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It's October - May you be happy

Happy October!

One thing you can rely on in New England is that the seasons will always change. There is a crispness to the air and a scent of crunchy foliage which beats the smell of that processed pumpkin spice flavor, even though fake pumpkin is a beloved scent for many.

Autumn in New England is a beautiful experience – something I missed when I lived in New York City. Real, beautiful change: Foliage.

Nature accepts change and rolls with it. The green leaves turn orange, red, brown and eventually the wind whisks them off the branches and onto the land. The land accepts the leaves, wherever they fall.

The people who are prepared for each season have an easier time in transition.

In October, if we revel in the change (because let’s face it, it’s bound to happen) then we get giddy about fishing out our collection of hoodies, while we keep summer clothes at the ready in case it hits 80 degrees again.

If instead, in October, we choose to grumble about it because it means we’re “one more step closer to winter” and winter is an awful thing, then we miss the many joyful moments that can come from reveling in the change. We miss out on being happy. Think about it. When we fight change – ANY kind of change - we are choosing to block our own happiness. We are refusing to accept where our leaves will land, but we can't stop the leaves from falling and sailing away with the wind.

If there’s one constant in our lives, it’s change, because life is dynamic. We change, and so do our loved ones. Our bodies change as we age. We develop illness and disease. We change jobs, and even if we stay in the same company, there is ALWAYS change happening in every facet of an organization, because people are dynamic and people make up a workforce and people make up a customer base!

We all experience foliage in our lives. It's up to YOU to determine if it's going to be a delicious adventure - a "Foli-aaahhhh(j)" - or something not as yummy.

Watch a colorful leaf dance on its journey down. Life is a dance if you choose to let it be one.

We change, and so do our loved ones

How often do we find ourselves cherishing the people close to us so that we don’t take them for granted? We never know from one day to the next if someone we love will still be with us.

For example, on the day a couple exchanges marriage vows, neither spouse is thinking about the potential for a midlife crisis, or an affair, or a car accident that can end a life. Our spouse may walk out of our lives out of nowhere one day, or he or she may die. We forget this when we get hung up on the fact that he didn’t put the seat down, or she didn’t prep the coffee on evening.

*If you start the day out with thoughts like “you are important. May you be happy”, then you carry that intent throughout the day.*

Our bodies age.

We’re all prone to illness and disease. We’re all going to die! In fact, we’re dying right now! Why not embrace it with thoughts like “how can I give of myself today" and "what can I learn today?"

We can change our habits to make ourselves healthier and help slow down the aging process:

  • We can eat all-natural, unprocessed foods

  • We can begin regular workouts

  • We can work through stress with yoga and meditation

  • We can develop a spiritual practice

  • We can choose to become an expert in something we truly enjoy doing

*At the end of each day, you're not just one day older, you're also one day WISER!*

Change in the workplace

Some organizations have “change management” programs to address transitions because major changes in an organization can bring about fear, and fear can create inner turmoil in people that will not only prevent their happiness, but prevent their productivity. Not so hot for the financial bottom line, in my opinion.

We all need to understand that we are valued – that our health and happiness matter. It’s when we feel like we’re not valued at work that productivity can suffer, and sick days can increase.

WHAT IF management started their day with a cup of coffee and contemplates thoughts to:

  • Concern themselves with their employee’s happiness

  • Protect their employees from fear

Perhaps then, productivity would increase, and so would the financial bottom line. In the words of a former coworker named Charlie, “I'm just sayin’!”

Tying this to acting…

Be the foli-ahhhhhhhh(J)

Actors have a tendency to become fixated on age and worry about their dissolving beauty as it may limit their time in the industry. Now's the best time to build some wisdom and take more acting workshops - HELLOOOO, IMPROV! - to broaden the skill set as an actor.

Mother Nature is winking at you, "Sweetie, I'm shaking these leaves whether you like it or not, so own your naked branches and stand strong as who you're becoming."

She blows you a kiss. A new wrinkle forms on your face.

Now blow her a kiss back with gratefulness that you're alive and able to do what you love!

“May you be happy.”

If someone walked up to you (your character) and said “May you be happy”, how would it affect you?

  • Would it make you angry? Why?

  • Would it leave you feeling confused? WHY?!

  • Would it secretly make your day, though you wouldn’t want anyone to know that?

  • What else could this mean about you?

  • What else could this mean for you?

WHAT IF you walked into the audition room, fully present, with quiet wishes for the team auditing your performance to be happy? Would it somehow affect them by putting both them and you at ease in that room? Try it next time, "Just sayin'!"

And keep dancing, love, because you're the star of your own rich, delicious life story.

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