The last 2 weeks have been incredibly full with a plethora of nonstop options for creative, organizational and personal evolution. Along with the great delights, highs and successes on that ride are the startling moments of coming face to face with my habitual behavioral patterns that crept in under stress and the fears that led me into the process in the first place.

The play has opened, after weeks of extraordinarily hard work by many, not least the actors whose physical presence on the stage each performance is the manifest expression of all the work over weeks. As the director my work is done except as needed for pickup rehearsals and to problem solve if necessary. So, with the work done there is time for reflection on the process – my process in particular.

The first awareness is that I am not as young as I once was! Thus I have the advantage of knowing what to do at any step of the process, almost without thinking. I am also able to listen to suggestions, accept advice and offers of support or specialty expertise when needed for the good of the show, without my ego being on the line.

The disadvantage of this current age is that I don’t bounce back from intense, sustained round-the-clock work as I used to! Since safely opening on Saturday I have been exhausted, surprisingly enough. At first I thought it was just physical but have come to realize that is also a tiredness from a deeper level of my being.

OK, so those of you who have been reading this blog and/or whom know me, have heard me say this over and over again, in a variety of forms for a last couple of years. I am ready and willing to step into my own work, bringing what I know into the world in a different form from past expressions.

In July last year I took a big step toward that, mounting a one-woman show, co-producing at two different theatre companies. The universe has steadfastly refused me the ease of slipping back into old modes. Any teaching, directing or creating in the ways I have done so successfully in the past have resolutely evaded my grasp.

Hindsight 20/20. A test came my way and I failed it. The opportunity to direct presented itself and I grabbed it from the old place of rescuing, neediness, ego-anxiety and disbelief in the present path. I said yes to something that I love to do but I didn’t sit at all with the question I know I will ask next time. Is this the right way to bring my work into the world now?

The tiredness I am feeling arises from the deep level of my soul. She is sighing and whispering to me. ‘Oh dear, yes you do love this kind of work, and it nurtures and invigorates, but How you do it must change. Trust your own skills and ability to find the people to support the work you want to do. Allow the universe to guide you. Listen!’

I have indeed been reminded that I can do this. I can direct a show under difficult demanding circumstances. I can paint and dress a set, costume and run tech rehearsals, coach and facilitate actors to their best work. I don’t need to keep proving that! What I do need is to walk into the unknown.

I had a little taste of that unknown, beginning with the one-woman show in July. Today an offer came with the possibility for a reading of the play that I wrote ten years ago and just recently decided to put back out in the world. At the end of the month I am meeting with some people who are interested in funding a remount of the one-woman show.

And The Personal Magic Book still sits, so close to finished, shelved as I went through the process of doing something that I can already do, at the expense of bringing to life that of which I am less certain. Publishing a book which unequivocally states my position in the world and what I have to offer is certainly something worthy of the kind of care and energy I gave to the play.

So why the rush to fill time with familiar old activity?

Because I don’t trust. I don’t believe. And I think that blindness maybe caused by fear. There is a wise old adage: We are often more afraid of success than of failure. What if the next door opens into a world that will mean a new career? Greater opportunity to work with others with that attendant responsibility? Can I do that?

The answer of course is Yes. The block is the anxious ego, crying nervously, ‘How big can I get?’ My Soul smiles and responds, ‘As big as the universe. It is yours to step into. It is your gift, path, responsibility and indeed your only option. Anything else will wear you out’.

Today I saw a quote from the Gnostic Gospels: ‘If you bring forth what is within you, what is within you will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what is within you will destroy you.’ Hmmmm. On top of today’s awareness as I emerge from this fog of exhaustion and as the universe offers me opportunities more in alignment with the unfamiliar but actual path before me, it positively shouts to me!

Remarkably, somehow my new personal relationship seems to have survived the burning force of all the raw time, energy, focus and, most of all, the misaligned balance in my spirit. The comfort and power of stepping back into the challenging, joyous world of collaborative, creative people and bringing a story to the stage, was not enough to ultimately balance the mis-step. Moving backwards with such velocity and force from, as it were, the pivotal point of moving forward, I threw myself out of alignment, a sort of spiritual whiplash!

The man who witnessed this, for the first time in his life seeing me in full creative theatre flight, was also acutely sensitive to the off-note harmony. While balancing his own response to this way of living with another, he managed to be both supportive of the work at hand, while preparing for the time after. This week he has generously not just provided me time and space to rest, as I sort through this experience, but practically ordered me to rest!

I loved the theatrical process, the storytelling, the courage and honesty of the actors, the magic of the tech people, and all those who worked to bring a text to life in the best possible way within the context of each production’s capacity. I felt the power and the joy of working so closely with individuals, giving it away to the lights and the audience, knowing here is work well done, and knowing that it did not belong to me.

I also felt a little adrift, as if the shore to which I have been rowing for so long was receding rather than coming closer.

It is little wonder I am tired. The tension of being pulled both forward and back, the familiar and very real joy in the work combined with an uneasy feeling of being in the wrong place, not to mention driving almost 100 miles a day for weeks, certainly gets the attention of even the most stubbornly resistant!

So looking ahead to the new manifestation of that power and joy, I will embrace the fear of unknown, accept the responsibility of the gift I have to empower others and I will say yes to the universe that wishes to assist that. I will also say yes and thank you to the individuals who come my way with offers of rest, support, wisdom and love.

Easing through the opening doorways, I will pay attention the alignment of Spirit with my worldly expression in the world. The time it had taken to acknowledge and recover from the whiplash of the last ill-advised leap has also enabled me an open view of where I am headed. So, thank you to the opportunity seized, the care lavished upon me and the gifts glimmering on my horizon. My back is straight and my vision clear, body, mind and soul realigned!

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