It’s Only Us

“So what if it’s us?
What if it’s us
And only us
And what came before won’t count anymore or matter?
Can we try that?

What if it’s you
And what if it’s me
And what if that’s all that we need it to be
And the rest of the world falls away?
What do you say?”

Two weeks ago I celebrated my 6 month wedding anniversary and the anniversary of our engagement.  We celebrated with a weekend in the city seeing two Broadway shows, and then last weekend went away to a very special Bed and Breakfast just over an hour away from us.

It was magical, and I found myself overcome with gratitude for my marriage, and for my husband…this miracle that entered into my life.

Miracle tends to be the word I use, because this union didn’t occur overnight.  It emerged out of a very painful divorce, and an earnest journey of four and a half years where many times I felt like I was banging my head against the wall and getting nowhere.

Have you ever felt like that?

After a 15 year marriage, I was completely disoriented.  I had to first understand,
how the HECK the divorce occurred in the first place
my role in everything falling apart
how to process the enormous anger that was pervading my days
WHY I had stayed in the marriage for so long trying to make it work

And then I had to understand and learn the most important piece,
What a healthy relationship actually looks and FEELS like.

Apparently, there were some huge gaps.

For years, I felt haunted by my patterns.

For me, it all came back to wanting to control the man, so I dated man after man that was unavailable.  It was devastating, because my biggest fear was I would end up marrying someone just like my first husband.  I would honestly think I was making progress, working with coaches, going online, being in therapy….and then after a few dates, I would have the HUGE realization….

Oh my GOD….he’s unavailable too.

It wasn’t until I learned how to be AVAILABLE myself that things turned around.  If I wasn’t in a control state, I was actually relaxed, so when I was in front of my dates, I just checked in to see if I was relaxed.  And if I wasn’t, and could feel myself reaching out and wanting him to be WAY different than he was, then I knew I was in my pattern and it was time to go.

And then I had my first date with my husband.
I had never been this relaxed on a first date.

It was actually mind blowing.

Was this possible?
Could I BE different?
Could I actually be relaxed and open?

Apparently those gaps were closing.  The chasm now had a bridge.

On our third date, we went exclusive, and within a year we were engaged and I had moved down to NJ.

And what I kept coming back to was a moment of amazement at how I FELT in my body with him.  I was changing.

I was recently driving to the train station to head into Manhattan, and was listening to the Spotify playlist I created for our wedding, and on came this song from Dear Evan Hansen, “Only Us”.

I love to sing along to this song, and yet, was overcome with emotion when the words,
and what came before won’t count anymore or matter…can we try that?

I thought of the journey to this moment. I thought of the fear that welled in me for years I would just go and marry another who would break my heart and leave me.  I thought of the fear that I would stay stuck, feeling unfulfilled in my relationships and feeling underappreciated and undervalued.

And there was a powerful question here in the lyric,
can we try that?

For years, I held on to my past for fears of repeating it, and yet, here I am, celebrating six months and more in love than ever.

What if it’s JUST this moment?
Just this marriage?
Just this relationship?

What if I was here NOW?

Because the truth is, I have mined and faced ALL of my divorce.  I have taken down that wall brick by brick to understand. I’ve come to clarity about WHY it occurred and my part in it.

The evidence?
The marriage I have now.

It couldn’t be more radically different.  And the way I know that is how I feel. Waaaaaaay more relaxed.

So, what about you?

Have you felt haunted by patterns in your Art?
Have you felt stuck in relationships that let you down again and again?

What is the relationship you deeply want to cultivate this year?

Is it with,
your perfect producer
your perfect publisher
an amazing band
Your perfect booking agent
the most amazing agent
a team that supports you and promotes you
a raving audience

Take a moment today and LOOK at those patterns.  Do you understand WHY you have taken the same actions again and again?

Do you understand why these relationships have either not happened or have fallen apart?

What if turning TOWARDS them is the answer to you changing them?

Because it’s when we have full understanding, we can make a new choice.  I needed to understand I was unavailable to fully call in a very different relationship.

And I’m sharing this with you, because your career and your success in your work ALL comes down to relationships.

You don’t get there alone.

And the beauty of all of this is,
change is constant.

Once you have clarity around the WHY of your patterns, you can release them.

In fact, that is when you will attract those relationships that have eluded you, because YOU have clarity.  It was never about them.  It was always going to happen inside you.

What happened in my love life actually had an effect on EVERY relationship in my life and allowed me to build a team that nurtures me, and go full time with my work.

You are a whole person.  Everything is connected.

So,
what came before won’t count anymore or matter….

Can YOU try that?

“We can try that
You and me
That’s all that we need it to be
And the rest of the world falls away
And the rest of the world falls away”

What if the “world” you created where you always stay the same is just that?

Learn how to build healthy relationships and watch the old world fall away.
When you are available, your dreams rush in.

Photography: Dag Photo

The Successful Artist’s Permission Slip

What’s the DEAL?

You have a calling and passion in the Arts. You want to have an impact with your work, but something isn’t clicking because no one’s buying and you have a minimum to non-existent audience.  You’re looking out at empty houses and an empty calendar and starting to feel discouraged.

You know you have talent, and creative ideas coming out every pore, so why are you still struggling on how to convert it to a thriving Artistic Career?

Honestly, how the HECK do the celebrities do it??

What if I told you the answer was right in front of you, and is something you can change today?

Well, then hop on board, because we are going to take you from struggle to success with one thing,

Integration.

 

Get out a piece of paper, and list all your creative abilities.  Let me guess, it’s more than one!

And I’m curious, what were you told growing up?

Pick ONE thing
Can you make money with that?
Is that practical?
You’re doing too much!

I get it!  I found myself in high school madly in love with four things…

Singing
Dancing
Acting
Choreography

Choosing ONE of these just felt wrong and I wanted to find a career and a place where I could express ALL of these things.  That was when I found my oasis,

American Musical Theatre.

On their own, I wasn’t at my strongest.  It was when everything was combined, I was in my element, and also creating a career.  A career that lasted for 20 years, and took me across the nation on professional stages. It even landed me kicking eye high as a New York City Rockette.

Are YOU using all of your talents?

 

One of the most damaging things I’ve heard said to any artist, is to stop expressing a part of yourself, and hone your craft to ONE thing.

Well…..if you sing, you probably don’t want to put your attention on your writing.

I mean….if you’re a photographer, you probably should put down the guitar.

Imagine if someone had said this to Tina Fey,
Tina, your writing is really amazing….but you probably shouldn’t try any acting.  And don’t even TRY producing.  That’s just TOO much.

Tina Fey has brought more joy and laughter than I can even begin to imagine from her character Liz Lemon on the successful and Emmy Award Winning sitcom, 30 Rock.  Not to mention blowing open the workplace for other female writers to step into producing comedies on TV and film.

Want to know how celebrities do it?

They bring ALL of who they are as an artist to the table.

Tina Fey’s fans love her and buy her books and pay for her movies because of the fact she does ALL of these things.  She’s not hiding.  She’s proclaiming she:

Acts
Writes
Produces

I have a very successful friend named Colman who literally turns down work, and has worked with Spike Lee, Steven Spielberg, Susan Stroman, and has won an Olivier Award for his acting.  What does he do?

Playwrighting
Photography
Acting
Singing
Dancing

Do you see a pattern?  All these successful Creatives are multi-disciplinarians, by nature.

 

Take a moment and look at your sheet of paper, and let me ask you this,

What if you integrated ALL of these things, and then put yourself and your work out from THAT place, instead of feeling like you had to cut off pieces of yourself to fit in?

Your uniqueness as an Artist comes from the unique combination of your gifts and HOW you express them.

If you are not being true to your own artistry, then your audience will feel that, and not show up.  

Tina Fey is unique because of her wit, and sharp writing.  Her sense of comedy comes from being on the other side of the table.

Colman is in such high demand, because you can put him in just about any show and he has the toolkit to perform at the highest level.

And both of them come to their art with joy because they are not in conflict with themselves.

Have you been cutting off or hiding parts of your expression that you truly love and are completely natural?

If you want things to click in your Art, and truly connect with your audience, take a look at WHAT you are putting out to the world.

The house will fill up with a raving audience when you allow yourself to be seen.

ALL of you.

So, here’s my permission slip.  Look at that piece of paper, and connect the dots.  How can you bring ALL of you to your Art?

This is when you will stand out from the crowd and make an impact.