Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Today's excerpt is called "Idealizing'

Much of my time on this planet has been about yearning for what I don't have.  Like a lot of people, I have had an active fantasy life about how I wanted things to be, which left me resenting the way things actually were.  When I was living this high-flying future life in my mind, it was a total bummer to wake up to where I really was.  The yearning was making me blind to the ways I was already living parts of that dream.

A couple of years ago, when I first moved to New York, I was about to go on tour for the first time in years.  I was on the phone when a friend, talking about the tour, and worrying about finding a job when I got back.  I was deep into complaint mode (which just means I was afraid and feeling helpless).  I was complaining about how I still needed a job and how I hadn't figured out how to make a living doing what I loved.  "But," my wise friend said, "notice how you already are making a living doing what you love."  It was at that moment that I realized she was right.  For two weeks, I was going to be working full-time as a musician.  Just because I had to get a job when I got back didn't mean those two weeks didn't count!

I started to look around to see other ways I was already living my dream life.  I was living in New York, in an apartment I lvoed.  I had a partner who tickled me silly, and an artist studio for the first time in my life.

Um, HELLO!  This is REAL LIFE TALKING!  Not too shabby!

As artists, we all have running fantasy lives about our future glory.  What do those fantasies contain?  What are the ways you can live them right now?  If you imagine yourself going to art school, how about paying a visit to that art school?  If you're like me, you might have a fantasy about what you will do when you get your first book published.  My fantasy was always to sign the large and extravagant book contract and then go to Boathouse Restaurant in Central Park.  Until I got the large book contract, the Boathouse Restaurant seemed out of reach and something to enjoy only in my dreams.  Then some friends surprised me by taking me there for dinner and it suddenly dawned on me:  The Boathouse was available for dinner now.  I didn't have to wait to go there - my life was special occasion enough!

Elements of your ideal life are happening right now and, in order for them to grow into the full picture, they just need encouragement.

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