Mostly Beautiful -- How I Am Learning to Love Life
Good morning --
Fast post this morning to mark what I think was a turning point for me yesterday. There was a moment after work when I was walking uptown along Broadway from about Times Square until the mid 60s. On my right, I could see the treetops of Central Park. To my left, the big ball of sun was setting on the Hudson River. I was still in a lot of back pain from last weekend's injury (going to the chiro this morning, thank gd) but it felt good to walk after sitting at a desk all day.
What I started to feel was very peaceful and what I started to think is that I have it really, really good. One of the reasons I'm consistently practicing and teaching positivity is because of my tendency to feel dissatisfied in my life, as if nothing I have or do is really good enough. That second song's been with me a long time and sometimes I think it's hardwired. It is ingratitude laced with some regret threaded through a needle of fear and it completely takes me out of the moment.
So, while some people may start from a place of gratitude, acceptance and appreciation while working towards manifesting new career goals, a committed relationship with a soul mate partner, the kinds of friendships that make them happy, and whatever else their dream can hold, typically, for me, I start from a feeling of a sizable deficit or debt. It's not to say I have a hard time appreciating -- I am actually someone who finds deep, deep gratitude for moments -- but I've always felt inclined to criticize, as if easing into the moment fully with a reckless sense of satisfaction is wrong. Or, complacent. Or, something I can't exactly identify.
Yet, last night, as I thought about my very funny coworkers, the way I was able to get a chiropractor to see me in less than 24 hours to help my back, as I thought about the play I just worked on with the theater group Ticket 2 Eternity and the one coming up at Manhattan Rep, my trip to Italy I'm taking next month, buonnissimo, the happiness I felt eating "The World's Smallest Hot Fudge Sundae" at Heartland Brewery the other day, the Oprah Winfrey Master Class lesson on SURRENDER I just watched, how just being able to see, hear, feel, touch and taste this world through my sensitive senses is such a gift -- I could go on but for blog standards, I'll move on -- I felt very good. I felt very, very blessed.
I found out two days ago that a friend I knew from when I studied acting at the Bruce Ornstein Acting Workshop passed away in an accident at the young age of 30. Upon hearing this very sad, tragic news, I felt something inside of me shift. I thought of him and the energized, eccentric, talented, wonderful spirit he had, how he was always smiling in a mischievous way, and how missed he probably is right now. I thought of him on his bike. I realized he would've been perfect in my play as the bike messenger, actually, and these two words kept floating in my head:
I don't know what these words mean to me but they kind of sum up how I feel about life. Is is, mostly beautiful. In death and loss, hurt, deception, and gross mistakes or misjudgments, there is beauty, too. The least beauty, as far as I can tell, is in refusing to be open to life. In the shutting down and avoiding all that is happening inside and around us. That's where beauty gets snuffed out.
I think about relationships and people we spend time with -- how much we need each other to wake up. How we can enter into and out of connections with people, patterns, jobs, living spaces, characters, blogs (like this one) based on timing, yearning, openness, and need, yet, when the time is up, we can move on.
Moving on is mostly beautiful, too.
This morning's post is definitely a love song because I am in that kind of a mood. What good is living if you shut down the love in your life. I spoke to my dad yesterday about the odds of making it in The Business as an actress and writer. I tried to explain how I am choosing an attitude of faith over fear, that I use the numbers game as something to motivate me to be so good at my crafts that my success will be inevitable. This, as opposed to focusing on the dissuading argument of it-ain't-happening-for-me-not-in-this-time-no-way-no-how. I realized, that in many ways, we (my dad and me) are both singing a love song. His is love of self protection and not getting hurt. Don't dream too big or else you could end up crushed. Mine is a love song of a different variety. Open myself up fully to what I desire, do all I can to accomplish and allow it to unfold. Do my best to love the process. Different kinds of love songs, I guess, but love songs just the same.
Here is the Oprah video I mentioned earlier. It is SO powerful and really teaches how to let go and surrender to the moment. I am learning that through detachment and being in the flow of the moment, there is great FREEDOM. Oprah describes the process of loving and letting go so eloquently -- enjoy: