Season 3 – epiBLOG 6:
HAPPY ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY to The UnCloseted Professor Blog! This blog has provided entrepreneurial artists with professional and self-help tips and advice to keep them moving forward for the past 12 months! Thank you to all of my loyal subscribers and visitors who have made the first year a success!
The actual anniversary of the blog is Thursday, February 9, 2017, but we are celebrating ALL WEEK LONG! Please feel free to LIKE and leave comments on the Nitara Osbourne Fan Page. Tell us what you like about the blog, how its helped you in moving forward, and what you would like to see in the near future!
Now… back to business…
I learned a lot over the past year of writing this blog. I learned a lot about myself. The world. And others. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be an ongoing process of discovery, but through reading the book The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, I’ve begun to see how I’ve been holding myself back. So, in this anniversary edition of The UnCloseted Professor Blog, I would like all of you to briefly reflect on the past 12 months of your life.
Don’t judge the year, but rather just acknowledge events that have happened. I’ve learned that once we attach our feelings to events that we begin to judge whether something is “good” or “bad.” It’s human nature to “hate” losing a game of hide-and-go-seek at recess time in elementary school. To “hate” receiving an “F” on a research paper on Abraham Lincoln in History class. Or perhaps to feel “inadequate” when passed over for a promotion on a job that we’ve been on for five years.
Yes, we are artists… but we still all bleed, cry, and have real feelings.
Nevertheless, just humor me… reflect on the past 12 months without using any negative or positive adjectives in your head, and then bring your full attention into this exact moment RIGHT NOW. You can even stop reading — JUST MOMENTARILY — and just think about what your life IS at this exact moment and who you ARE without judging yourself.
Take five minutes to do this… and then come back…
Today’s topic is on being clear on how you identify yourself.
What I realized is that I do identify myself by how much money I make or don’t make, by getting positive feedback from my student evaluations when I teach a college course, by the home that I live in, the successes of my son in college, my past awards, my degrees… Those are all very wonderful parts of my life, but are they truly me? I’ve defined myself by all of those things – and many others, like my failures, and I didn’t even realize that I was doing this until just recently. I mean, as recently as the past seven days.
By holding onto past failures, I internally justify why certain endeavors are not moving forward. Really, it’s like I’ve been hiking through my entire adult life, and with each failure I’ve been placing the results of my failures in my backpack. I’ve been doing this for 20 years, so I’m sure you can imagine how heavy this has gotten on my shoulders and lower back. What’s in the backpack? Bitterness, anger, frustration, subconscious narrow-mindedness, victim-hood, even though I’ve never seen myself as a victim in life. I’ve always seen myself as too ambitious to make excuses to be a victim. What I realized is that some of our identities are caught up in being the person that struggles to win instead of the person that simply wins.
Remove the dead weight from your backpacks. They are just sitting in there like big, ugly rocks that you never needed to collect in the first place, slowing you down from reaching your goals.
Because I’m not a quitter, I keep moving forward, but with every failure I’ve added another heavy belief or negative emotion to my backpack that make the hike towards success that much harder and annoying. Positive people always say it’s great to enjoy the “journey,” but if your journey involves a heavy backpack of negativity and what seems like a perpetual walk towards a goal that seems to move further back as you move closer to it, there isn’t anything to enjoy.
Remember to focus on who you are right now within this moment. Artists can oftentimes overthink things or believe that the successes that they are wanting to experience will never come to fruition. Ask yourself: who do you identify yourself as? The author who has had their book rejected 367 times… the actor whose demo reel has been overlooked a hundred times? The comedian that’s been booed out of 75 comedy clubs in one year?
Maybe learn to separate who you are at your core from the events and experiences that you have. I believe this is exactly what will keep you grounded when you experience events that you perceive to not be pleasant.
Today’s LESSON is to identify yourself based upon who you are at your core, and not on the things that you had or have yet to acquire.
FUN ASSIGNMENT: Every time you obsess about the great life that you will have in the future or feel guilty or regretful of something that you did in the past, force your mind to think about what your life is like at this exact moment — at any given moment. The purpose is to avoid letting the past hinder you from moving forward and from keeping the future from not allowing you to enjoy the present.
RECOMMENDATIONS: Read The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle