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.
- I asked someone for help without apologizing for the inconvenience of me asking them.
- 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!
Might be to take it off Eeyore and wear it myself!