I think being an artist is inherently risky. It's dangerous. To create, is to face what scares us, step into the unknown and be brave enough to tell stories that no one may be interested in hearing.
Since the new year is upon us (January is almost over already! Eeeek), what better way to take inventory of what we can generate more of in 2015, but also what we can let go of that isn't serving us and holds us back from true freedom of self-expression.
What if this year became an offering - a benediction - to live more dangerously?
When I'm talking about living dangerously I'm not asking us to live foolishly. It's about leaning into those scary places just outside our comfort zone. And they're not huge, dramatic acts. You don't have to move cross-country or get a divorce or fire your agents to live dangerously.
It's about doing small things mindfully. Going for things totally. Being willing to embarrass yourself publicly. Laying things on the line fully. In your work. In your life. In asking someone out on a date. In no longer avoiding that thing you're trying to avoid. In getting honest.
Those simple acts become radical when engaged in on a daily basis.
To help you stay on task, here's 10 ways to live more dangerously in your life that you can accomplish every day.
10. Stop comparing yourself to others. Everyone is on their own journey. And to compare yourself to someone else is not only futile, it creates the opposite result of what you want to have happen in your life. So no more compare-and-despair in 2015.
9. Stop gossiping. Eleanor Roosevelt said, "Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people." Bam!
8. You're not running out of anything. So start giving more of it away. Your time. Your Light. Your love. Your presence. Your energy. You're a renewable resource so you can always refuel.
7. Speak the truth. Even when it scares you. It's easier sometimes in the short term to be "truthy-ish" but in the long run it keeps you from moving past the things that ultimately scare you and are holding you back.
6. Find a practice. I don't care what it is - just for yourself - and cultivate it. It could be prayer. It could be meditation. It could be a walk every day. It could be going to the gym. Commit to something for yourself. And start doing it daily.
5. Feel your feelings. All of them. And stop shaming yourself for feeling things that you think "better" people don't feel or express.
4. Make a commitment to find ways to stop listening to the endless, mindless chatter that goes on between your ears. Make a choice that you are not your mind. You are not the thoughts you tell yourself. You're part of consciousness that transcends mind. You are greater than what your mind chooses to fixate on every day.
3. Put that cell phone down. Start going on errands without it. Turn it off at bedtime. Have an hour where you put it out of sight. Stop reaching for it every moment of the day.
2. List three things that you are mindlessly engaging in and giving way too much time and energy to -- that are really affecting the quality of your life. Dump them. You have to be honest here. It could be spending time online doing nothing. It could be time spent worrying. Basically, if you substituted these 3 things with 3 other things that are actually life-affirming you might discover that you'll be a lot more creative, happy and fulfilled.
1. Love. Let your whole life -- your creating, auditioning, working, storytelling, performing, living -- come from, and be a philosophy of, love.
*First published on Backstage*