Bonnieby Bonnie Katz, MA

Let’s Fall In Love

For some, the month of February is one of excitement, while for others, it signifies a time of dread. This range of emotions can be attributed to Valentine’s Day. A time when we are reminded of that four-letter word… LOVE. For those not in a romantic relationship, disappointments of all kinds can be unleashed. Instead of going down that futile, self-critical road, take a few moments to read what I have written and I promise to give you something that will last longer than any dozen scentless red roses.

Valentine’s Day can be a special reminder not just of romantic love but of two other kinds of important love: love of what you do and love of who you are. Here are some thoughts on how to fall in love with your own life.

Start by thinking about what you have chosen to do with your life. If you’re reading this article, you are most likely an actor/artist.  Your profession should give you a sense of meaning and purpose in life. It drives you to get up in the morning and it motivates you to find a way to connect to your craft.  I remember walking in the streets of downtown New York one cold winter day and watching a young man drumming on a set of plastic pails as if they were a set of drums.  He didn’t let the fact that they were only plastic pails stop him from doing what he loved to do.  He didn’t wait for a set of drums to come into his life, he just made it happen with what he had.  He was connected to his  passion and need to create music.  Do you feel that way about acting?  If not, then maybe you need to examine your motivation and choice in wanting to be an actor.

Once you have done some soul searching and are sure that acting gives you a sense of purpose in life, then you must take the steps to nurture your love so that it will thrive.

  • Seek inspiration and mentors for the times when your efforts are worn down by rejections and disappointments.
  • Learn to feed your love with a steady balanced diet of discipline and freedom. Work hard but know when to let go and play.  Creativity needs room to breathe.
  • Your body and mind are the essential instruments of an actor.  Take good care of them they will take good care of you.
  • Develop strategies of resilience in order to handle the struggles that will inevitably appear. When the actor, Raymond Burr (IronsidePerry Mason) was asked if he wasn’t a successful actor what would he want to be? His answer was, “An unsuccessful actor.” He was ready for anything in order to do what he loved.
  • Get creative in handling your anxiety and fear so they don’t chip away at your drive and determination. When you’re anxious about how you will pay your rent next month, use the anxiety to propel you into finding creative ways to sustain yourself.
  • Find new ways of viewing your predicaments that will encourage personal growth. When you hit a bump in the road, rather than saying why me, ask yourself what you can learn from your experience.

Now that you are clear about your purpose in life and know how to protect and nurture it, you must focus on the most important aspect of this love affair, the love of yourself. To fall in love with your life, you must first feel entitled to be happy. Here are some ways to start learning how to love yourself.

  • Have the courage to know and embrace every part of yourself, even the messes. Work at bringing light to all the parts of yourself that you want to run away from.
  • Learn mindful meditation, seek support groups or find spiritual ways to learn self-awareness.  When you are aware of your difficulties and learn how to handle them, they won’t get in the way of your success.
  • Forgive yourself for your mistakes and know that you are not alone,everyone makes mistakes. We can’t live this life that we are given without messing up every once in awhile.
  • Practice good self-care and I don’t mean getting facials. It means making good choices that lead you towards happiness and self-fulfillment.
  • Put your energy towards knowing and accepting who you are rather than trying to figure out how to become someone else. “Until you make peace with who you are, you’ll never be content with what you have.” -Doris Mortman.
  • Don’t give away your power by working hard trying to get others to accept you. It’s more important that you accept yourself.
  • If you didn’t get all the love, security and caring you needed at the start of your life, work to give it to yourself now. “I am not what happens to me, I choose who I become.” -Jung
  • Your goal is to learn how to hold yourself in the way a mother holds her child, with unconditional love. When you can do that, you have accomplished the arduous task of loving yourself.

All of these steps require hard work, but are an important and necessary process of creating a fulfilling and happy life. You have the power to turn a life of just getting by into a love affair.

“Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and
kiss the ground.” – Rumi.

Wishing you a very Happy Valentine’s Day.

I am pleased to announce

The Conscious Actor Workshop Series

in collaboration with IRT Theatre

in New York City on Saturday, March 10th 2012

Please join me from 10-2pm where you will

  • Learn how to handle and work through the fear and anxiety that actors face.
  • Build self-confidence for auditions and performances.
  • Learn mindful meditation skills to help you perform from a place of strength and ease.
  • Receive a custom made Conscious Actor Journal.

 


Bonnie Katz is a licensed psychotherapist in private practice. One of her specialties is working with artists in the Entertainment Industry. Her skills and training as a psychotherapist and mindful meditator enable her to work with clients in an atmosphere of warmth and understanding. For more information on Bonnie’s psychotherapy practice, visit her website.Follow her on Twitter and Facebook

Conscious Actor articles are not a substitution for professional psychotherapy.

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