This afternoon, I’m writing you from an airplane between New Mexico and Maine. I’m on my way to direct Cidny Bullens’ solo show: “Somewhere Between: not an ordinary life” in Portland. This is the fourth run of the show we’ve done so far. The show is generating a lot of excitement for many reasons. First of all, it’s a fantastic, multi-layered show. It’s getting raves from audiences and press alike. Secondly, last week, it received an endorsement from Sir Elton John. Elton is a friend of Cids’ and plays a pivotal role in his life and in the story of his life.
When BIG things happen and happen quickly, it is easy for us to become lost in projection about the future. All of a sudden, life picks up the pace and can feel overwhelming. Energy starts to converge from many directions. Fast decisions have to be made. More work is suddenly on your plate.
And, sometimes, when the hoopla passes, you will find yourself directing a Broadway run of a major show. And sometimes, you will find yourself exactly where you started before the “big quote” and “offers” came rolling in. You’re playing small theaters, teaching wonderful clients and writing 365 day blog posts to friends and creative community all over the world.
I have no idea how the next step of this particular chapter will play out for Cid or for me. And, that is exactly the place I need to be standing in, to move forward with joy and grace, whatever happens. I already love my life and my work and am aware that I am lacking nothing. This is new for me. And I’m extremely grateful to have integrated the lessons and maturity to not attach my hopes of happiness to any outside event that may or may not come to pass.
My deep learning over decades: do the work for the sake of the work. Write because you love to write. Teach because you love to teach. Perform because you love to perform. Tell stories because you love to tell stories.
Luckily, at this point in my career, I’ve been around the block enough to know to do the work because it is my own soul’s journey. It is part of my job as an artist and facilitator of other artists/creative folk, to let go of all outcomes.
Once, I directed one night in an Off-Broadway theater. Once, my work was featured in Oprah’s Magazine. Once, I got a book deal. The book was published and I was on NPR. These are things you can read in my bio.
What’s not in my bio was the million-dollar deal for me to co-produce and direct Off-Broadway two years ago. The deal fell apart after the celebratory dinner with the key investor. I thought I was receiving a $200,000 check the following day. Communication between my investor and co-producer went awry and faster than you could say “
When big energy comes knocking, when you’re on the cusp of seeing that a long term creative project might just take an exponential leap, here is my advice:
Get out of bed. Do your writing practice. Call a friend. Take a walk. Eat well and drink a lot of water. Stick close to good friends who both support you completely and have the bandwidth to keep you grounded. It’s chop wood and carry water time.
And, show up and do your work. Let go of attachment to the outcome. If it’s meant to happen it will. If it’s meant to happen in one week, or one year or ten years, it will.
In the meantime, understand that whatever happens, you are whole and intact. Wholeness is your core.
Success and failure and everything in between will come to you, over and over, in many forms, if your life is devoted to your full creative and artistic expression.
Dream BIG, and work to make those dreams come true. And when those dreams start manifesting, receive them with open and loving arms, but also with the awareness, that life can change directions at any moment.
Stay in yourself. Let go of outcomes. Be open to surprises without giving your power over to anything, no matter how grand it may appear.
Let it be.