I want to live in that feeling you get when the universe feels perfectly aligned and your heart feels larger than life and your soul feels completely at peace. I like to call it the glow.
When you’re in it, you can’t imagine not being in it. And as an anxious artist, when the glow starts to fade, you become afraid it will never come back. And then you worry. And instead of living in the glow you live in the worry.
If you don’t know me well you might be surprised to know that I live in a state of almost constant worry (aka generalized anxiety disorder). Even close friends are surprised when I share this with them, because I do my best (and am greatly boosted) when I’m with them, so they might not see it. One area of my life when I feel most at ease is in the midst of a show run. But there always comes a time and day when the show ends.The post show glow is always super strong in that moment. I feel completely aligned with my life’s purpose. Then it’s time to go home, and I keep holding on to it as long as I can. Because living in a state of creative flow is what I am meant to do and I know it so deeply that when I’m aligned in it, my whole body feels made of light and love.
I was at a backyard barbecue once many years back and a family friend asked me about my career plans. I said, “Well, if you do what you love, the money will follow.” This advice was given to me by my many amazing teachers and coaches, all of whom made themselves full-time lives in the arts. The person I was speaking with chuckled (more than a bit condescendingly) and said, “No, no, it’s ‘do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.’ You probably won’t make much money.” Okay, so they didn’t think very much of my dreams and plans. Said person was a doctor of some sort, so maybe they didn’t understand. Maybe they thought they were helping. That’s okay. They don’t need to understand. When they read a book, or see a film, or listen to their favorite album, maybe they don’t realize just how many people and how much work and how many dreams went into it. But I do. We do.
Now, more than ever, I truly believe it is some of the most important work in this world. The doubting friends or strangers don’t get to tell us our worth. The anxiety doesn’t get to win. Keep defining who you are (because you are so many wonderful things, and you always have been and always will be) and remind yourself daily that what you do is worthwhile, important, and beautiful. Do what you do because someone created something you needed, something that sustained you and pushed you forward and made the hairs raise on your arms, and the only logical choice is to respond in kind.