Today is day 2 of Deepak Chopra and Oprah’s 21 Day Meditation Challenge and it focuses on karma. I sat down to meditate feeling more excited than I have in months. See I haven’t been totally up front with you. Maybe you read my first post and despite my laundry list of past life disasters I seemed to have it all together today. WRONG. OK now I sound like Trump. I’ll try again. Really, really, REALLY wrong. (Can I coin that now?)
Over the past few weeks I have been miserable going to my serving job every day. And I don’t mean just mildly unhappy. I mean Girl, Interrupted insanely distraught walking into work each day. It made my skin crawl. I didn’t want to leave my bed in the morning and was one step away from stuffing chicken carcasses under it. (If you don’t get that reference go watch Girl, Interrupted immediately.) The problem was that a couple weeks ago I got to feel like a real actress and writer for FOUR WHOLE DAYS. I had an audition for a network show, booked and performed a main role in a reading of a new indie film, got to chemistry read with a name actor for said indie film, went to acting class, wrote a packet for a new rap battle network show, got my pilot selected as a semi-finalist in a script competition, AND had a national commercial audition. I had to call in sick at work all week to learn lines, write jokes, and perform morning to night. Now if my boss ever reads this I’m probably fired. But it was AWESOME. So awesome that when none of those things panned out, and I had to go back to waiting tables, I thought my head might explode all over some lady’s salad in true Tarantino fashion.
So I agonized, “What can I do? How can I get out of here? Or at least change the balance from loving only two days of my life a week and hating the other five I’m at work?” A very wise friend of mine told me to pray on it. To meditate on it and wait for an answer. So I did. I also decided to try out a yoga studio on the corner to raise my very low, negative vibrations. I stumbled into Wanderlust Yoga on Highland and De Longpre in Hollywood and immediately fell IN LOVE. There are tons of different, unique classes that include yoga, meditation, and guest speakers. There is also a really awesome cafe that serves yummy, healthy food AND beer and wine. I quickly bought the new member two week pass for $25 and started my adventure. And you can too! Just go here: www.wanderlusthollywood.com or www.wanderlust.com to find a spot in other areas. The point is while flowing through a sun salutation it dawned on me. I want to write about THIS. I want to share my experiences and failures to make others laugh and inspire them to get out there and fail a couple times themselves.
Which gets me to karma and the meditation topic of the day. We’ve all heard the phrase “you get what you give.” I see it all the time in simple ways. That person who is a dick to everyone has no friends and the person who is thoughtful and considerate is practically tripping over people who want to be close to them. But what I struggle with is applying this idea to my career. I’ve given nine years, thousands of dollars on headshots and acting classes… and I’ve yet to book any real TV or film credit. But in today’s meditation Deepak talks about being aware of the choices you make in each moment. Any time we have a decision to make we should ask ourselves, “Which action is most likely to bring happiness to me and everyone affected by my choice?” If I really, truthfully examine my choices, there are many days I come home from work and instead of picking up an acting book or sending out postcards to casting I CHOOSE to watch TV and drink a glass of wine. I’m not saying never do this, I mean come on, a good bottle of red wine (like Justin “Isosceles”) may be better than sex. But at the same time I need to take responsibility for my consistent actions. The other part of this is that your choice should be the highest for your own happiness and the happiness of OTHERS. Which is why I think I’ve had such a radical change in mood since I’ve decided to work on this blog. It’s helping my own happiness by combining creativity with a topic that I love, but is also that much more powerful because my main goal is also to bring that same sense of happiness to OTHERS.
So how do we practice this in real time? Deepak talks about bringing a state of equanimity, or deep inner balance and peace, to our lives. (Don’t worry. I had to look it up, too.) This means we have the ability to focus on the beauty of the whole instead of labeling it “good vs. bad.” So yeah, I haven’t booked a co-star role YET. But I do believe it has to happen eventually. Probably this year. Practically every one I know has at least some kind of credit. So instead of letting my mind go, “WTF God??? Why not me??” I can start saying to myself, “Look. If they did it, it IS possible. Why NOT me? In fact it WILL be me.” If you start putting those positive thoughts out there the law of karma says that same energy has to come back to you. Challenge yourself today and in the weeks to come to examine the choices you make. Do you want eye rolls and snarky comments back? Then maybe just take a deep breath and chillax, or at least break open a Snickers.
And at the very LEAST you’ll just be happier. You’ll actually be able to enjoy the journey. A co-worker came up to me today and said, “What are you doing now? I can tell you’re happier, your whole face changes.” Apparently I not only wear my heart on my sleeve, I wear it all over the crows feat under my eyes. My whole energy has shifted, and God willing, my circumstances, as well as yours, will follow.
And so it is.