Season 2 – epiBLOG 11:
SEPTEMBER THEME – “TRANSFORMATION”
What we think about and visualize all day long tends to lead to our reality. Be sure to fill your minds up with something good before what you visualize backfires, and yes, attacks you. What do I mean by this? Don’t let negative thoughts, or a negative self-image, ruin what you really want for yourself.
We are all a work in progress. We have to remember that so that we avoid giving ourselves grief over things we’ve done or words that we’ve yelled out in anger, and so that we avoid not being so judgmental of others. All of us are always doing the best we can with the knowledge, understanding, and resources that we have available to us at any given time to fulfill some sort of need. I paraphrased this, but I heard it on a Jack Canfield Law of Attraction CD. When those words went straight from my head to my heart, I realized he’s absolutely right.
People are being their best at any given time, even if we disagree with what someone else’s potential or “best” can actually be. However, if we keep in mind that everyone is always doing their best during our interactions with them, maybe we would be a little more compassionate towards people. Maybe we would be more than willing to forgive ourselves for our own transgressions instead of holding on to guilt and shame.
VISION OF THE FUTURE… SUCCESS OF THE PAST
I constantly want to grow, to transform, into the best person that I can be at any given time. I get frustrated when I experience failure, beat myself up over mistakes, get annoyed when I feel judged, and angry when unfairly criticized. I’m human. However, I also feel that I’m a work in progress. And in keeping in alignment with the theme of transformation for this month, I would love to discuss the importance of (1) creating a Vision Board, as well as (2) to surround yourself with symbols of your past accomplishments. What does doing these 2 things do for you? It keeps you focused on the good that has happened and the good that you want to make happen in your life so that you can focus on being a successful artist. There is enough emotional “noise” and distractions in life. Focusing on them is only going to cause them to expand. Whatever you focus on the most, you will experience more of within your life. Why not focus on what you want?
RELEASE THE PAIN
As artists, we do pour our pains, frustrations, relationships, and experiences into our art. I know that I do. My first feature film Running On Empty Dreams that I wrote, produced, and directed was my “coming out” story. It was done with the intention of healing and releasing pains and transgressions, but turned out to be a reminder of who I am as a gay woman and what I want out of life. Sitting in the movie theater of my film’s premiere, holding the hand of my then-husband and realizing that I could never be the wife that he would need me to be, was life-changing. However, it was the strong visual of my words coming to life through the actors on that silver screen that showed me the path that I was supposed to be on. I needed my own film as a VISUAL REMINDER of who I am on the inside, at my core. Imagine what a vision board can do for you?
First of all, what is a Vision Board? It is basically a collage of images, drawings, pictures, and/or words that tell a visual story of what you want to achieve. The Vision Board can be as big as you want it to be in order to hang on a wall in your office or small enough to fit into an 8 ½ x 11 frame on your desk. It’s up to you. However, just understand the power of a visual image. I literally wrote and revised my script for years – of course in between working on other projects. I rehearsed with my actors weeks before production, and directed the film for about 23 days worth of shooting. And it wasn’t until I was sitting in the movie theater watching the visual culmination of our production team’s efforts play back to me on the big screen — in the biggest of vision boards ever – that I saw what I wanted shining back at me. I wanted to have a healthy and successful relationship with the one woman that I am to share my life with. And that’s what a Vision Board will do for you. It is not only a collage of what you want, but it is a reminder of what you desire when you’re living and working through each day filled with a variety of distractions.
So… continue to create your art by pouring your emotions into what you do. Don’t stop. Just understand that there are going to be moments when you’re going to question if you’re good enough or have what it takes to experience the success with your art that you feel you’ve earned, if you haven’t experienced these feelings already. It’s at these questionable moments when you need the visual reminders.
DUST OFF THE TROPHIES
Secondly, why keep symbols of your past successes around you? First of all, “symbols” can include certificate awards, a first place ribbon, degrees, trophies, medals, a copy of your completed book, a copy of your movie on DVD, an email from your boss appreciating your efforts and skills that helped accomplish a specific task on your job, etc. These are proven indicators that you do have what it takes to accomplish the things that you want because you’ve accomplished the things that you’ve wanted in the past. I have 2 of my Telly Awards and my Teaching Award sitting on an end table in my office. I also have my Master’s Degree where it’s constantly visible. These are reminders that I have been able to do what felt like the impossible in the past. These reminders give me the confidence I need to handle challenging obstacles that I’m facing currently.
I taught Effective Speaking for 3 years at the college level at the Art Institute of Phoenix. I loved it, and one of my favorite speeches to hear students share was the “My Greatest Accomplishment” speech. I would always tell students that the reason that speech is so important is because when you remember and celebrate your past accomplishments, you get the confidence to move forward and experience success in your career as an artist.
Today’s LESSON is to celebrate your past successes as you remain excited about all the good that is to come in your life.
FUN ASSIGNMENT: Create your very own vision board as big or as small as you would like it to be. You can get a poster board, cork board, or whatever works for you. If you draw well, this would be great to draw what you imagine achieving, experiencing, and/or having. Think about all of the things that you want out of life – for your career as an artist, financially, in your relationships, or even the places that you would like to travel to. What do you want? Only you can dig deep into your heart and pull these things out. You can also cut pictures out of old magazines that represent what you’re looking to achieve. Secondly, pull out any symbolic representations of YOUR success and strategically place them where you can see them daily. In your office, living room, or wherever. Place the vision board where you will also see it throughout your day as well. This will help you to remain focused.
RECOMMENDED READING: The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be