Wednesday, December 31, 2014
The Universe Conspires in Your Favor
Whoever is born of sound mind has been naturally intended by Heaven for honest work and some kind of life. Whoever, therefore, wishes Heaven to be nice to him, will go after this work and this kind of life, and doggedly pursue it. For Heaven favors things it has itself begun. You were made by Nature for this purpose beyond anything else. What you do from your tender years on, what you talk about, mold, fit, dream, imitate, what you try very often, what you can do easily, what you are most of all good at, what you love beyond all else, what you would be unwilling to leave - this is clearly what Heaven, and the Rector of Heaven bore for you. To this extent therefore, Heaven will favor your beginnings, and will smile on your life.
- Marcillo Ficino, physician, The Book of Life, 1485
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Pain and Motivation
Pain is temporary. It may last for a minute, or an hour, or a day, or even a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit however, it will last forever
(from Sydney Blu - Motivate). Part of our job is to feel bad. In exchange, we get fulfillment others only dream of. Hard to remember in the throws of whatever inconvenience or even real loss and hardship we may encounter.
Especially as the stress of the holiday season is upon us, remember: it is temporary. Good stress, what scientists call eustress, is experienced by our bodies virtually identically to how our bodies experience bad stress, what they call distress. The body does not physically discern between distress or eustress (according to Jon Kabat-Zinn in Full Catastrophe Living). So remember, when good and great things happen be gentle with yourself just as you are when bad things happen.
Either way, our jobs demand we endure more than typical stress, so it makes sense if, like me the last couple days, you have been feeling a bit stressed. Exercise, relaxation, meditation, and anything else that helps you diffuse stress is probably a good idea, in general, and specifically when things get hectic. Wendy Braun has an audio meditation specifically for actors to have peaceful holiday gatherings, which I'm listening to as I write this.
And remember: we are supposed to have fun, it's part of our job. So enjoy the season, and hope you have a great rest of your day (he says as he plans how to have a good day himself).