TAPPING MESSAGES ON THE WALL OF MY CELL
March 26, 2007.
My class was FABULOUS! I can’t resist the urge to shriek and dance around whenever I think about it. I had set a goal after the previous class to allow myself to be in the moment the next time around. For a week I meditated on my goal and said affirmations around it. That worked, I guess, because the scene took a giant leap forward. It was one of the few times in my life that I felt and understood what it meant to listen, respond and go moment to moment within the scene. Tony says that listening is the thread that pulls everything else along and I sensed that. It was like being on a rollercoaster not trying to control the ride but letting the car rise, fall and careen as it wanted to. In that state, it’s hard to remember what has happened on stage because the attention is completely on the other person. It was thrilling
I’ve created a new goal and affirmation for this week and can’t wait to see how it pans out. The goal is to allow the Creative Force to flow freely through me and to go for the ride wherever it takes me. Last week I still tried to control it in spots and this week I want to let go completely. The Creative Spirit or Force or whatever is something I’ve felt only a couple of times in my work but something I’ve realized is the highest thing I can aim for. There is an energy that wants to come through any artist and when we allow it to it takes us places we never imagined. That is truly inspired acting and that’s what I want.
What I have learned this week through my class and personal study is that in order to achieve unity with All That Is, I must release my attachment to Memory of who I was, my past, my labels and my preconceptions. Isolation occurs because we see life through our limited perception but unity occurs when we slough off who we were and become All We Are. We can either be a drop in the ocean or the entire ocean. And what a fantastic thing for an actor- to have access to everything. Then there is nothing I couldn’t be or experience in my work.
I’ve realized that my biggest obstacle in life is the fact that I have always tried to contain who I am and what I want. I learned early on that I couldn’t reveal certain things for fear of rocking the boat or displeasing people. It has taken several years to overcome this issue and not being able to show my feelings was a huge impediment to my work. So Friday morning I was sitting in my car before work reading Deepak Chopra. He was writing about our attachment to memory and I realized that it was my attachment to my fears, my past and my illusions about myself that was keeping me from where I wanted to go. It was one of those moments when I transformed inside. I didn’t just understand the words- I felt that it was time to change and I did. I decided to leave those things behind and embrace something new.
Literally five minutes later, when I walked into work, I was subjected to a torrent of horrible verbal abuse from my boss. I had been working a great temp job for a non-profit and was so grateful for the money and flexibility it provided. Up to this point my boss had been hugely supportive and appreciative of my work. I’d witnessed some real anger issues with him but never anything directed towards me. But that morning he suddenly lit into me and my co-worker for no reason at all. His words were irrational, untrue and it was impossible to reason with him or even understand what he was talking about. He kept saying that he was going to “take a firm hand” with us. When I tried to calm him down I began to cry because I was so stunned by the assault. He then ordered me to stop crying because he was running a business and he would have none of this emotional stuff. I sat at the computer shaking uncontrollably, unable to stop tears from pouring down my face. He then did a complete switch, lowering his voice, telling me how great everything was and even shaking my hand.
I worked until lunch and on my break I sobbed over the phone to my husband, who wanted me to leave immediately. I didn’t want to because for the first time in months I had enough money to buy the things I’ve needed but have been going without for so long. I returned to work, trying to avoid my boss, and finished out the day. When I left he said to me, “Well, I had a great day and I hope you did too.” I couldn’t even look at him and left without speaking. I felt like a kicked dog or an abused child- certainly not an adult employee. I really thought I was going to stick it out but once I got home I dissolved into tears again for about two hours. It has been a pattern in my life that I attract emotionally volatile people- mostly manic depressives. I have worked through this issue in my personal life but it still crops up in work situations. I kept asking my husband, “Why does this keep happening? Why am I creating these experiences?” In a moment of clarity he answered, “Because you’re trying to figure out who you are.”
Yes- this is what I’ve been learning for months and it was inspired of him to say that to me in a moment of enormous conflict. I am loyal to a fault. I will stay in a toxic relationship or situation until I make myself ill or miserable because I mistakenly believe that I am to blame or that I am a failure. Except that, I no longer believe this to be true. That’s not who I am anymore. In the past I’ve had difficulty leaving these situations because there was always something important at stake- a lover, a friendship, a leading role or, in this case, the most money I’ve ever made. I have traded myself in for these commodities. But when my boss told me not to cry, to be professional, I couldn’t suck it up. I couldn’t NOT show how I felt. And that was an enormous sign of growth for me. A major victory for the artist inside of me. I realized that I could no longer dishonor who I was. And so I left. It was hard and I’m still in the middle of questioning my decision. What happens now? How will I make ends meet? Have I just put myself back to Square One? I have a feeling, though, that my life has drastically changed directions. I said “no” to who I thought I was and “yes” to Who I Am. It really doesn’t get any better than that.
The unconscious mind is the prison where unwanted energies are locked up, not because they have to be but because we have been so imprinted by years of yes and no, good and bad. Having pondered Merlin’s words about being a jail keeper, Arthur went to him and said, “I don’t want to be this way. How can I change?” “Nothing easier,” said Merlin. “Simply see that you are playing both roles, jailer and jailed. If you are both sides of the coin, then neither must be you, for they cancel each other out. Recognize this and be free.” “I don’t know how,” Arthur protested. “How can I find this shadow self you speak of?” “Just listen. Like all prisoners, he is tapping messages on the wall of his cell.” – The Way of the Wizard by Deepak Chopra