Wednesday, April 20, 2016

It Doesn't Have To Be Hard

I storytell while patrons at events paint on me. I have spent ten years in the streets entertaining with the goal of transitioning onto stage.
I have talked to many other entertainers and entertainment directors. We've paced around the problem of "how to go from small and intensely focused to large and inclusive of a big audience."
I mentally beat my head on the figurative wall. I kicked that wall. I punched that wall. It didn't move or change. I sat against it full of melancholy. I walked away, focusing on other challenges and hoping the wall would fall on its own.

After years of introspection and frustration I returned to the problem. Stage times on a 360 degree stage loomed ahead. I decided to start where I was, then problem solve necessary changes. Not approaching the wall from an entertainment standpoint, just as another challenge to surmount.

The past few years have been full of challenges from survival, paying bills, wrestling with inner demons, developing other skills to weave a metaphorical safety net for myself. Walls may be insurmountable, challenges are something to overcome.

It Doesn't Have to be Hard. Friends asked good questions about how to engage the whole audience, to shift from a large group painting to an individual. This one detail was the springboard. The show shifted and the wall was gone as it had only existed in my head.

Major changes come with perception shifts. Life doesn't have to be approached as if it is a punishment or purgatory. You choose how you live it, perceive it and you can choose to change it.

Are you choosing to make it more difficult or unpleasant than it needs to be? Do you excuse unhealthy behaviors in those around you while they distract you from attending to your own needs?
Why choose to keep choosing to allow someone to hurt you, especially when the hurt has minimal impact on them: except perhaps the gratitude that you allow your time, energy, and focus on being devoted to their misery rather than on taking care of yourself?

It doesn't have to be hard. My friend Coop said these words to me this weekend as we talked about recent changes in my life. A lot of my blogs this spring have dealt with emotional issues; as I walked around rather than addressed the crucial issue of attending to my own needs and wants. I had to let go of the perception I was responsible for someone else. Each of us IS responsible for ourselves.

In any relationship, whether it is with yourself or someone who brings a light into your eyes, it doesn't have to be hard
It is not a battle. It should not feel like a Herculean Task.
It should be easy, communication should be a two way street, responsibilities and challenges shared. Instead of judgement and criticism, problem solving and empathy.
Years ago another friend, Cale taught me expectations and cautions to watch for in healthy and unhealthy relationships. I look up to my friends, when they teach me something important I do my best to honor the lesson. This spring I watched red flag after red flag go up, unhealthy were the signs on my emotional relationship roadmap. I tried to address issues but found somehow doing so was the subtle song heralding a parting of ways. I did not realize how gone I was until I was gone. Suddenly the tension, pressure, negativity, and constant sound in my head stopped. It was like stepping out of a hurricane into a peaceful forest clearing. The air was clear, my shoulders loose, and my smile came back.

I was asked "Do you have to keep making these choices- or can you choose to make healthier ones?"

It was the best question. I encourage you, look at your life: where you feel most stressed and frustrated would you take a moment and ask this question of yourself?
Remember, it does not have to be hard. It can be full of gentle, sweet, accepting kindness. No excuses, why not choose to heal and grow? It is as easy as letting go of what was never really yours to carry.