The Gift of Comparison

Have you ever looked at another creative and thought,

They sound better than me
They look better than me
They have got it all together, and I’m a mess!

How does that feel in your body?

Pretty awful, right?

I can remember showing up to dance auditions and dreading if I was put in the same group to dance as certain dancers.  There they would be, with their long legs, perfect bodies, and glowing confidence, and I would panic, thinking the choreographer would never look at me.

Even though I didn’t want to be feeding the voice in my head telling me how I DIDN’T measure up, I would spiral, and as a result have crappy auditions and performances.

Comparison.

UGH!

Comparison is a real issue because it keeps your nervous system in a state of fight or flight.  With every thought of,
this person is better than me
this person has something better than me

your whole nervous system is in fear, because you are constantly monitoring for what is unfavorable.

This is no way to live, my dear one.
And certainly no way to create our best or perform our best.

And this was proven to me time and again.

But there was something magical that happened when I did perform my best.
There was something completely different happening when the choreographer would gleefully hire me.

There’s a way to turn this around, because we ALL feel it. You are not alone, and I want to give you some powerful tools so comparison doesn’t take you out any longer.

 

So, let’s start with the moment of comparison.

You’re looking at someone else and thinking,
they have it and I don’t

If we stopped here, the result would be toxic.  But, let’s allow the comparison to actually point us towards what you DO want.

What is it EXACTLY this other Creative possesses?

Is it confidence?
Is it ease in front of their audience?
Is it a powerful presence in their performance?
Is it words that jump off the page?

Take the comparison as an opportunity to understand what you CRAVE.  And here’s the juicy part…now CLAIM it for yourself.

Give yourself PERMISSION to claim this.

Allow yourself to tap into all that is powerful in you.

For myself as a dancer, I used to marvel at the EASE of these other dancers.  They would remember the combination effortlessly and be able to really PERFORM, bringing themselves to the dance.  They stood out because they were relaxed.

So this was what I worked on. This is what I claimed, and the results were completely different.

Your desires are actually pointing you towards your aliveness, towards your unique light.  Let them REMIND you what you CAN have and embody.

Instead of bringing you down, comparison is actually pointing you towards what needs permission to thrive.
You truly have all you need….it’s all there inside you.

 

Comparison can also be our way of being terrified.  As Creatives and Performers, we can be terrified of being seen, of being magnetic to our audience.

So, comparison can be used as an unconscious way to stay small.

Small in our Art
Small in our words
Small in our actions

Standing in that audition room, looking at another redheaded dancer who has Broadway credits, I would think,
If she really is that good of a dancer, if she really is that talented, then who am I to chase my dreams? Who am I to stand in my worthiness and claim this moment?

Have you ever felt this?

I certainly did…….

Because it can be terrifying to fully FEEL your power as a Creative; to fully feel you are limitless.

SLOW down and ask,
Where am I hiding?
Where am I terrified?
Where am I giving myself an excuse?

And all from a place of empathy.  There is actually no problem here.  There is so much shame that gets put around comparison and jealousy and self deprecation. Finger pointing never works, but inquiry and curiosity does.

I’m here today to lovingly tell you, there’s nothing wrong with you.  You are not broken.  You’ve just been scared.

AND, you have the power to flip it.

When comparison arises, you can say,
I’m comparing!

Then USE it, slow down, and turn the light around.  Shine it within to gain clarity around what you truly WANT and where you are hiding.

 

So, take a moment right now, and write down what you are going to CLAIM starting today.
Use this to bring you back to empowerment.

 

Step out of the shadows.  Your light is brilliant.

 

 

Photography: Caitlin Cannon Photography

Planting the Seed

I’m pregnant.

It’s my deepest dream come true.

I feel my expansive belly, the warmth as my hand glides over my full curves, and I begin to weep.  I’ve wanted this for so long…..

In fact, I went through a very dark time in my mid 30’s where I thought I actually couldn’t get pregnant.  I thought something was wrong with me.

Turns out, it was the wrong partner. My body knew…..

And now it’s here.
It’s real.

Creation at it’s most profound….human life.

Can you feel it?
How real it is?
Do you see it?

I do.

This is my future. I’m planting the seed.

As I sit here and write to you, I can feel my soft flat belly……there is no life in there right now. Not yet.

But I know there will be….

And it all began with a work of Art.

 

I’m a huge fan of Feng Shui.  When I was single, my consultant, Josiah Bouricius, came to my little 300 square foot apartment in Astoria and helped me turn that space from a single woman’s hideaway to a single woman CALLING IN her man.

I got rid of water in the bedroom, moved my mirror so it wasn’t reflecting on my bed, took down the single woman photos and art, and added vibrant color where needed.

Most importantly, I added inspiration.

And not just any inspiration, but one of the most famous works of art reproduced today,
Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss.

Every day, I would wake to the luscious image of a woman being cherished and adored, held in a passionate embrace, and I would feel into it.  Every night, I would look at it, and close my eyes, imagining connecting with the generous heart of my man.

And then one day….that amazing man walked into my apartment, professing love, and the single woman was no longer alone.

From Klimt to reality, WOW.

Josiah came to my new home in NJ, and while we originally hung the Klimt in our bedroom, Josiah recommended our next future vision.

A family.

So, I went searching online, and on Pintrest found this incredible artist,
Katie M. Berggren.

Her work took mine and my man’s breath away.  Every image was an ode to motherhood, to the beauty of children, and to family.

Her swirls of color, softness, and magic spoke directly to what we both desired.

So I ordered one of her stretched canvas prints, and it arrived last night.

Holding each other in an embrace, my man and I took in the image.
We felt the image.

And were inspired.

Today I woke, and sat on my bed, staring at the faces, serene and pure, feeling into this greater love.
And tonight, I will imagine calling in these children to me, feeling their hearts, much like I did early last year, staring at the Klimt.

This the the power of Art.
It’s magical really.

Did you know you could create this?
Did you know you have the power to create change in your audience’s lives?

Klimt did for me….and I can’t wait to send a thank you card to Katie Berggren when my belly is swelling with life.

 

It’s so easy to forget what is possible with our work.

And I get it!  There were definitely many days I felt so discouraged from another failed audition.  I would show up so ready to wow the casting directors, putting on my vibrant leotard, only to be wiping back tears of confusion and embarrassment an hour later after being cut.

I can remember doing a summer production of “Bells Are Ringing” way back in my late 20’s where I was counting down the days until the contract was over.  I hated the theatre, felt completely disrespected by the creative team, and the audience’s were small. My role was laughable, and I was not challenged at all.

Was I really making a difference?

It can be really discouraging to put so much of ourselves into our work, and not see the return we desire.

So, what can you do?

I invite you to remember.
Remember WHY you came to your Art in the first place.

I remember the last time I was a Rockette, I did a ton of PR.  I did many radio and TV interviews, and also did meet and greets with audience members after the show.

I remember before one show coming in and seeing this little girl, all dressed up with her mother, clutching her program and a pen.

When she saw me, her whole face lit up. Beaming, she held out her program and pen, asking me to sign it, saying,
When I grow up, I want to be a Rockette too!

I had to blink back tears, because at that point I was in my early 30’s and really starting to feel the pull of motherhood.  But what struck me most, was her open energy, and even more so, the OPPORTUNITY I had as an Artist to make an impact on her.

As I took in her flushed cheeks, I remembered being 11 years old, and staring wide eyed from my seat in the London Theatre as Cats danced and sang all around me.

Because of that production, I went into musical theatre as a profession.

What could happen for this little girl in this moment?
Could this be the seed planted for her, connecting to her deepest desire?

Not only did this moment remind me of WHY I became a dancer in the first place, but reminded me of the impact I have on my audience.

And that special moment also gave me inspiration to dance my best on stage.

It’s actually a loop of energy.

 

Your connection to your audience is paramount.

Are you feeding this inspiration?
Do you know what they need?
Do you know what they like?

What struck me most in my experience buying from Katie Berggren was her personal touch.  Not only did she email me directly, she also sent me a separate envelope with her line of greeting cards, a personally written thank you, and her promo materials.

Her customer service was impeccable.  She knew exactly what I needed.

I felt so supported by the entire experience, so that when the time came to hang the print last night, my man and I felt not only connected to the Art, but also the Artist.

Because of that, I will recommend her to everyone.

Katie is planting the seed.
Much like those dancers did in Cats for me when I was 11.
Much like I did for that little girl backstage….

Your work matters.

Art has the power to create change.
It even has the power to create life.

Katie shared with me her artwork has been hung by many women, desiring to be mothers, and has helped them to become pregnant.

So, come back to your inspiration today.

Remember WHY you became an Artist, feed your inspiration, and CONNECT with your audience.

It’s a loop of energy.

If you don’t know what they need or like, find out.

Let the relationship blossom.
Plant the seed.

And watch new life begin.