Hello beautiful people. Have you hugged yourself today? This is a question I ask our members every time we chat because ever since 2020 went sideways, I’m finding we’re not getting nearly enough of the yummy brain chemicals that kick up when we get a hug. Yes, even from ourselves. So… take a moment and do that.

There’s big work going on in the world right now. Strong emotions. Lifetimes of pain. And as creatives, we take on a whole lot more of that energy than others. Specifically, because of what we do for a living, we have a bajilliondy energetic hitchhikers at times. And with no sign that the pressure of “life in 2020” is letting up soon, part of our work is coming back to center. Grounding ourselves. Calming the nervous system. Slowing the overwhelm.

Pause here for a moment and take a deep breath. Please make your exhale twice as long as your inhale. This tells the amygdala to settle down. It signals “all is well” (and I know, for a lot of us, that’s a bit of a lie we’re telling ourselves… but because we were not BUILT to stay in panic mode 24/7, it’s an important lie to tell a few times a day). Do another breath like this. Hug yourself again.

As a part of my mind-body healing journey in recent years, I did some heavy-duty learning about empaths and HSPs (highly sensitive persons). Without going overboard on the details here, let me state for the record that those of us who embody other humans as a part of our freakin’ jobs MUST have a break from aaaaalllllll the feelings of empathy we have for others’ pain.

See, empathy is super easy for creatives because we are always taking on characters we are not. We are playing roles. We are living out bits of the lives of others for the sake of the story we’re telling at any given time. We’ve been single but playing married. We’ve been childless but playing a parent. We’ve been non-binary but playing gendered. We’ve been gay but playing straight. We’ve been poor but playing wealthy. We’ve been young but playing old. While we may never have played a race other than our own, we still have tools for empathy beyond those of the average guy out there in the world — and that’s why we’re walking around in so much freakin’ pain right now — no matter how WE self-identify.

I share this to ask that you be extra gentle with yourself right now. Whether you’re out demonstrating daily (please consider taking a rest day), making calls and writing letters, raising money, registering people to vote, being an amplifier for change on social media, or quietly taking it all in while still trying to figure out how to bounce back from the pandemic hitting the reset button on your livelihood a few months ago, please… know that your ability to fully embody a character when you’re on a stage is exactly the skill you need to tap into right now.

More correctly, it’s the way you’re able to let a character GO after the run of the show that you need to lean on. Let that connection be real and intimate and deep. But let your ability to recenter yourself for your OWN life, your OWN story, and your OWN peace as you recharge and rest be just as real too.

Before I sign off, here’s two things for you to check out: 1. My podcast interview with fitness guru and biz bestie Steph Gaudreau. Her show is called Listen to Your Body and in this episode, we talked about enoughness, the mind-body connection, and why your authentic self is beautiful. 2. I’ll be chatting with Darren Darnborough of WeAudition on Tuesday at 10:30am PDT (translate that time to your zone) in our FREE Self-Management for Actors SMFA Ninjas Facebook group (join here). We’re gonna cover whether your home self-tape setup is the future of casting and ways in which WeAudition can help SMFA members meet casting directors *and* earn money!

Y’all, I’m so excited about where we’re headed in the world. No, it’s not easy. No, it’s not instant. But I know in the very core of my being that we’re living through some change we will forever be proud to have been a part of. Please keep telling your stories *and* the stories of those whose voices otherwise may never be heard. Our work HEALS the world. Your role in that is important.

Share your thoughts and feelings with me below, wouldja? I’d love to know how you’re doing. I see every comment, every tweet, every reply to the BonBlast, even when I don’t have time to respond. I hear you. And my heart hugs your heart. Now… hug yourself one more time, K?

All my love,

Bonnie Gillespie autographed the internet

Enoughness is an inside job… and sometimes you need a guide to find your way there. Let Bonnie Gillespie get you started.

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  1. Rachel Hardy June 14, 2020 at 6:44 pm

    My heart hugs your heart back! Loving you always and always!!!!!


  2. Jeffrey June 14, 2020 at 6:53 pm

    Hello, Bonnie.

    I loved this entry. It’s so important to be gentle on ourselves and others, too.

    Thank you.I hope you and Keith are doing well.


  3. Tessa June 14, 2020 at 6:57 pm

    Such a healthy reminder! Feeling overwhelmed is okay and makes sense! Just remember to take the rests. Love this.

  4. Jess Sabatini June 14, 2020 at 7:14 pm

    This was exactly what I needed. Those deep breaths and self hugs brought on some tears. Thank you for your words. You helped me today. I’m going to share this with a few friends who are having a tough time too.

    Hugging is one of the best things a heart can do in my opinion ❤️ Love you Bonnie

    1. TBG_Erin June 15, 2020 at 11:14 am

      Thank you for sharing! Sending virtual hugs. ❤

  5. Julie McNamara June 14, 2020 at 7:22 pm

    Thank you Bonnie! This was so needed today <3

    1. TBG_Erin June 15, 2020 at 11:14 am


  6. Kellye Rowland June 14, 2020 at 8:55 pm

    Between this and the fb comment I got 4 Bon ‘Hug Yourself’ prompts in one day, a day I really needed to. I’m an empath and HSP from way back, and I know I am not cleansing myself of energies that don’t belong to me near often enough. Your blog today is a reminder to me to not forget to do that after my meditation tonight, which will be on gratitude.

    I finally jettisoned my active alcoholic guy, and I’ve been doing nothing but crying every night because of how horribly it ended (he drunk texted me the usual flurry then called me a name I can’t even repeat here but it starts with a “C” and ends with a “T.”) Aaaaand I think we’re done here. I can’t come back from that. I don’t care how blackout drunk you are, no one who can call me that horrible, loaded with misogyny word belongs in my life, period. This may sound weird, but I’m kind of glad he did. It made what I’ve needed to do since probably last July (or longer) easier to do, which is finally walk away. So your blog post is right on time for me, like no other. Thanks for the self hugs Bon. Hugs right back. <3

    Now, on to the work I came here to do. <3

    1. TBG_Erin June 15, 2020 at 11:16 am

      Sending lots of love Kellye, and a MAJOR congrats for letting go of that toxic energy in your life. Baby steps and deep breaths. You got this. ❤

  7. Randy Schein June 15, 2020 at 2:25 am


    Thank you for this. What a great reminder. It feels like we are living in the upside down from STRANGER THINGS but I do have faith that we will get through this — together.

    And hopefully, the other side will have more light, love and compassion for one another.

    Something I’ve learned is the 4/7/8 breathing method. You inhale through your nose for four seconds, hold it for seven and exhale through your mouth for eight seconds. It takes you right out of fight or flight and into relaxation.

    Take care and please stay safe and healthy.


  8. LEIGH ARIANA TRIFARI June 15, 2020 at 3:49 am

    Thank you so much for this post, Bonnie.

    I woke up this morning, feeling VERY emotional. Totally overwhelmed. It’s been a chaotic week for me.

    I live in the UK, where we are having our own struggle with COVID, with protests, with civil disobedience and the heavy-as-lead pressures from the media and the police state to “conform” and “obey”. My creative soul is saying a big giant “FUCK OFF!” right now. I have had arguments with friends, arguments with my husband and arguments with myself , as I steel my career ever forward.

    I am soooo grateful to be getting your emails (your “Bon Blasts” ) and to be part of your Ninja community. If anyone here wants to drop me a line and have a chat, I could use some cheerful reinforcements.

    Take care everyone and stay healthy and alert.

    1. TBG_Erin June 15, 2020 at 11:20 am

      Sending love and cheer, Leigh! It’s been a lot for everyone. Do everything you can to be kind to yourself right now. 💕

  9. Kirsten Krieg June 15, 2020 at 7:55 am

    Thank you so much, I needed this one right now!! Sending lots of love your way too!! 🙂

  10. Bonnie Gillespie June 28, 2020 at 9:06 pm

    Rach — Ah, I miss you so. Thank you for checking in and sharing some heart-hugs. I love you!

    Jeffrey — Thank you! Stay loaded up with self-care.

    Tessa — That’s right! No shame in overwhelm. Not sure why it’s gotten such a bad rap over time. 🙂

    Jess — Than you for doing that deep breathing and self-hugging. So so so clear we need it when we react that way upon doing it. Just need more. Sending you love now and always!

    Julie — *smooch* ❤❤❤

    Kellye — Working this into our own self-care rituals is so valuable. I’m glad you’re making it all part of the permanent collection. 😉 I’m sending you extra hugs as you heal from your relationship. For sure, sometimes those really rough things happen to make sure we don’t talk ourselves into going back for more. It’s like the ultimate NO line. Stay inspired, lovely. We’re here for you. You’re doing good work.

    Randy — Together is the only way through, isn’t it? Thank you for popping in and sharing your light. It’s always so good to see you. Thank you also for sharing the breathing technique you’re using. Super helpful to have so many tools in our self-care toolbox, right?

    Leigh — You’re welcome! I’ve experienced those soul-level “Fuck off!” messages too. It’s as if there’s a rebellion happening way beyond the physical level when the messaging gets so heavy and consistent for so long from oppressive others. I’m glad you found us too and I’m so happy the BonBlasts are keeping you grateful and connected. If you’re not already a member of the Euro Ninjas Facebook group, be sure to join in there. They have a regular WhatsApp text chain going and they get together on a Zoom (or some other video chat app — not sure what they’re using right now) once a month at least. 💕

    Kirst — I love you. So looking forward to our time together in the astro mastermind! 🙂


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