take time to reflect
Happy Wednesday! On Monday I wrote a post called “love is an open door.” It’s already been an interesting couple days since Monday’s blog, including a class at SoulCycle taught by a friend of mine, as well as a fitting yesterday for the show “Teachers,” which I am working on today. And as Monday is Christmas, this post will be a little longer than the usual Wednesday write-up since I will be taking Christmas off from the blog!
I wrote on Monday about how I’m in love with my puppy, and it’s been eye-opening in a number of ways. It can be easy to get so caught-up in what you’re doing, the goals you’re trying to accomplish, and the number of commitments you hold to your friends, colleagues, and family that it’s so important to remember to practice self-love, self-compassion, and self-forgiveness. Squaring out some “me time” everyday to make sure you’re doing something you love solely for yourself. For example, I recently finished knitting myself a scarf!
What was the last thing you did solely for yourself that was separate from any sort of job/work/community-related activity? At any given moment in time, a person is juggling many roles in his/her life - many of which form a network of interpersonal relationships. But what is something you’ve specifically done just for yourself?
I had a conversation the other day with my Mom about my little brother and his tendency to make a mistake and say things like, “I’m so dumb.” My Mom and I are similar in a lot of ways. We’re extremely protective of those we care about the most; it’s one of the best qualities she gave me. That’s why I couldn’t help but laugh when she told me about my little brother. We had the same reaction. It’s so important to remember that making one dumb choice does not make you dumb and that making a mistake does not make you a bad person. If you feel no remorse, that might be something worth looking into, but that slight pang of remorse you feel shows that you are aware of the mistake, can forgive yourself for it, and can move forward with the knowledge to not make that same mistake again. Anything longer than remorse and self-forgiveness turns into guilt. Catholics know a thing or two about that (though I’m the first to admit that I do not self-identify as a practicing Catholic, I also admit to the fact that I grabbed my Rosary when the wildfires started, and, yes, it comforted me).
It’s so important to latch onto a growth mindset. Many people I know have told me “I’m just X” or “I’ll always have X,” which makes me sad because they’re robbing themselves of the choice to believe that they can get rid of those negative things holding them back. Some people like to chock it up to me being a person who has faith in people and in life in general, and yes, I do. I believe there’s good in everyone and that sometimes people just need to be reminded of it.
Growth is a matter of coming into your own and choosing to believe in yourself based on your own terms (and often based on the own evidence of your growth you’re ignoring). But aside from my belief in spiritual connectedness, I also enjoy science. I recently posted a Facebook status about going on an adventure to Scotland to find Nessie. It’s funny because I know some people probably think “That’s dumb. Doesn’t she realize Nessie isn’t real?” These people have sticks up their butts. Of course I don’t think Nessie is real in the physical sense. But that’s not the point. The point is that people have the ability to use their minds to create outside their immediate frame of reference. Before JK Rowling wrote Harry Potter, it didn’t exist. Of course we don’t all fly around on broomsticks and play quidditch, but how amazing it is that someone took a chance and just started writing about this incredible, magical world. The human brain has such a powerful tool called ‘imagination’ that people could start using for their own benefit. Not everyone is going to write the next great series, but people could learn to rewire their brains for more positive thoughts about themselves and their abilities!
If you keep a fixed mindset, you’ll come up with a million reasons to hold yourself back. If you adopt a growth mindset, however, your entire world will open up to new possibilities. Think about the initial trip to the moon. People thought it was insane, but look how far we’ve come since then. It helps to look back and see how far you’ve come in the areas you love the most. I write about it when it comes to improv all the time. I’m not the meek, shy performer I once was who made up her first UCB 201 Solo Song about how she hated talking about herself. I’m now someone who likes to openly make up songs about poop and isn’t afraid to go for dark humor during sets. If you’d asked me when I first moved to LA four years ago if I thought I’d be performing musical improv on a regular basis, I probably would’ve laughed in your face because it wasn’t even on my radar. But I kept an open mind, took a class, and now I can’t imagine my life without it!
Have you really taken the time recently to reflect back on how far you’ve come? Now’s the perfect time of year, while you’re surrounded by loved ones, to really take note of all the times you messed up but still chose to move forward, the times you thought you couldn’t do something and then proved yourself wrong, the times you jumped with no net and figured it out on the way down, and the times you really felt deep emotions. And as far as the haters are concerned, the trip to Scotland isn’t about finding Nessie. With me, it’s not about trying to find some fictitious being (although the jury’s still out!); it’s about the fun trip exploring the countryside and meeting the locals along the way.
Thank you so much for reading, and, as always, if you have any pressing questions or if you want to discuss something further with me, please subscribe below, follow me on Instagram or Twitter, or reach out to me on the “contact” page. I’m so grateful you're here and that I’ve been getting a lot of really challenging questions and even better feedback from a community all over the world. I couldn’t do this without you! So THANK YOU! I’m here for you, and I love hearing from you, too! You’re the best, and you have everything you need inside of you! Please believe it! Starve your ego, feed your soul - and follow your heart!
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