Changing For The Braver – Celebrate Each Act of Bravery

Laurie shows off a purple butterfly bracelet in the camellia forest
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I celebrated doing two brave things by buying this crocheted butterfly bracelet and visiting the camellias at Descanso Gardens

How Much Do You REALLY Celebrate Your Small Milestones?

This was a question my acting teacher asked us in class. The process of acting can be scary, thrilling, emotional. It takes risk to reveal yourself on stage (or on the mic). Each success is a victory. It should not be discounted. Each week I would have some new success in class, and the next week my teacher would ask,

Laurie, How did you celebrate?

I would look away, nodding, and changing the topic. I had heard of this advice before. In weight loss programs, in school, In every self-help book.

Celebrate small victories!

For me, making my bed in the morning is a victory. But I couldn’t see myself buying commemorative items for it. Every time I eat when I’m hungry instead of bored it’s a victory, but if I treated myself to a special tea or treat each time, I would soon be drinking and eating for celebration all day long and never get hungry again.

I can come up with zillions of excuses why it is STUPID to “have to celebrate” small victories.

Notice what I wrote there? HAVE to celebrate. Another chore in my mind has been added to my plate. The very idea of ME celebrating my own work/accomplishment/bravery is a chore in my tangled up compulsive mind. Don’t want another chore, so I don’t want to celebrate.

Wah? Crazy making. This is a hidden challenge I hadn’t let go of – mostly since I had no awareness of it. Besides being prone to negative and all or nothing thinking, which means I tend to teflon good comments away as BS while welcoming the slings and arrows of Zingers deep within, I had a wrong headed image that celebrating what I accomplish is a chore, not a joy.

Well this attitude would not fly with my excellent teacher. Last week she made a point that my acting would stall if I didn’t MAKE TIME AND SPACE, to even in a very small way, celebrate my victories. And I realized this was true in life as well as art. I NEEDED to learn to let in my own good thoughts about myself, my work and my bravery. Not for show, not for armor, not even for compliance to my teacher’s wishes. I needed to start being my own best friend, fan and mentor. I needed to learn how to show myself genuine love and appreciation so I would respond to these good feelings and grow in a positive way.

I don’t care how many good friends, loved ones or BCs we have, they cannot be there for every moment of our positive growth. As a teacher, I know that reinforcement works. Techers don’t have those gold stars for nothing! So the best way to reinforce our positive accomplishment is to get in the habit of acknowledging and celebrating each victory, large and small, ourselves.

I won’t lie, I find this challenging.

But I am determined to do whatever it takes to improve as an actor – even if it means being nice to myself!

(Just the fact I wrote that last sentence SHOWS how deeply my knee-jerk negativity habit is intrenched regarding my performance in art and life)

Celebrate, Celebrate, Dance to the Music!

Last week I did two brave things.

  1. I asked someone for help without apologizing for the inconvenience of me asking them.
  2. I tried for a voice acting job I want without talking myself out of it with excuses.

So I took myself to Descanso just to see the Camellias in bloom. While there I found the butterfly bracelet featured in the photo above. It is a knitted trinket. It didn’t cost very much, but the butterflies are a symbol of change. Each time I see them on my wrist I’m reminded, that I am

Changing for the Braver

And last acting class, I sang on stage.

Time for a diamond tiara of bravery!

Oh yah, I have that, Thanks Suz!

Stuffed Eeyore donkey toy wearing a tiara with the word BRAVE worked into it

My 50 year old Eeyore wears my BRAVE tiara which was a birthday gift from Suz. It is symbolic.

Might be to take it off Eeyore and wear it myself!

xoxoxoxoxoxo

Comments box:

9 thoughts on “Changing For The Braver – Celebrate Each Act of Bravery

  1. Dawny

    Oh my. I looooove that bracelet!!! Sooooooo cool. I’m not a HUGE fan of purple but love flutterbies. So nice.

    Proud of you for this phase of your life Laurie. And even more proud for your bravery and strength and posting about it, because after-all once it’s on the Internet……. Lol 😉

    Your certainly a driving force. It’s inspiring how you keep the tackle alive friend

    Reply
    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      LOL Dawny my friend, I guess purple is our one point of difference – it’s one of my fav colors. As to the internet, by now, it’s a bit too late to put anything back in the bottle for me. If folks like to hear about my foibles and how I overcome them, they like my work here. If not, they go elsewhere. But you do make an excellent point that you should not post what you don’t assume to be set in stone. 🙂 This particular work I posted because I was so surprised by realizing how resistant I am to celebrating, and wondered why. Once I figured it out, I thought it might resonate for someone else and help them feel more positive in their accomplishments too. Hence, worth the embarrassment of being vulnerable. xoxoxoxoxox

      Reply
      1. Dawny

        I was being a weeee bit festicious with my comment. As many people are convinced if they read it on the internet no matter what it is its real/true. lol

        Reply
          1. Dawny Taylor

            aaawwweeee.. such a love you are =-)

            maybe that’s why we get along so very well… because we are both so super awesome!

  2. Amy from WI

    Congrats to you! I do a similar thing. I acknowledge that I have done something worth celebrating, but the act of celebrating feels like too much work, so I rarely do it! Something for me to ponder on….

    Keep up the bravery 🙂

    Reply
    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Thanks Amy! You make my point for me. I wonder why it is work for you and me to take time to celebrate our achievements or little victories? A celebration needn’t be grand, but for me, even taking that moment to think about it seems “in the way” let alone performing an act of celebration. Sometimes I think I am very busy with other things, but mostly, I wasn’t used to prioritizing my success. I kind of felt success was a lucky accident, and would not be around long. This showed me my mindset still needs work. So thanks again for your thoughts and encouragement, it super helps and I appreciate it. xoxoxoxox

      Reply

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