As I write this, it is my dad’s birthday. If he were alive on this earth plane, I imagine we would have a great meal together and discuss my new book which he is so much a part of. He fills the cover of the book taking a bow for a well-lived life and he looks radiant. His joy is contagious and inviting. You might even call his life a very successful one too, depending on what your personal criteria for success is.
Oh Dad! I have so much to talk to you about! I better do some empty chair work with you today!! I have so much to share with you!
As I ponder what success is for each of us, I become aware of two things. First, no success that I claim as my own is really mine alone. So many factors and people have generated that success with me. When I attain a goal that I have set for myself, I must acknowledge that it has been a collaborative mission, one that depended on many kinds of alignments, both outside of myself and within myself. Therefore, each success must include gratitude for others, for the Universe and its mysterious workings, and shared pride, like the radiance the photo of my dad exudes.
Second, merely attaining a goal, or receiving recognition is not a destination. It is only one step on the Hero’s Journey of our lives. It is valuable to pause, with gratitude and reflection- “How did this success come to be? Was it intention, dedication, discipline, luck, fortune, timing or patience (I could go on and on) that made a particular goal manifest?
It has always been hard for me to tout my own accomplishments. That was the role my mom, Phyllis, of blessed memory, was cast in- the family touter. Even near the end of her life, in her dementia, when most of her Phyllis memories had receded far into the background, she would point to me and tell her caregivers with immense pride- “That’s my daughter!” She would be the person who could share, with grace, her family’s accomplishments.
For me, as an actor, I could hide behind my agent to be my touter. Now I have to market my books and my work in order to sustain myself and my offerings, allowing them to find their impact and benefit to others. Writing this blog is one way I can both give and receive simultaneously. I glide between humble visibility and fearful invisibility like an inner tango I dance with myself moment to moment.
When I learned the word humility actually means an accurate assessment of yourself, I could warm up to the idea of sticking to the facts while still remaining humble. Barely warm up. My parents and my beloved friend Joy, all of blessed memory, helped me with this, always eager to hear what was evolving creatively and professionally for me, and I could speak freely about these things without feeling ashamed or like I was bragging. My success was theirs as well and it felt so safe, like we were all enjoying it together. Joy would cheer me on, “Look at YOU, girl, coming out from behind the curtain! Good for you. Keep going.”
I am fully aware that days can be filled with failures and less than effective or conscious choices. Accepting failure compassionately might be a success in and of itself. Especially since there is gold in failing when I choose to mine it consciously.
I hope I live my life in a way that relishes and abundantly acknowledges other people’s successes too. I hope this blog gives you, too, some permission to share your step by step successes with me and others in appreciation and joy!
So, it is with deep gratitude, humility and celebration that I share these momentary successes with you. I imagine Joy and my parents receiving these tidbits lovingly, trying to teach me to do the same for myself, just little shooting stars I can enjoy on my Hero’s Journey.
- Beyond the Bookclub, my first book was a February Bonus pick for Pulpwood Queens. This brilliant organization was started by the amazing visionary creative Kathy L. Murphy in 2000 from her beauty salon/bookstore and has grown to be the biggest international Book Club with 780+ affiliates. Pulpwood Queens promotes literacy and community and I was honored in January to be an author panel member for the fabulous Pulpwood Queens Girlfriend Weekend, among awesome, talented and prominent authors. Thank you, thank you Kathy! And thank you Shari Stauch, my publicist, for introducing this unforgettable event to me. If you aren’t a part of a book club let 2020 be the beginning and let my book and Pulpwood Queens help you get started!
- The release of the audio version of my second book Acting Lessons for Living, which I narrated is now available for FREE for a limited time on Audible with a trial subscription. The book has been getting great reviews. If you know someone who is disabled and needs to listen to books please reach out to me for a free link.
- I will be presenting a workshop based on Acting Lessons for Living at the International Enneagram Association Regional Conference: Enneagram as a Verb: July 26-28 2020 in Chicago. Register NOW and receive a substantial discount.
- My third book will be released this summer. Loving the Unlovables in Ourself and our Partners
Thank you for following my blogs and posts and please share with me your own Successes!