June 13, 2022
Like many theatre artists, I spent my 20s, and most of my 30s, juggling different gigs.
The financial life of an artist is inherently unpredictable; our work is by nature transient and project-based.
Early in my career, I was thrilled to be paid to direct and choreograph for after school programs and to teach movement at studios. I would make art at night, sometimes until midnight or 1 in the morning, only to get up early the next day to teach classes again. Although I was working a ton, I was exhausted and unfocused.
I already had a perfectionist streak that nearly killed me. Anxiety that prevented me from sleeping and sabotaged my closest relationships.
In retrospect, I chuckle at the fact that I chose a career path that is so unpredictable. For the first chunk of my life, the only thing my career did for me emotionally was exacerbate my sense of anxiety and failure.
I had heard that meditation could help, but honestly, I just couldn’t get myself to do it. I’d put it on my to-do list and it would always get pushed to the bottom. Or, I’d spend hours procrastinating a five-minute practice.
When I did sit to meditate, my brain bounced all over the place; I’d think about what I had to do later that day, or I’d remember a conversation I’d had earlier, or I’d notice how uncomfortable my body was. It was miserable.
I didn’t understand how something that was supposed to make me feel better could make me feel so incompetent.
I hold a lot of compassion for that younger-version of myself now. She really struggled. But I’m also grateful for her determination, because now meditation is a daily practice for me.
The benefits of regular practice are both immediate and cumulative:
I’ve become very clear about the kinds of projects I will and will not do;
I can precisely name what I will and will not do for an income;
I no longer spend my days running from place to place to place;
I know how to experience joy; When I laugh, it is genuine;
and perhaps most importantly, I can be still long enough to discern which thoughts are useful and which are not.
What finally helped me develop a consistent practice and feel real stability was working with a teacher–someone who could structure my meditation practice and teach to my level.
Now, meditation is an intrinsic part of my day; it is precisely what allows me to juggle so much without getting anxious and also what helps me to say “no” when necessary.
I teach meditation to young artists who are looking to find stability as they navigate their careers.
I created the meditation reboot so that anyone who is struggling to meditate, or wants to try it for the first time, or who wants to get back to it, so they will have a seasoned teacher guiding the way.
I hope you’ll try the course–It’s 21 days of guided meditation videos for just $21, and even some bonus videos to help if you’re having difficulty focusing.
Photo by Alix Klingenberg