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Getting Real

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Well, it’s February. The month of love and I have been thinking so much about it lately. I am one of the lucky ones who has an epic love with another person and I am eternally grateful for it.

That said, I have, in the past had an epic love-hate relationship with myself. In the recent past, it has been a growing hate relationship for sure and no matter how hard I tried, I could not get the self-love thing to work. I did the mantras, I read the books, I took the baths, I went to the spa…all of it.

And I just couldn’t figure out how to start to love myself – until recently.

January brought a lot of reflecting time for me and in that reflection time, I started to get really real with myself. I had to be really honest. What I was doing with my career was not what I dreamed of my whole life. I had let my ego take over and my creative soul felt like it was dying on a daily basis. Dramatic? Maybe. But, that’s what it felt like to me. So, I took a deep breath and asked myself “if you had all the money in the world, what would you do?” And, my heart sang out that I would be an actor and an author.

In that moment I made the painful, but ultimately brave decision to honor that voice and to give myself permission to follow my true dream again even though I am now 41. Even though I haven’t acted in 15 years. Even though my body might not be up for it. I decided that I couldn’t go one more day without at least giving it a try. There’s nothing I can do about being 41, we all age. There’s nothing I can do about the fact that I haven’t acted in 15 years. There’s nothing I can do about the fact that in my self hatred, I punished my body. The thing I can do is practice my craft, get back out there and work to make my body stronger and healthier than it’s ever been. I gave myself permission to change my mind, but only after really giving it a shot.

This decision was one of the scariest of my life, but as I made it, my heart started to open and I realized that the self-hatred I’ve been feeling for a decade was me being angry with me for not listening to my heart, for giving up on my life-long dream.

And, as scary as the jump is, it is the first thing that feels absolutely right in years. And, guess what – instead of feeling so much frustration and self-hatred, my heart is full. Full of love and compassion for myself for taking such a leap, one of complete and total faith.

So, in this month of love, I invite you to really look at your life and make sure that if you’re feeling anything other than love for yourself, that you ask “am I really following my true dreams?” Because I’ve learned that following your dreams is the best form of self-love around.

Jenna Edwards

About Jenna Edwards

With a passion for acting and the business of show-business, Jenna moved to Burbank, CA in 2000. Soon after, she appeared in UNSOLVED MYSTERIES, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER and MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE. In 2008 she produced her first feature, the award-winning film, APRIL SHOWERS. Building on the success of April Showers, Jenna produced the first narrative feature film exclusively for Hulu. Jenna helped create and was the “resident producing advisor” on the Movie Maker Magazine top ranked podcast, FILM METHOD and wrote an advice column called the Film Method Mailbag. She also taught producing at New York Film Academy. Years of teaching, consulting and coaching filmmakers made Jenna want to do more so she started her company, Indie Movie Mastery which focuses on teaching producing through an online course and encouraging filmmakers to think outside the box though her podcast and blogs