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Posts Tagged ‘yes’

Tis the season for self reflection, goal setting, and let’s admit it, jealousy and competition. Whether we are talking about sibling rivalry flaring up at holiday functions, competition for bonuses at work, wondering why we didn’t get invited to that holiday party, or are our own worst enemy in the goal-setting and self-reflection department; the green-eyed monster is as evergreen as that needle-shedding star holder we put up each year.

I like to think that my experiences in open relationships prepared me to foresee and handle my envy in a healthy and constructive manner.  But the truth is, I can suddenly find myself seething with the angry-hating-blaming-scathing-gossiping-fearful bullshit as much as anyone.  And being currently devoid of lovers, or even wanting to enter into monogamy (gasp) doesn’t give me a free pass.  Instead, as we approach the end of the year, I find my jealousies bubbling up around my art instead.  Do you want the bare-naked, ugly truth of what’s been happening in my head?  Ready or not, here it is:

Why is this or that person more successful than I am?  Why haven’t I won any awards lately? (Besides the fact that I haven’t entered any competitions??)

Why is it so much easier for that person to master that move that I’ve been struggling with for years? (Have you actually been focusing all of your energy on that move?)

Why is that person thinner than me, when I work out so much? (Because they are them, and they are you.  A little self acceptance please!)

Why is it so hard for me to commit to a weekly writing schedule?  Or finish the freaking book I’ve been working on for a decade? And why is that person who can’t even spell properly getting published? (Let’s look a little more honestly at your time commitments, shall we?)

Why was that person offered that job/gig that was half-promised to me, or that I feel like I suggested/inspired?  (Uh, did you even really want that job? Was it really promised to you? Did you really deserve it?)

If only I had regular access to a studio (and/or a car), I could polish and choreograph the ideas that I have more easily.  I’d have more time, more energy, be able to make more money.   IT’S NOT FAIR! (If it’s not working, you’ll need to figure out a new solution.  Time to start saving for a car…)

And even, yes, why is dating suddenly such a barren, non-existent thing in my life? What’s wrong with me? At least I used to just have trouble keeping a partner, now I can’t even get a date? (Do you even want to date?  Do you have time?)

Jealous Cat

For me, the end of the year is about looking back at what I’ve learned and forward to what needs to happen next.  This inevitably involves some self comparisons to people that have accomplished more, less, or specifically what I wish I had, in the past year.  I spent a glorious evening last week wallowing in my envy and self-pity.  It felt good like hot dogs and macaroni and cheese feel good.  Like a comforting, unhealthy indulgence.  And then the defeated, depressed hangover kicks in.  And luckily, my experiences confronting jealousy on the dating playing field, and a little kick in the ass from my best friend who got sick of listening to my whining, came in helpful after all.

The realizations that I came up with in delving into my artistic career path insecurities is remarkably identical to what I’ve encountered before in romantic situations.  Jealousy seems to come from 3 emotional sources: Fear, Envy, or Defeat.  Which, looking deeper, means it signals 1 or more of 3 things: That you care about something or someone deeply; that you aren’t on the right path to get, or are not being clear about whatever it is that you want; or that something about your current tactics/habits isn’t working.

For my artistic journey, identifying what of these factors is triggering each jealousy has cleared the way to better planning, scheduling, and goal setting overall.  First, that while I think that I want certain jobs/gigs, they may actually not be right for me, and even be a hinderance on my overall broader goals.  What I’m really wanting is the acceptance of my peers when being considered for a job.  For instance, right now I have exactly the right balance of teaching and creating that I need.  What I need is a little more time to work on my personal projects, without abandoning the work that I do with my troupe.  It would also seem that I want an artistic partner-the right artistic partner-someone who inspires me to work harder and who I can communicate well with, and who commits to meeting and working with me at an equal level.  Without examining what exact aspects of being passed over for certain jobs was making me jealous, I wouldn’t have been able to come up with clearer goals and needs moving forward.  Nor would I be able to realize that I don’t even want some of the jobs I’m jealous of, in order to focus on working harder to get the ones that I do want.

Next, I needed to realize that if I’ve been working on something for a long time and its not coming together, then something in my approach obviously needs to change.  Perhaps I need to be honest with myself about how much effort and commitment I’m actually putting towards what goals and re-prioritize.  Maybe I need to be a little gentler with myself in the realm of how much one person can realistically accomplish in what amount of time.  Or you know, I could ask some experts for help and guidance.  Probably all of the above wouldn’t hurt.  Without examining this area, I wouldn’t have been able to come up with a new game plan and I wouldn’t have the excitement and fresh inspiration of the new challenge that I’m taking on for 2014 (I know, you can barely wait to hear more, right?).  I’d still be defeated and self-pitying, eating mac and cheese with my cat.

Finally, I may need a certain amount of patience.  Like when I sit wondering why I haven’t been asked on a date for a whopping two months (seriously, that seems so long!), I have to admit that I didn’t want to be.  I hate the institution of dating.  I like meeting people naturally, being friends, hanging out, getting to know each other.  But, I’m working on my art right now, which involves more alone time, physical work and exhaustion, and self reflection than hanging out drinking and socializing.  And I’m loving the friendships that I’m building that are about training and creating more anyways.  So, “yes” Envy, thanks for coming over to visit and all, but you can take your leave now.  I need to get back to work.

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Today, I had the pleasure of reading some wonderful “Yes” reminders from one of my favorite blogging mentors, Danielle LaPorte, and I wanted to share it with you, fellow “yes-ees”. Enjoy!

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The goodbye note read thus,
“Everything I touch turns to ash.
The taste of me grows rancid in your mouth.
And mine.”

The darkness returned to reign.
Old fantasies of razors slicing into thin, delicate, spiderweb veins,
blurred with reality.

Others’ hatred mirrored my own, more profound dis-ease.
One man’s cruel words and one man’s unconditional love danced a waltz around my melting mind and will.

Perhaps the rancid me I taste, is not me.
Identities and hiding places are painfully shed.
They do not go easily into that goodnight.
I do not go easily into that bright light.

It burns, scars, pushes back, spits on me.
Life asks, “is this what you really want?”

Sometimes I say yes, sometimes scream no.
But stumble forward.
Feinting with my useless words, my actions answer for me.

“Yes.”

And every once in awhile, I remember that my vulnerability is my strength.

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Well, there’s no getting around it, I’m behind on posting. The only excuse I can offer is that saying “yes” makes you pretty darn busy. Plus it’s South by South West here in Austin. If you don’t know what that is, let’s put it this way, when the live music capital of the world decides to throw a music festival, people show up. Innovators, film makers, corporations, and musicians known and unknown, but pretty universally bad ass, fill the streets downtown with music.

For my part, I’ve decided to say “yes” to whoring myself out for corporate promotion. Despite the very nice paychecks involved in promotional work this month, I should confess my disappointment at taking this work.  I need the money after a move across the country, very much so.  But I was convinced that I’d land a performance gig for SXSW.  Since I didn’t, despite some valiant guerilla approaches to event spaces and a couple of musicians themselves, I took my actual income producing opportunities with a sigh and an open-minded “yes.”

And, in just a few short weeks, I’ll have modeled for Treaty Oak Photography (and a Burning Man costume maker), represented the city of Austin, the movie Spring Breakers, Ray Ban, and Reese’s at the MTV Woodie Awards. And I’ll walk away with $1000+, a motorcycle license, more reusable bags than I’ll ever need, a bellyache from too much chocolate, more new portfolio photos, having seen Tegan and Sara live, and hopefully this sweet pair of Ray Ban Wayfarers.  Oh, and I guess I’m in a commercial this Sunday at 8pm during the MTV Woodie Awards.

Spring Breakers Promo

Spring Breakers Austin Premier

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Spring Breakers Austin Premier, South by South West in Pussy Riot-esque Unicorn Ski Mask

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Ray Ban’s Envision Campaign, South by South West, with Square205

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Ray-Ban’s Envision Campaign

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http://www.SockItToMe.com, Best Socks Ever!

www.thebos.co, Reese's and MTV Woodie Awards, loved Tegan and Sara!

http://www.thebos.co, Reese’s and MTV Woodie Awards, loved Tegan and Sara!

More importantly, brand ambassadorship and promotional modeling are becoming the perfect freelance work for a busy performer and writer, with very few bars or nightclubs involved!  It’s mostly laid back and fun (with a noticeable correlation between high pay/respect/fun and low pay/disrespect/shit gig), and it turns out: a pretty sweet way to learn about marketing myself as well.

Catch me on the streets of Austin today and tomorrow (in costume), representing the Fire Trapeze and yours truly!  Follow me on Twitter and tweet @Erinina or #FireTrapeze today or tomorrow and I’ll be giving one lucky tweeter a copy of my Fire and Circus arts and writings book for free!  Afterall, if I’m not willing to give as much energy to self promotion as I do for a 1-3 day gig for some already rich corporation, then who should?

So what else have I been saying “yes” to? Well, it seems only appropriate during the live music festival of the year, to mention that I’m saying “yes” to music in my life.  I started a morning singing ritual back in the Happiness Project, making up silly songs for Evie, mostly. And that habit seems to have blossomed into full on singing at any and all times of the day. So, probably that means I’m saying “yes” to looking like an idiot most of the time too. C’est la vie. <=^.^=>

I’m also learning to play the violin/fiddle, thanks to a handsome music man here in Austin.  The violin (which I’ve always loved) and a handsome musician is pretty good motivation to do well in my world.  ;)  So far I can play an A scale and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.  Look out Julliard, here I come.  Soon I’ll also have my clarinet back from storage, and I’d better start practicing because friends are asking me to play.  We’ll see how fast I can overcome 15 years off of regular practice.

I guess the point is, that I didn’t realize how much New York had dampened my love for music until I arrived here. You couldn’t beg me to go to see live music in NYC. Seriously, I’m pretty sure my girl Liz literally begged me on a number of occasions. The prospect filled me with shuddering visions of dark, cramped loft spaces with too many drunk kids with attitudes puking in the bathroom and spilling their beer on you while they attempted to grind on your ass if you dared to actually dance.  Jump to Texas, where they actually ask you to dance (and it’s the two-step, or even better, the two-step with a dubstep/hip hop beat), and everyone dances and laughs and it’s beautiful outside.  This part I like about Texas.  It’s hard not to imagine music coming back into my life here.

Classical Music Mugs at www.cafepress.com

Classical Music Mugs at http://www.cafepress.com

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So, thanks to 29toLife, for offering this challenge on their blog, which according to the year of “yes,” I now must accept.  The challenge: Replace 5 bad habits with 5 good habits for one week and report back the results.  Okay, doesn’t sound so hard right?

Yeah, well…if it were easy, I probably wouldn’t have these bad habits in the first place right?  Okay, so let’s see.  It’s Monday…beginning of the week…so what should we work on this week?

Bad Habit 1: Snapping at my boyfriend, Replacement Habit: Complimenting him

Bad Habit 2: Drinking wine to relax at night, Replacement Habit: Deep, contortion stretching

Bad Habit 3: Not answering the phone, Replacement Habit: Answering the phone

Bad Habit 4: Judging people on first impressions, Replacement Habit: Say hello to people, smile

Bad Habit 5: Spending on, or acquiring stuff I don’t need, Replacement Habit: Donate, throw away or trade something everyday, remove one bag of stuff from storage unit

This is, of course, in addition to my new ‘schedule’ of working (writing/looking for jobs) every weekday morning/afternoon and training my body daily.  Otherwise known as spending a FT schedule on my art and seeing what happens, since I don’t have a job yet anyways. ;)

Alright. See you this weekend guys!

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