

I see your light, and it’s brilliant.

 

Photography: Caitlin Cannon Photography

The Secret to Success

HOW did you do it?

I’m being asked this a lot right now.  I’ve been interviewed by two love experts, and had many women reach out in response to my love story.

Friends and family are reflecting back such loving remarks, reflecting back my inner glow, and something deeper,

Happiness

My story has been one of struggle, heartache, and wild discovery.  It began with a bonfire, and then slowly I built from the ashes.

Much slower than I thought…..

Yesterday, while being interviewed by my first love coach, I had a moment of,
Is this really me??

I remember watching endless interviews, seeing other success stories and wanting to dissect every THING they did to find love.

What were their steps?
What did they do that I wasn’t doing?

And now here I am, sharing the success…..

A total reversal!

Have you ever felt this way?

Watched your favorite artist, leaning in to every word they say, wanting to know HOW did they do it?

Wouldn’t you LOVE to know the secret of their success and how you can achieve the same?

 

Those who are successful overcome their fears and take action.  Those who aren’t, submit to their fears and live with regrets.
-Jay Z

 

I remember coming into my acupuncturist’s office last year, crying about another disappointment, another man I had dated who was unavailable.  I was feeling lonely and something deeper,

Hopeless

She looked at me lovingly and said,
You’re not giving up.  You keep going.

I felt a calm in my heart because she was right.  I had my vision in place, I knew what I wanted.  Yes, I was lying on the table with tears streaming down my face, but the commitment was still there.

We can experience disappointment and still work towards our dreams.

Your disappointments do not define you.  They are the reaction to what matters.  Allow them to rise and fall.  They are not permanent.

 

I had a choice, to stand still or move forward.  To let things happen or make things happen.  Every day I wake up, I make a choice not to let the world decide for me. I decide for me.  I decide to get going.
-Beyonce

 

My simple answer for HOW I did it, is the same for all successes.

I didn’t give up, and I had support.

With each wall I came up against, I took it as a moment to reflect, regroup, and try again.

I had a LOT to learn, after being married for 15 years, and going on my first date EVER at 38.

It can be easy to think success just happens, but it’s really a testament to time and effort put in.

And a deeper willingness to look at WHAT is actually happening in your Creative life.

What are your results right now?

Can you take your ego out of the equation, and ask simply,
Am I showing up?
Is this working?

If you are hitting up against the same wall over and over, there is a REASON, and the wall is there to stop you so you can make a NEW choice.

Release the judgment against yourself.
Stop making yourself wrong, or bad.

Shaming will stop you every time.  Let’s break out a Beyonce tune and move you forward instead.

Come back to your vision of what you want to do with your Art.

Who is the Artist you want to be?

 

This past weekend, my man surprised me with a romantic getaway weekend.  He drove me to this picturesque town right on the border of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, taking me to an incredible bed and breakfast right on the water. And the name?

New Hope

I was transported back to the woman who felt so hopeless and unloved, lying in the dark in acupuncture.  The woman who’s heart was broken, feeling so rejected.

I could have given up.
I could have believed feeling hopeless was permanent.
I could have decided my vision wasn’t possible.

And trust me…there were MANY days I wanted to.

But in every moment, I reached out for help, and was CURIOUS, and I didn’t do this alone.

As I stood in the sunshine staring at the bed and breakfast and saw my man’s wide and loving smile, I was struck at the change. Struck at where I began and where I stood now. And one of my favorite poems came to me,

Hope is the thing with feathers
that perches in the soul,
and sings the tune without the words
and never stops at all.

-Emily Dickinson

This is my invitation for you.

Stay in Discovery.
Don’t give up.

Bust out your inner Beyonce, and be curious around your fears.

New Hope awaits, for you and your Art.

Make the choice today so that you can have the success you desire.

 

 

Photography: Caitlin Cannon Photography