Season 3 – epiBLOG 10:
Control. No, this isn’t a throw-back to an ‘80s Janet Jackson hit or album. This is about how we force our wishes, desires, and wants on situations that we would like to see changed. How many of you have ever been disappointed in your life? Everybody has at one point or another, right? If you happen to be one of the lucky bastards that have not experienced disappointment, live long enough and you will.
You know those crazy moments when you thought you nailed that math test only to find out a week later that you received a “D-.” Or that time you thought you were going to get the contract to cater five Hollywood parties, and then your one open door closed suddenly by backing out of the deal altogether at the last minute. Or you thought you were going to get the lead in a paid independent film because you knocked the casting director’s socks off during the audition only to find that they went with someone else. Disappointment settles in. You question your talents and abilities, and hopefully you pick yourself up and continue to move forward.
The alternative is death to your career as an artist.
Today’s topic is on letting go of situations that you have absolutely no control over in order to find the success that you choose to have.
This is a lesson that I’m currently learning myself. See, I have a tendency to want things to be a certain way because I like to be responsible. I like my bills paid, enough money coming in at all times in order to make that happen, and to follow through on promises that I’ve made to people, even when it is beyond my control.
If you are an entrepreneurial artist, you can’t always control the outcome of your finances. Maybe you didn’t get the writing contract. Maybe you weren’t able to get your artwork in a gallery. Maybe they didn’t hire you as a graphic designer to design their t-shirts and posters.
The thing is, we don’t know why certain things don’t happen when we want them to happen. This is where some of us give up altogether and simply quit. This isn’t a good idea because all of the hard work that you’ve already put into your endeavor was for nothing.
Others are stubborn enough to keep forcing the square peg into the round hole because we just don’t understand why it’s simply not fitting. We just want it to fit. This is also not a good approach into getting what you want. This leads to frustration and anger, and is confused with being “persistent.” The edges of the square peg shouldn’t have to be forced through only to leave newly formed jagged edges from being shoved into the round hole. Recognize that it just doesn’t fit. In the recent past I’ve tended to be stubborn enough to force things that weren’t working, which only led to me being frustrated.
It’s better to take a step back, take a deep breath, and genuinely – SINCERELY – accept your situation for exactly the way it is without trying to change it. Not only will you experience personal growth, but you will also begin to see the solution that you had been kicking and screaming for long ago.
I’m sure many of you heard the Serenity Prayer on television shows or movies when there is an alcoholic or drug addicted character who has made their way to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.
It goes a little something like:
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” (Reinhold Niebuhr)
First of all, I’m not religious by any stretch of the imagination. Plus, every time I would hear this in a movie, it didn’t do anything for me. However, while reading The Sedona Method by Hale Dwoskin, the quote seemed to be placed within a context that was clear and finally resonated with me.
By letting go of the things that we can’t change right now, we are freeing up our minds to focus on solutions instead of holding onto what we don’t have. Holding on keeps us in a constant state of wanting something instead of actually just getting it.
When you really look at the moment that is in front of you, you will find something that is amazing about your life. Whatever that is… whatever that may be for you… that is exactly what you need to focus on. Will this be hard to do? Yeah, it will be at first. I’m just asking you to focus on everything that is going “right” in your life at this exact moment. Doing so will put you in a better mood, which will clear your mind to look for solutions to get what it is to change your situation and circumstances.
I’m not promising that this will be an easy process, but it is very doable. You just have to be willing to be open-minded. If someone as stubborn as I am can open her mind, so can you.
Today’s LESSON is to be open to accepting what you cannot change within this moment and to focus on all that is right within this moment. Clarity and solutions will come to you.
FUN ASSIGNMENT: Apply Chapters 6 and 7 from The Sedona Method in your life for the next seven days and see what changes you experience in your life and/or career.
RECOMMENDED READING: The Sedona Method by Hale Dwoskin