A YEAR OF COMMITMENT

January 26, 2009.

Tony’s New Year’s message to our acting studio earlier this month was about making this a year of commitment. He said that the inner/imaginative phase always comes first; that is, we are constantly refining who we are inside and becoming more of who we are meant to be and dreaming of what is possible. But once we are consistently in the waking-up space, where we know that we are meant to live and express in limitless ways, the next phase is to take action. Nothing can come of thoughts or dreams until they are acted upon.

The thing about action is that we often get stuck because we don’t know how something is going to happen. We want to know how to accomplish a feat before we even begin it. And the not knowing is what usually keeps us from trying at all. So Tony noted that we have ideas and hunches and callings but we shut them down and discount them with all of our reasons why not. However, it’s not our job to limit What Is or to interpret how something is going to happen. It’s our job to dream it, to believe in it, and then to take action, trusting that a way will appear- as it always does.

Another common method of discounting what is possible is to attach ourselves to how we think something “should” look. If we can relinquish the “shoulds” and stop looking for a linear unfolding of life, we can dwell in gratitude for what is and embrace it, taking joy in the crazy, spontaneous, hilarious ways the Universe brings us what we are looking for. Joy arises out of an acknowledgment that everything is already well. To accept that is to create an opening for all the rest of it- peace, opportunities, relationships, health, abundance- to come to us. It’s so easy in the middle of dark and difficult circumstances to dwell in hopelessness and defeat. It even makes sense to feel that way. But I’ve never been more empowered than in those instances when I felt I was at the end of everything and chose, in that moment, to feel joy anyway. It is possible and without fail that gratitude enabled a sense of well-being to take the place of my despair.

We humans want to know how things are going to turn out before we begin something. But the thing about commitment is that we can never know how it’s going to look until we’ve actually committed. Sometimes we won’t know for a very long time. That’s why this year’s Presidential election means so much. This is what the commitment of Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy, and so many millions of others looks like. Now we finally know.

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back– Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.

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