Everyday Epiphany... New Month, Fresh Start

Remember how you used to feel as a kid at the beginning of a new school year? At the beginning of each month, I always get excited about the prospect of starting fresh. It's a great time to acknowledge what I've accomplished in the past month and set goals for the new one. As I woke up this morning, I thought about the goals I wanted to achieve in June and wrote down the activities I'll need to do in order to support those goals. How quickly that list can grow! I had to remind myself that I don't have to be Wonder Woman. I don't have to attack them all this month. It's important for me to enjoy the process of achieving my goals, and that means setting goals that are reasonable and attainable. After creating my list, I put on my Balance Bead and set my daily intention for balance: enjoy the fresh start of a new month and approach each activity with enthusiasm!

Everyday Epiphany… Appreciating the “Not So Terrible” Things

We know it’s important to appreciate the good things that come our way, but what about the not-great-but-not-so-terrible things? A few days ago, I got in a pretty bad car accident. Right now I’m lying in bed, typing with my left hand because my right arm has a nasty airbag burn. Yes, I’m struggling with aches and pains but I’m in one piece. Considering that it was a high-speed crash that resulted in a totaled car, that’s pretty fantastic, don’t you think?

It’s natural to get upset when things don’t go our way. It makes sense. But perhaps there’s a little bit of room to be grateful when things that end poorly could have ended a lot worse. Both drivers walked away from the accident. It could have ended differently. For that, I am grateful. As I deal with the tedious tasks that follow any accident, I’ll try to appreciate the fact that it’s really not so terrible.

Everyday Epiphany... Luck Plays a Part, But Not a Starring Role

I’ve been a voice actor for many years. As any actor can tell you, it’s easy to go long periods of time without booking any jobs. In those times, it’s really easy to doubt yourself and indulge the temptation to give up. Many do—believing they’ll never be “lucky” enough to book their dream role. I’ve been there a few times, but I’ve never gone ahead and actually thrown in the towel. I simply love the work too much.

A few years ago, I was going through one of these down spells. An audition came through and I almost didn’t submit it. I was extremely busy that day, my recording equipment was on the fritz, and there was a gardener hard at work outside my window. I remember thinking, “What’s the point? Why stress over getting this recorded? I’m not gonna book it anyway.” I recorded it only because I felt guilty. If my agents gave the audition to me, another one of their clients didn’t get it. I recorded it and hit send.

I bet you can guess what happened. I got the job. I was “lucky” enough to book a series regular role on a major new animated show. But what do you think? Was it really luck? In part, I think so. I was lucky that my recording equipment cooperated with me for a few minutes that day. I was lucky that the gardener outside the window needed a water break. I was lucky to have an agent who believed in me. But what about the fact that I got past my feelings of defeat and recorded that day? Well, that wasn’t luck. That was all me. 

I giggle a little inside when people tell me how lucky I am to be a working voice actor. I always respond with, “I’m very fortunate, and very grateful.” Because it’s not all luck, is it? Persistence plays a part. Hard work plays a part. Resilience plays a part. And then there’s Lady Luck in a supporting role.

Everyday Epiphany… Hearts Need Love, Too

February is National Heart Month! The American Heart Association suggests lots of ways to keep your heart in good shape: increase physical activity, follow a balanced diet, maintain a healthy weight, manage stress, and avoid tobacco. Great advice. I’d like to offer one more: do things that make your heart happy! Of course, that could mean different things to different people. To me, it means taking my dogs to the park or grabbing lunch with a girlfriend. Whatever “heart happiness” means to you, go ahead and pursue it! As you put on your Balance Bead today, set an intention to make your heart happy. :)


Everyday Epiphany… “Fail” is Not a Synonym for “Quit”

So often we beat ourselves up for quitting. For giving up on something. But as a wise friend recently reminded me, sometimes it takes a great deal of bravery to quit. A few months ago, I finally quit a work-related project I’d been pursuing for three years. About two years into the project, I knew it wasn’t going to result in success. But I refused to quit. That’s what we’re told is the noble thing to do, right? Never give up. But what if giving up is the right thing to do? If it’s the thing that will set us free from something that causes us stress, pain, or imbalance? For me, quitting the project was the right thing to do. And a few months after making the break, I can honestly say that quitting was the smartest thing I could have done. I feel free.

Perhaps going forward we can stop associating the word quit with the word fail, and begin associating it with the phrase let go