Create and Give with Pure Intent
Oh, it's you!
Your mom is right - you’re unique and special - just like everyone else.
If you're an artist, have you given consideration lately to why creating things is important to you?
Is it self expression?
Awesome! you're giving to yourself!
A way to unwind, and or a form of therapy?
YES! Here you go, giving to yourself again.
Something you enjoy doing with your kids or with others to experience joy?
You're giving to yourself and to others. Sweet!
Or are you seeking external validation?
Are you hoping you'll be noticed by someone important?
A savvy casting director, the public in general, or even a potential date...
Are you hoping that people will sing your praises?
Are you looking for fame?
Nothing's ever truly black and white. Maybe you create for many reasons that involve both internal and external rewards - giving and taking. When we seek external validation, we are seeking to TAKE. When we seek to take, we set ourselves up for disappointment!
There is no guarantee that others will see you or your work from the lens that you’re hoping to be seen from. Create out of love for what you do – and not for external validation – and you will not only avoid disappointment, you will be able to spend more mental energy creating!
“Creating” refers to creating relationships with others, even! We create relationships with other people; with the environment around us. We have the power to recreate ourselves and change the direction of our lives. That power comes from giving freely to yourself and others through listening and reacting with pure intent, with no expectations from the world around us.
My experience as an introverted awkward kid...
Since age 4, I wanted to be an actor. My brother had just been born and getting more attention than me. Performing around the house (even playing “sick”) became a way to be “seen”. As a fearful shy elementary school kid, over-protected by loving parents doing their best with what they had at the time, performing in plays at school became a way to get attention from other children. Was I taking? Uhhuh!
I was also giving to myself - it was a way to channel my imagination.
I got cast as the Wicked Witch of the West in fifth grade after auditioning for Dorothy and cocked a major attitude instead of feeling excitement that I was about to play an awesome villain for the first time. Why? It was becoming important for other people to see me as beautiful, worthy, sexy (yes, unfortunately at 10 years old, sexy was on my radar) and lovely. Maybe if the 10 year old boys I thought were cute saw me as Dorothy, they would want to kiss me in the middle of a circle at recess! Who wants to kiss the Wicked Witch? Flying Monkey Number 4? No offense to Flying Monkey Number 4, but no thank you! There I was, seeking to take, and I felt slammed with disappointment and resentment towards both Mrs. Glavin who cast the production and Dana Thomas, the lovely and likeable Dorothy.
My challenge back then was in relating to other people in REAL LIFE. The girls getting kissed in the middle of the circle at recess were girls that played a sport and had friends because they were socialized from a younger age. It took years to understand that people don’t want to be friends with someone who’s performing their way through life on a stage and hiding from living a real life with real relationships and real back-and-forth, giving-and-taking interactions. There I was, seeking to only “take”: Watch me onstage do cool things! Be my friend! Be my fifth grade boyfriend!
I didn't understand how to make new friends. Like many artists, my head was up my own @$$ a good portion of the time, probably.
It wasn't until adulthood when I hit a rock bottom moment and realized I had so much to GIVE. I no longer wanted to take. I wanted to share. I learned the importance of listening and began a practice of being present and self-aware. It's a practice because there will always be times spent stumbling thanks to personal circumstances at a given time. It's all good though - we're all works in progress.
Asking ourselves questions and answering them on paper (or tablet, etc.) can help offer insight into our behavior:
Which situations do we find ourselves seeking to “take”?
Are we aware of it?
What is going on in our lives at the time, and is it possible to spend some time alone reflecting on what we truly need, outside of another individual or group of people?
Look inside yourself for answers.
How often do we seek to “give” with pure intent?
As an expression of love
Not to obtain anything in return, be it a vocal reaction, a smile, a text, a like on social media.
A fortune cookie once gifted, “When your heart is pure, your mind is clear.” Allow this thought into your being, and remind yourself of it when you feel needy for someone’s attention in an attempt to feel validated. SIDENOTE: When your heart is pure, and your mind is clear, you may find a reduction in the stress hormone cortisol that will help shed stress weight around your midsection. I suggest that because I’ve experienced a difference in my own waistline since focusing my energy on truths and following fear.
I’m not a famous actress. I’m not a famous therapist (I’m not a therapist!) I’m just a woman who’s understanding the importance of diving into the fear pool to live an authentic life that feels genuine and honest to who I am at my core. I’ve battled unhealthy coping mechanisms and today seek healthy coping skills that serve me. I am sharing with you because I’ve discovered writing is a way for me to give freely to strangers.
I am excited to work with many people down the road on my journey. It’s not a yellow brick road. I’m NOT playing Dorothy in my own life. Nor am I defined by having played the Bad Witch in fifth grade. I’m Jamie Lyn. I’m a vessel for love, and I’m sending you a hug.