All in my Emotions

Latrisha

 

I was at a restaurant yesterday and a family walked in. The dad was holding a toddler, who was observing his surroundings with wide eager eyes. He looked at the ceiling, the walls, the people around him. As his dad focused on the menu, the toddler pointed to this thing or that, babbling with excitement and laughing to himself. I smiled as I kept my own eyes trained on the child, and then suddenly my eyes started to well up with tears. I wiped them away immediately before they could become a full blown crying fit, took a deep breath and tore my eyes away from the child.

 

What the heck? Why was I so “all in my emotions”? I just thought it was so amazing how the child was so full of wonderment. He looked so happy, so content to just be in the moment. He didn’t ask for permission. He didn’t care that I was staring at him. He didn’t care that he may have dribbled slob onto his shirt. He was just enjoying the moment.

 

Then I realized why I was so touched. My brain is always somewhere else. I can’t enjoy a moment b/c I’m too worried about how my hair or makeup looks or what someone may or may not be thinking or noticing about me. My to-do list is always swirling around my head or I’m always wondering, “Did I remember to _______?” “Oh, I forgot to _________”. I’m always thinking, “What’s next?” or what I have to do to be prepared for what’s next.  I’m rarely just in the moment. Good grief! How stressful!

 

This little occurrence reminded me that I need to be conscious of the right here and now. Despite all the planning in the world, no one knows what the future holds.  When I look back on my experiences, I’m sure I won’t say, “Oh, I’m sooo glad my hair looked nice.” I want to say, “I’m sooo glad I put all of myself into that experience. I had a blast and made some awesome memories.” So instead of worrying myself, I just need to be content with being exactly where I am right now and enjoy each moment as it comes—messed up hair and all.

 

 

How do you stay “in the moment”? Share in the comments.

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Adventures in Money Saving

goal visualization
Me and my vision board

So I’m supposed to be saving money. Easy, right? Ha! I met with a financial advisor (FA) not too long ago and he found quite a bit of money in my budget that was unaccounted for once he subtracted my monthly expenses from my income. When he asked me where the extra money went each month, I couldn’t really give him a clear answer. I know I tend to dine out A LOT, and then it always seems that someone in my life is always having a life event (baby shower, wedding, bridal shower, going away party, birthday, etc.) that “requires” a gift. I feel like I need two savings accounts—one for emergencies and the other for people’s life events.

 

I have a “major life event” (MLE) that I’m saving for and my FA told me that if I’m really serious about it that I need to be extremely disciplined and I’m going to have to start sacrificing some things so that I can bulk up my savings to accommodate my MLE.

 

First he said I need to find another source of income. So I started applying for part time jobs. Next, I went grocery shopping in an attempt to avoid eating out so much. I went for two weeks without dining out for lunch (dinner was another story, but hey…baby steps).

 

I’m having to find ways to be creative in my gift-giving. At first, I felt bad for not being able to buy someone something for their special event, but then as I thought about it, sometimes all people want is for you to be present to help them celebrate and to spend some quality time together. Sometimes, your presence is worth more than your presents.

 

Recently, an impromptu trip to Best Buy left me on the verge of getting a new cell phone. Even though the offer was amazing (seriously, $1.00!!!), I had to ask myself, “Do I really need a new phone?” I mean, this was an unbelievable deal, but did I NEED it? My current phone works perfectly fine, so deal or not, I decided to keep my dollar.

 

Every day is a struggle for me. I have to make conscious decisions about what I’m spending my money on, and be okay with saying no to some things. I’m making progress, slowly but surely. I just have to stay focused on my goal, no matter what. Y’all pray for me! 🙂

 

 

 

What are some ways you save money? What are some of your challenges in saving money? Share in the comments.

How to make a film in 2 days

2014 48hr2014 48hr 3
This past Sunday, I submitted a film into the 48 Hour Film Project. The competition is exactly what it sounds like: you have just 48 hours to make a film, from start to finish.
2014 48hr 4 2014 48hr 5
As a part of the competition, you are assigned a genre, character, prop and line of dialogue that must appear in your film (which is how they ensure that your submitted film was in fact completed in the allotted time period).
This was my third year participating in the competition (and the fifth film submission–we participated twice on our first year), so I’ve experienced all of the ups and downs that are associated with this type of competition. When you only have two days to make a film, there’s a lot to get done. You’re crunched for time and all you want is for everything to go as planned. But we all know that that never happens.
2014 48hr 6
In participating in this competition over the years, our team has had all sorts of things happen: the bank mis-allocating funds, forgetting to film scenes and having to go back and re-shoot the next day, having to film in the rain, a team member’s car got stolen…and the list goes on.
In addition to unexpected occurrences, there are a few phrases that you DO NOT want to hear during this weekend:
1. “Oops”
2. “Uh-oh”
3. “Oh crap/Oh sh*t”
4. “I can’t find __________”
5. “We need to talk” or “Can I talk to you (in private)?”
6. “Gasp!”
7. Any sort of crash or clanging (unless it’s a part of the script)
So, how do you make a film in two days? With Patience, Teamwork and Positivity! Things can go from bad to worse in a situation like this, but if you are patient (take a deep breath–think before acting impulsively–but don’t think too hard/long–remember, you are pressed for time), and if everyone pulls their weight on the team, and if you approach the process with a positive attitude no matter what happens, you are bound to be successful.
(Sidebar: yes, I know that was an extremely long run-on sentence. LOL)
What types of competitions have you participated in? What were some challenges you faced during the competition and how did you overcome them? Please share in the comments below.

Thinking and Breathing: The Art of Meditation

Corrine Bailey Rae has a lyric in one of her songs, “…this constant compromise between thinking and breathing…”  That’s how I would describe my “first” experience meditating.  “First” is in quotes because I’m calling this my first but it really wasn’t. I’ve had quite a few meditating firsts on my own, none of which have been very successful. My mind ALWAYS wanders. (Who knew this was normal?) So I thought it might be easier if I meditated with a group, kind of like training wheels. So this is my first experience meditating with a group. I can’t guarantee that you’ll understand this entry but here’s how it went:

meditate

The Crash Course

She instructed on focusing on my breath/breathing and demonstrated two positions. I chose the latter (I like to call it “horseback”). I’m sure my thighs were grateful for this decision. My left knee was not as grateful, but adapted well under the circumstances.

 

“There is no off switch for your thoughts,” she said, “when you catch your mind drifting, gently guide yourself back to your breathing.”

 

The Practice

I settle into position in the back corner. The lights dim slightly. Soft conversations melt into silence.

 

Three dings.

 

Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out. Am I sitting up straight? Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out. Someone coughs. Another adjusts their position. I feel my body tilting forward. Deep breath. Adjust. 25 minutes? Can I really do this for that long? Well it’s just like watching an episode of Modern Family give or take a few minutes. (repeat random conversations with myself and “gently guiding myself back to my breathing) Until…

 

Ding.

 

Wow. That wasn’t bad at all.

 

The Mindful Walk

(or what I like to call the leg-stretching portion) We silently follow each other in a line around the room, with no particular rhythm in stride, still concentrating on our breath, the floor creaking slightly under our feet, until we find our way back to our initial positions.

 

Round 2

Settle back onto my cushion. The room falls back into silence.

 

 

Oh, we’re doing it again? Okay. Sit up straight. Breathe in. Breathe out. (I’m pretty sure I fell asleep a little bit. When I woke up, I slightly opened my eyes to ensure I stayed at least halfway alert for the remainder of the session, while still attempting to focus on my breathing)

 

 

Three dings.

 

The Chant

It sounds beautiful, but I’m kind of freaked out. I mouth the words until I find the rhythm to match the others.

 

 

The Discussion

Time

Awareness

Intimacy w/ Self

Intimacy w/ Others

 

 

All in all, it was a great experience, and I’m so glad I did it. I still have a long way to go, but I think working out the kinks with a group will be helpful for me until I’m ready to take off the training wheels and ride on my own.

 

 

Have you ever meditated? Do you currently practice meditation? What has been your experience? Share in the comments.

I Give Up

Deuces
“Chucking up the deuces” Peace out!

I’m not gonna lie. When things get rough, my first instinct is to run. Fight or flight? I’m most definitely always leaning toward “flight”. I would much rather walk (or run) away than face (or fight) the aggressor/threat. I don’t care to argue; especially if I’ve already spoken my part (which is admirable for me) and I feel like we’re getting no where. I refuse to argue for the sake of arguing. Eff that.

 

 

Can’t we all just get along? Don’t rock the boat. Passive-aggressive. That’s me. But as my friend once told me, “Running won’t make it go away.” I know running away doesn’t resolve the problem, but I can’t seem to shake the anxiety I feel when conflict arises. My body will literally not be still. It’s like my mind has conditioned my body to be physically uncomfortable in the face of conflict. I know conflict is a part of life; you can’t escape it.

So I sat down and asked myself why I was so hell-bent on running, and what exactly was I running from. I then asked myself why I was giving up, and if it was okay to give up, or was I just taking the easy way out?

 

All of those thoughts led me to this:

 

Tips on Knowing when to give up…

 

  1. Think about why you started. What were your reasons for initially embarking on this endeavor? Are those reasons still valid now?

 

  1. Evaluate your growth. What are you gaining or what do you realistically stand to gain by toughing it out?

 

  1. Pray. Meditate. Do whatever you have to do to be at peace with your final decision.

 

  1. Don’t act hastily. Don’t burn bridges just because a situation is bad. Always leave on a good note. Be mature enough to admit the truth of the situation (in a classy way) and seek an amicable end.

 

Remember, don’t give up on something just for the sake of giving up, just because things get hard. When things get hard, it’s to grow you. But also, don’t stay for the sake of staying either. Don’t stick around if things are detrimental to your overall well-being and if you aren’t growing. If you do decide to stay, actively seek improvement.

 

 

What do you think? When is it okay to give up on something? Is it ever okay? Share in the comments!

Dealing with Rejection

#LATEPOST

 

Rejection is a part of life. No matter what trade you work in or where you are in your walk of life, you are bound to face rejection eventually.  As an actress and writer, I know rejection. As a matter of fact, I recently (keep in mind this is a late post, so when I say “recently”, I really mean “a while ago” LOL)  auditioned for a Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre Company and I got rejected.

Rejection

 

 

 

So what is one to do when faced with this not-so-nice part of life? Run for the hills, hide under a cozy blanket and vow to never leave the comfort of your worn-in couch and Netflix, or face it head-on with a positive attitude? Uh, duh! The latter of course. And here’s how:

 

1. Get over yourself.

When you have been rejected, it’s easy to begin the pity-party that leads you spiraling into a seemingly endless hole of self-doubt, asking questions like, “What did I do wrong?” “Am I too [this]?” “Am I not enough [that]?” Just stop it. Those types of questions will drive you crazy. Instead, try to be objective. Encourage yourself. What are you proud of yourself for?

 

2. Ask for constructive criticism, if available.

Sometimes this opportunity won’t be available to you, but if it is, definitely take advantage of it. Ask what you can do to improve in the future. Ask what you did “right”.

 

3. Practice gratitude.

Pat yourself on the back for even taking the risk of putting yourself out there in the first place. You are that much closer to a “yes”. Be grateful for the opportunity to interact with new people and to try something new, even if the outcome wasn’t what you expected or hoped. Everything happens for a reason.

 

4. Keep trying.

Don’t give up. Don’t get discouraged. Even if you have to apply for the same job or audition for the same role multiple times, keep at it.

 

 

How do YOU deal with rejection? What has been your experience with rejection? Share in the comments!

July Goals and The B-Side

I’m doing something new. I’ve decided to join The B-Side Mastermind Group as a way to hold myself accountable and get things done, as it pertains to my success as an actress and writer (and moving toward doing it full time).
Every month in conjunction with The B-Side, I’ll be listing my goals, challenges and successes. Here’s my first entry!
Last Month’s Goals
This is my first month participating so I’ll start here (no recap for June, since my goals weren’t clearly defined–I was just marking things off of my ongoing to-do list).
July Goals

1. Complete homework from Financial Planner. I met with a financial planner recently and he gave me some homework to complete before our next meeting, so I need to get to it!

2. Submit entry for specified Writing Contest. I’ve identified a writing contest that I want to submit an entry to, and I’ve even started writing the piece, but since the deadline is quite a while away, I’ve put this on the back burner. I need to finish the piece, edit it, maybe let someone else read it and then submit it.

3. Read 3 books on my list. This is a business and personal goal b/c I believe they go hand in hand. As I read, I’m expanding my knowledge, which in turn should help me to put some things into practice that will make me better at my craft and business.

 

 

Current Challenges

Time. Oh Time.
Scratch that….
It’s not that I don’t have the time; it’s that I don’t always use my time wisely. Sometimes my days consist of the 9-5 and then I go straight to rehearsals or a production meeting or I have a performance. However, I recently finished a show, so my evenings have opened up again. I’ve been so relieved that instead of using my new free time to work on my business goals, I just lounge around, doing nothing at all. So, I have to be disciplined enough to take the time to do the things necessary to achieve my goals.
Current Successes/Things that are Working
Since I’m just starting this, I imagine that the accountability of being a part of this group will help me in becoming successful at achieving these goals. We’ll see how it goes! I have high hopes for this.
b-side-button

Blog Hop

I have been tagged in a blog hop. Yay!
I was tagged by the lovely Phyllis Turner.
Phyllis Turner
Journaling since her pre-teen years, Phyllis has always had a passion for writing and traveling. She is a freelance writer with the heart of a gypsy, a wife, mother of one, Vero Beach Florida beach bum, lover of food, animals, sunsets and all things outdoors. Check out her blog at www.phyllisiturner.com
As a part of the blog hop, I am to answer the following questions and then tag another blogger. So here goes!
What am I working on?
I’ve written so much in different genres, so right now I’m still trying to determine my niche—out of all the writing I’ve done, what area I would like to focus on. I think I might like to focus on writing screenplays. I’ve written 5 short films in the past month, and I have loglines for 7 more, so I’ll be working on turning those loglines into short films. Once they’re complete, I will begin pre-production preparation to shoot them. So I guess in short, I’m working on building my portfolio.
How does my work differ from others in its genre? 
This is a tough question. I guess since I’m also an actress, sometimes I write with the intent to make it understandable for an actor who may read it. This can sometimes be helpful or a hindrance because I may end up second-guessing myself. I’m still in the process of determining what’s “my” thing–my signature style that differentiates me from the rest–so this is still a work in progress.
Why do I write what I do?
Writing is therapeutic for me. It gives me a way to release emotions and thoughts that are pent up inside of me, and it also allows me to stay in tune with my creative side. I also share my writing in the hopes that I’m helping someone get through something that they may be going through. I know that my experiences are not for myself alone, and so I share what I’ve learned (or what I’m in the process of learning).
How does my writing process work?
I carry a journal with me at all times because I constantly have ideas. I jot them down in my journal as soon as they come to my mind (because if I wait, I’m sure to forget the idea later). When I sit down to actually flesh out the ideas, I make sure I have everything I need to write (water, clean desk, pen & paper, computer/laptop, quiet environment). Also, prior to each writing session I make a list of things I want to accomplish in each particular session, usually no more than 3 line items. And then I write. I have this bad habit of writing and editing at the same time, instead of just getting it all out and then going back to edit later. So I’m working on being more effective in that aspect of my writing. Baby steps… 😉
And now, to pass on the love…
I tag: GG Renee, of All the Many Layers.
GG
GG is an independent author, a life coach, a feeler and an overthinker.  She writes for the crazy beautiful complex free creative inspired love drunk woman who relishes her quiet time and believes in miracles.
Visit her blog and become inspired and encouraged at: www.allthemanylayers.com