I had a chance to make some phone calls yesterday - so unusual, right? Just pick up the phone and call a friend for a chat! So 20th century! Anyway, I called my friend - she's an actor in LA, we've known each other for 20 years or so, did a bunch of shows together in LA back in the day. I was feeling kind of challenged yesterday - and reaching out for connection. She screamed when she picked up the phone, "You've called at the perfect time," she said...she went to explain that she had done a print job a while back, she had been paid for it and hadn't thought much more about it then yesterday, right before I called, she heard from her agent that the advertiser was renewing the ad and throwing $7500 her way. Out of the sky - I love that. When we have no idea that great little things are coming...we chatted for a bit, then she had to go get ready for another audition, she had copy to memorize and a drive to make cross town but, before she hung up she said she wanted to share something with me. "Ok," I said, "Lay it on me..."
"I've renounced disappointment," she said.
"Wow," I said, "Tell me more..."
"Well, I started writing about disappointment in my journal a few weeks back - or, well, i realized that a lot of what I write about is about being disappointed, how I haven't done what I wanted to do with my life, or this thing hadn't worked out, or one thing or another..."
And, of course, I loved the direction this conversation was going - I've been thinking a lot lately about the idea of POTENTIAL - how we think of ourselves as either reaching or not reaching our potential. But potential is complicated - artistic potential, personal potential, etc.
She continued: "I decided to renounce disappointment in my life. I am too precious, my spirit is too rare and my life is too great to dwell in disappointment. So, I started to practice actively renouncing it - I wrote about it, like a spell, DISAPPOINTMENT, I RENOUNCE YOU! And I say it everyday - I have cast it out of my life..."
What a beautiful way to think of one's life - free of disappointment. I guess that means we have to let go of judgement - to let things be, just as they are. And, to take ourselves and our lives as they are, too. To accept them, to not seek to improve them, per se. I find this challenging - cuz I'm a striver, and an analyzer, but I love the idea of living without the yoke of disappointment.
We hung up - she had her audition to get to and I was driving into the city to teach a workshop. Had a beautiful group in class last night - people writing about their lives and dreams and visions and pasts. Working to make sense of their lives and experiences - the greatest threat, I notice again and again, to being able to make new work, to write, to create, is the judging. People stop because what comes out of them doesn't meet their expectations - we must have the courage to sit with what doesn't please us, to be in the center of the unknown, to be both patient and energized. To not be disappointment with the present.