In March of 2020, I found this “Everything Will Be Okay” printable out there on the internet, printed it (on the back of a page from a screenplay; we’re all about reusing the paper we consume in our lives before recycling it), and taped to our street-facing window.

A message of hope and connection during a time we were never leaving the house, but those who DID pass by were essential workers, probably needing a little reminder that things wouldn’t always be as scary as they seemed right then, with all the unknowns.

Window Sign Everything Will Be Okay Rainbow on Script Page by Bonnie Gillespie

See, the human brain hates unknowns. It sees the known (even when the known is pretty shitty) as safe and the unknown as a threat.

And for the majority of 2020, we’ve all been in a state of fight-flight-freeze-faint. And it’s exhausting. It’s taxing. It has the nervous system on high alert. It prevents deep sleep. It causes us to retain weight, be dehydrated, lose our words when we know what we want to say. It lowers our immunity. It puts us in survival mode that we’re only meant to enter (from a brain chemistry perspective) for SHORT bursts of time, followed by deep recovery.

I realized this weekend I haven’t had deep recovery in 4 years.

Because something happened when the election results were called.

My shoulders stopped being earrings. My muscles relaxed. My nervous system felt the unfamiliar sensation of this bass line of CALM. Sure, knowing there’s a shit-ton of work to do; but of knowing we can do it from a place of calm, not of “Am I being attacked?”

And let me be clear that EVEN SUPPORTERS OF THE SOON-TO-BE-FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA have been in fight-flight-freeze-faint mode for 4 years. They’ve just most often chosen FIGHT… while most creatives I work with have chosen whatever you’d label “How the hell do I keep showing up to do work that requires my emotions be accessible when all I want to do is scream out in empathy for everyone who is in so much pain right now and I feel so powerless and what is the point anyway.”

It’s been a lot.

And I’m not saying it’s over, we’re in the clear, there’s not TONS of work to do!

We still live in a country deeply divided and in pain. And our country isn’t the only one.

What I’m saying is that we may, soon, begin to move forward WITH the work we all have to do from a more stable foundation. Our nervous system may begin to trust that we’re not about to die, always.

The biggest favor we can do ourselves right now is to normalize calm. End our addiction to news updates and social media rage-follows. Make the convos we have focused around what our healing work looks like. GET SLEEP. Restore our setpoint of “everything will be okay”.

(BTW — Never in the history of time have I ever gone on to someone else’s social media and tried to convince them they’re wrong for their POV. I am shocked at the need some people have to come at me in reply to an email or in my social media spaces, not to try and convince me I’m wrong, but to ATTACK ME for my point of view. That’s some bullying that has been made to seem OKAY due to the soon-to-be-former-president-of-the-United-States-of-America’s setpoint. And it is NOT okay. No matter how much of it we’ve been exposed to.)

Why am I saying all of this in a post for creatives who turn to me for guidance as they live out their next-tier dreams?

Because the exhale you may be feeling is your nervous system THANKING YOU for giving it a more stable starting point from which to do the hard work ahead for us all.

And if you’re not yet feeling an exhale, you will. You just first may need to undo the trauma-bonding that these past 4 years have done to activate things that actually have happened in YOUR life (because the brain *loves* linking things that could be a threat to things that HAVE been a threat in our lives).

Our work as artists, as creatives, as people who give a shit about others is ALWAYS to take the strong emotions EVERYONE feels and turn them into art. Our work is to make meaning out of things that feel meaningless to non-creatives. Our work is to show EVERYONE that they are heard and that their voices matter… because we can amplify those stories in our creations.

As artists, we’re here to heal.

How are YOU going to do that work a tiny bit today? Whether it’s unsubscribing from things you don’t need in your inbox, setting up a self-tape corner of your home, overhauling your bio to be more purposeful, putting in a shift at your survival job with renewed energy for why you’re doing that work, or simply walling off time to DEEPLY rest after a long stretch of being too anxious to exhale… what are you going to do today?

I want to know and comments are open just below. I see every last one of ’em, so do share. If there’s a way I can support you in your goals, you know I will do my best!

Oh… and if you feel the need to rant at me…

old man yells at cloud

…please use that energy to come together with people you’re aligned with. I don’t mean politically aligned; I mean ENERGETICALLY aligned.

I am here for people who know the best use of their energy is to BUILD THINGS, not tear other people down.

I’m so excited for all that we’ll be able to build from a less HIGH ALERT state of mental health. Share with me what you’re going to build. What needs healing and how can you be a part of that? And how can I help?

Lemmeknow in the comments below!

All my ninja 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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36 Comments

  1. Avatar Naomi Warner November 8, 2020 at 2:58 pm

    Right when I was starting to stress about a task that I need to accomplish, like, yesterday, I looked up and saw your post come through my email, with its subject “Everything will be okay.” Thank you for that! 🙂

    I have started carving out a little haven for myself by a window in my bedroom – it’s got a big comfy chair, a shelf for some of my still-need-to read books, and a place to put my coffee mug. I’ve never created a spot like this for myself, and it shows in my anxiety levels, and my always feeling like I have to rush to the next thing. (These past four years have only made that anxiety even worse, and harder to navigate.)

    I’m going to use this spot to unwind, journal, read books, and daydream just for the joy of daydreaming.

    Reply
    1. TGB_Amy TGB_Amy November 12, 2020 at 4:43 pm

      That little haven sounds delightful! I hope it helps you find peace and joy.

      Reply
    2. Bonnie Gillespie Bonnie Gillespie November 17, 2020 at 2:20 am

      Perfect! I love spots like that and I’m glad you’ve given yourself that. If you take a photo of it, could you tag me at Instagram so I can see it? I’d love to celebrate it with you. Here’s to more daydreaming!

      Reply
  2. Avatar Judy Kerr November 8, 2020 at 3:12 pm

    Wow what a ride this has been. I did disconnect all of my programmed daily news on election day. Tomorrow I start my first week of not knowing what’s going on. The political world can carry on without me it is robbing me of my joy – or is it – there’s no joy in it? Please I’m hoping to stay true and that I can truly drop out, I’m exhausted but relieved. I need to heal. Right now I’m using that Louise Hay quote you were talking about and looking in the mirror and saying I forgive and love you, it’s time to heal. I love there being a time to heal. It’s hard to know what healing looks like at the moment I seem to have a lot of wounds. Love and light.

    Reply
    1. Avatar Diana Lansleen November 8, 2020 at 3:47 pm

      Sending you positivity, Judy. Hope it helps to know that you have, and continue to, provide ways for artists to move forward by all that you have shared over the years. 🙂 Anytime I see your name, I think of how you helped me prepare for an audition in 2004, that job changed my life in so many beautiful ways and I’ll always remember the supportive environment you created when I needed it.💗

      Reply
      1. Avatar Judy Kerr November 9, 2020 at 5:21 am

        Thank you Diana your sweet thoughts warm my heart. ❤️❤️❤️

        Reply
    2. Bonnie Gillespie Bonnie Gillespie November 17, 2020 at 2:19 am

      Yes! When we’ve been in a near-constant state of hyper-vigilance and nervous system peak alert levels, it IS hard to know what healing looks like. At first, it looks like a lot of sleep and maybe eating comfort foods more than usual. I know it’s counterintuitive to need those foods as we EXHALE and relax, but that’s when the body’s needs surge and the brain’s obsession over staying safe turns down and that combo means some carbs and naps become a really great combo. 😉

      I do so much of the Louise Hay love-myself language as I’m falling asleep and even as I wake throughout the night. It’s just yummy. I’m glad to share that with you, my beloved Judy. Thank you for being my friend and mentor. I love you.

      Reply
  3. Avatar LEIGH ARIANA TRIFARI November 8, 2020 at 3:14 pm

    “As Artists, we are here to heal” . Oh yes, indeed! Which is why here in Britain, I am mourning the closure of theatres. cinemas going bankrupt, music halls standing silent, museums shuttered and live gatherings banned. It’s almost as if the evil doers KNOW that the one way to take down humanity is to rmove everything that defines us as human. But we WILL find a way. The arts always do.That’s the ONE thing the bad guys can’t contrrol–our creatvity and our energy to express. We WILL get through this. “Vita Breva, Ars Longa” (“Life is short, Art is Long[er]”)
    xoxxoxox

    Reply
    1. TGB_Amy TGB_Amy November 12, 2020 at 4:45 pm

      It’s so true! We are driven to create and there is nothing that will stop us.

      Reply
    2. Bonnie Gillespie Bonnie Gillespie November 17, 2020 at 2:16 am

      No matter the venue, the show will ALWAYS go on. It can’t not. 🙂 Hang in there, Leigh.

      Reply
  4. Avatar Jaye Restivo November 8, 2020 at 3:17 pm

    “Everything works out in the end. And if it hasn’t worked out, it’s not the end.”

    Last night I wanted to watch SNL. Saw the opening sketch and then fell asleep. Not a comment on the show. A comment on the last 4 years. Woke with a start and took the pooch out at about 1:45 am.
    I’m feeling like we’re all in recovery from an abusive relationship. We sre in the safe haven.

    Reply
    1. TGB_Amy TGB_Amy November 12, 2020 at 4:47 pm

      Love this! <3

      Reply
    2. Bonnie Gillespie Bonnie Gillespie November 17, 2020 at 2:15 am

      Yes, yes, yes! Love all of this, GMJ. You are so good.

      Reply
  5. Avatar Kellye Rowland November 8, 2020 at 3:44 pm

    I loved every word of this. Since I have been in abusive relationships before, I know what they look like and the past 4 years was DEFINITELY IT. Gaslit to within an inch of our lives and constantly on alert. Questioning our sanity in perpetual, daily, (sometimes hourly) what. the. fuck land. I am in bed napping because I feel like I could sleep for a week after the added high alert the days between Election Day and yesterday.

    Being in Washington Square Park with my fellow NYers, and dancing and singing yesterday felt like the biggest amount of joy I’ve felt in a long while. The sign that stuck out to me the most, and there were many, said simply this:

    “Live your life in such a way that people don’t dance in the streets when you lose your job.”

    Feel like I can exhale for the first time since Nov. 9th, 2016. There is MUCH work to do on many levels indeed, but it is important for us to *feel* this joy, like you said. Onward to a better more empathetic and compassionate reality. Much love and joy to you Bon, and to all my fellow ninjas. We fucking did it. ❤️

    Reply
    1. TGB_Amy TGB_Amy November 12, 2020 at 4:49 pm

      Thank you so much for sharing this. Keep breathing and seeking the joy.

      Reply
    2. Bonnie Gillespie Bonnie Gillespie November 17, 2020 at 2:15 am

      I love you. We fucking did it indeed. Wish I could’ve been dancing with you in Washington Square Park. I was just there two years ago and have such beautiful photos from my visit. Kiss my other city for me. You are strong and awesome and beautiful and wise.

      Reply
  6. Avatar CrackjerJack November 8, 2020 at 4:14 pm

    So glad you are feeling the spiral down into calm, Bon.

    I’m not there, bc I’m disabled (I only recently was able to come to terms with this) and while I’m happy to know that scientists and legislators are working together once more, it’s going to be a long and very dark winter.

    I think I’ll be able to unclench in January. And I’m grateful to have more space in which to do the work.

    Reply
    1. TGB_Amy TGB_Amy November 12, 2020 at 4:56 pm

      Thank you for sharing your truth here. Sending you love..

      Reply
    2. Bonnie Gillespie Bonnie Gillespie November 17, 2020 at 2:13 am

      1. I love you.
      2. Here’s to unclenching in January.
      3. Yes to the more work for us all. We need to be strong for it.
      4. Please stay strong through this dark winter and always.
      5. I am proud of you. You have always been so brave and even more so with your lighthouse light shining for other brilliant disabled folks who look to you for leadership and role modeling (and those without disabilities too, BTW).

      You remain a goddess, CrackerJack. I love you.

      Reply
  7. Avatar Diana Lansleen November 8, 2020 at 4:16 pm

    Thank you, Bonnie, for reminding us that “we’re here to heal” and to make a choice to “normalize calm”. I’ve started taking time on Sundays for reflection and sometimes that means figuring out how to be okay with making some course corrections to stay well balanced. It’s easy for me to encourage others to take a positive “time out” and your post today was a reminder that I need them too to recharge as well. 🙂 Sending you peaceful positivity, today and always.

    Reply
    1. TGB_Amy TGB_Amy November 12, 2020 at 4:58 pm

      I love the idea of a “positive time out!” So glad you’re taking some time for yourself, too!

      Reply
    2. Bonnie Gillespie Bonnie Gillespie November 17, 2020 at 2:12 am

      What a beautiful Sunday ritual. Thank you for accepting my challenge to recharge, even as you feed so many with your calm energy. 🙂 So much love!

      Reply
  8. Avatar Peggy Richardson! November 8, 2020 at 4:31 pm

    I generally don’t watch the news day to day, and don’t allow the things people get upset about to rock my world with negativity. Honestly, when there’s a hurricane or earthquake somewhere (other than one that shakes my home), someone has to tell me about it because I do NOT watch the news. Despite that fact, the past several months of the pandemic have been difficult and a bit scary, particularly because I’m one of those “65 or over” vulnerable types. Being thousands of miles from most of my family and staying relatively isolated has made me rethink what I’m here for and a friend and I have begun to do children’s videos and entertainment. Why? Because there is JOY in anything for children. And this weekend to soothe my soul, I have turned off the phone, avoided FB, and taken time to savor each and every touch, whether it’s my husband giving me a hug or my cat snuggling against my cheek. I’m breathing in positivity and letting go of stress and negativity with every breath, meditating on accomplishing my goals and healing. And I know everything will be okay. I’ve always trusted in it. Thanks, Bonnie!

    Reply
    1. TGB_Amy TGB_Amy November 12, 2020 at 5:03 pm

      Oh, that’s wonderful! Channeling your energy into children’s entertainment will do doubt bring joy to not only yourself but also to so many kids out there who I know are also feeling the stress of our times. And I’m so glad you’re breathing in the positivity. <3

      Reply
    2. Bonnie Gillespie Bonnie Gillespie November 17, 2020 at 2:11 am

      I LOVE that you’ve been driven to create to connect. Gosh, Peggy, that’s glorious and so needed. So good that you know everything will be okay. That deep KNOWING means so much in the end. Stay safe, my dear.

      Reply
  9. Avatar Anna T November 8, 2020 at 8:04 pm

    As soon as the election results were called yesterday, I crashed.

    I’ve been working my butt off as a campaign volunteer for the last two weeks and dealing with whatever dirty tricks the other opposition was throwing. I was aware that it sent my nervous system on a constant high alert, so I did my best to take care of myself.

    However, I didn’t expect to sleep 12-14 hours a day since yesterday. Aromatherapy with neroli essential oil and himalayan face masks have been helping me to recover from exhaustion. I don’t know how long this will last, but I will continue to listen to my body.

    I finally ordered a YA book series, so I can’t wait to curl up and read as part of my self-care. And if I fall asleep in the middle of reading, I’m okay with that. 🙂

    Reply
    1. TGB_Amy TGB_Amy November 12, 2020 at 5:04 pm

      Thank you for all of your hard work! You certainly deserve the rest!

      Reply
    2. Bonnie Gillespie Bonnie Gillespie November 17, 2020 at 2:08 am

      YES! Falling asleep while reading… so yummy! I hope you did it… several times. 😉 Thank you for all the work you did with the election. I KNOW it made a difference and your system’s reset will be glorious. I hope you’re enjoying it fully, even still. Love you!

      Reply
  10. Avatar Sam Kohler November 8, 2020 at 10:25 pm

    Bonnie,
    This post, totally feels aligned with me. I’ve been trying to heal and process for so long now. I was unaware of how much my past trauma was affecting my present.

    I will be sparse on my own story’s details but basically I’ve discovered that my perfectionism is deeply rooted in my own trauma. It’s the fear of being “bad.” By bad, I mean in an ethical and moral sense. It leads me to focus on details and scrutinize my own work and behavior, all because of the fear of doing something that is wrong. Last week, I listened to your YouTube Video on population of thirds. and I’ve realized that a lot of my relationships, including my parents, are not my third. Wanting to self-scrutinize and perfect things is deeply rooted in unhealthy family dynamics. It was really hard to explain why things were going wrong with different relationships and I feel like this insight has been my key discovery of this past year.

    This year I’ve explored a lot of woo stuff, the enneagram, and research on trauma and the body. It’s interesting that at the beginning of the year, I chose “discovery” as my word for the year. I’ve discovered a lot about myself. I’ve also discovered a lot of what wasn’t working for me. but at least now I learning to navigate this world a little bit better #Vision2020

    Reply
    1. TGB_Amy TGB_Amy November 12, 2020 at 5:05 pm

      Sending you love as your continue your journey of self-discovery and healing.

      Reply
    2. Bonnie Gillespie Bonnie Gillespie November 17, 2020 at 2:07 am

      THIS!!!! Yes! Oh, Sam, I’m sending you so many hugs. Your work seems to parallel what we do in Expansive Capacity in so many ways. When I learned many of my relatives are not in my third… it was hard to take, but then it wasn’t. It got really simple and straightforward after a while and I no longer feel that same “good girl” stuff in the same way I once did. I hope you feel a softening with this too. {{hugs}}

      Reply
  11. Avatar Aida November 8, 2020 at 11:18 pm

    Hey Bonnie,
    You know, even for those of us “watching” from outside the US, the last four years have been agony. Without even going in to that much further, I think that we can now hopefully go back to hope, integrity, accountability, permission to be us, permission to show our colours.
    This week I’m going on a social media detox to focus on connecting with my truth (acting and real life) as well as self-care.
    So happy to read that you’ve been feeling relieved. Sending so much love

    Reply
    1. TGB_Amy TGB_Amy November 12, 2020 at 5:06 pm

      Your hope is my hope, too! <3

      Reply
    2. Bonnie Gillespie Bonnie Gillespie November 17, 2020 at 2:05 am

      Thank you, Aida. I’m certain much of the world exhaled with this. GOOD CALL on the social media detox. Hope it’s serving you well!

      Reply
  12. Avatar Helen November 13, 2020 at 4:44 pm

    Hi Bon!
    I’m rearranging my office to be more production friendly. Moving things out to just make room, to breathe. Letting go of old stuff. Feels great! Thanks for all you do!
    Hel

    Reply

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