Finding Gratitude in the Storm


Georgina If you’re like most actors, I’m sure at some point in the game you’ve imagined yourself standing in front of your peers holding a shiny golden award while giving thanks to all who believed in you. You’ve probably even jotted down a few notes on whom you’d like to thank first. Whether you dwell on it our not, it’s an achievement any actor would never turn down. Living in this one unbelievable moment, can be a feeling of true validation that you chose the right profession. For all those naysayers who told you to quit the business, for all those judgmental folks that told you to find a real job and for every time you had to endure a family member express their hurtful judgments about your choices, you make sure to hold that shiny award up high and simply say, Thank You!

Everyone has their own story of struggle to share. You each have your own unique experiences that can include unmeasurable highs of excitement, tragic sadness, regrets, failures, moments of desperation, and loss. Yet how you choose to get up when you feel the world crumble around you says a lot about your will and determination. How you choose to find the lesson in the saddest moments of your life says a lot about your spirit and how you choose to treat others, even those who less than deserve your kindness, says a lot about the true character of the person you are.

I come from the belief that there are no accidents in life. All that we are is a direct result of what we have previously thought. Every occurrence that happens around you is an opportunity that adds a building block to your life. It’s an opportunity for you to reflect, grow stronger and make a more aligned choice for where and who you are at this point in your life. I’m not saying you should never cry, get angry or feel sad, but at some point those moments will empower you.

Let them. Embrace them. Then learn to give thanks and move on.

You won’t land every audition, you won’t get stellar reviews at every performance, and you won’t wow-the-pants-off of every industry professional you meet, but that’s OK. Just don’t let that crumble your self-worth. It takes a lot more for you to express humility when all you want to do is scoff at someone’s rude and unintelligent remarks. And trust me, humility and professionalism will take you so much further in this industry than being an ass and allowing a moment of weakness to get the best of you. I had to learn that criticism is a gift, no matter how harsh it may sound. Learning the art of compassion and gratitude is what helps me siphon through all the bullshit and find the few morsels I could work with. Allowing someone’s words to melt away at your self-worth and making you feel as though you are not good enough is not only doing you a disservice, but you are giving that person way too much power over you!

I have an 8-year old daughter who will periodically come home with a long face because someone at school said something that hurt her feelings. The fact that a kid had the audacity to be rude to my child makes me want to share many colorful words with them, but the stinger isn’t so much what they said, but how my daughter gave away her power so easily. Instead of letting that moment rush past her and choosing not to accept their words as truth, she let it settle in her bones and ruin her day. Our emotions, our thoughts, our words and our choices are the only things we CAN control. So after I went to my corner and counted to ten, I came back and chose to take this opportunity and empower her. I told my daughter to never let a weak individual (a.k.a a bully) make her feel weaker, instead you grow from those experiences. Let those moments empower you, not define you. Don’t ever give away your power so freely.

Do you believe that every performer who has captured us on screen, every writer who has engaged our senses or any film director who has created a mastery that kept us glued to our seats has never experienced a sad moment of defeat in their life? For most, it’s quite opposite. It’s because people experience disappointment, rejection, sadness and loss that helped them grow stronger and more convicted in their vision and purpose. Some of the most amazing movies, books, songs and inventions were created because someone told these creators, NO! Thank goodness, because otherwise they would never have gone back and refined their story line or made better adjustments to their performance and so on.

You never, ever, ever give up. Ever!

You just grow stronger, more empowered and more thankful for any and every moment you had a chance to learn something and you give gratitude, always.

Don’t ever let bitterness be your guide.

Remember, what we think about and what we thank about IS what we bring about!

I have son who is four years old named Phoenix, who operates on a higher frequency than most people I meet. Not a day goes by that this child does not have a smile on his face. He goes to bed and wakes up laughing. Yes, I’m serious! He truly lives in the moment and in his world, it’s a great day to be alive. He is constantly telling me what a good job I’m doing or how proud he is of me or my favorite four words, I love you, mom. I feel like I won the lottery being chosen to be his mother. If you’ve ever seen the Disney Movie Frozen, my son would be charismatic snowman, Olaf.

One day it was raining and I was excited that I didn’t have to get up early for work and could sleep in. At around 5:30 in the morning I hear laughter come running down the hall and my door pushes open, it’s Mr. happy pants himself.

He comes over to my bed and exclaims, “Mom it’s a beautiful bright and sunny day, won’t you get up?” With his squeaky voice, you can’t help but giggle.

I quickly grabbed him to lie next to me and I said, “Boo-boo, it’s raining outside, there is no sun today.”

With my eyes half open I can see him thinking about it and then I slowly watch him get up, lean up against the window and raise the curtain. I on the other hand am now covering my head with my blankets wishing this child would just go find something to do and give me fifteen more minutes.

As he was looking out the window he says, “Mom, you’re wrong! If you look past the clouds, the sun is still shinning, now will you please get up.”

That was my moment of clarity. At that split second in time I realized that this amazing four year old boy sitting beside me was more connected to his source than I could ever imagine being. The world could be melting around him and he would take the time to pick some flowers along the way. He truly finds the happy in every moment. Now don’t get me wrong, he does get sad and he does cry, but it never lasts long.

Later that day, his words got me thinking. He was right! I guess you can say that clouds in general can represent the omnipresent that is currently happening in our lives and the sun represents the good, the revitalizing and the energy that we get another chance to get better, do better and be better.

The sadness and the self-limiting beliefs actors often impose onto themselves because they feel as if they are not good enough, feeling rejected because you think a casting director didn’t like your performance or feeling hopeless because you haven’t booked in a while and everyone around you is; can really take a toll on your mind, body and spirit.

How exhausting.

Perhaps if you just took the time to clear away all the negativity (the clouds) you would leave more room for the goodness to shine through.

When you can find the strength to reflect on not only what’s working but more importantly what’s not working, I believe that’s when you can truly give gratitude; even in the midst of a storm.

Just remember, “Should you shield the canyons from the windstorms you would never see the true beauty of their carvings” – Elizabeth Kubler-Ross.

Don’t let anything or anyone shield you from your true potential. Go out there, be great and follow your bliss!

I’d love to hear from you. Share your tips on what you do to find gratitude, even in the storm.