I don’t know about you, but I love to travel. Always have.
My dad worked for Delta for 40 years so I grew up putting on my Sunday best, showing up super early to the Atlanta airport, and playing “Spot the pass riders” from the gate area, because everyone else would be dressed for comfort. We were in full-on managerial dress code in the 1970s. It was a different time.
We’d try and figure out whose Delta daddy had the most seniority because “space available” would mean first class (OMG, I so loved the black forest cake they served in Delta’s first class back then) and I will never forget all the places I got to explore for the price of my patience and flexibility (and willingness to wear pantyhose).
While the actual travel experience may be quite different four decades later, I still really enjoy getting to explore new places — and revisiting old ones from a new perspective! Because every time I travel, it’s somehow new. Because *I* am always changing. We all are, of course.
As I write this, I’m a few hours away from almost a month of travel! Chicago, New York, Toronto. (Oh, hey, New York! They’ve put another of my SAG-AFTRA Foundation events up on the website. Go grab your spot and let’s jam! Chicago, there’s still space in one of my two events in your beautiful city here.)
For those who’ve been following my crazy medical mystery, you may be interested to know that this trip — scheduled long before my first visit to the ER a few months back — also aligns with the chance to see a mindbody specialist. Yup. Having exhausted no small number of medical experts here in LA, I’m huddling with someone whose practice is built around how we can use the power of the mind to heal the body.
I am also just as excited to eat some really great pizza. And of course to connect with more and more of you glorious creatives who love to jam with me about Self-Management for Actors! Hooray!
But what I really adore about traveling is how ME I feel while doing it.
Before I became sober, I thought this was more about enjoying being able to drink alone in a way that would be weird in my real life. Before I pulled back from being a workaholic, I thought this was all about my ability to knock out a few chapters of my next book from the privacy of my hotel room or the quiet I could find in a public place like on a blanket spread out under a tree in Central Park.
I’ve always loved that striking up convos with strangers would allow me to really hear myself talk about what it is that I do and who I believe I am in the world. Really give me the chance to connect with what I was saying. Really buy into my own bullshit or change the narrative to test out a new logline or even adjust the focus on my worldview.
I’m finding prepping for this trip to be a very different predicament as, in the past few months my life has become filled with prescriptions and potions and accessories for pain relief that I usually needn’t haul around. And being a good ol’ Cancer the crab, I already tend to carry around way too many things (that’s a hazard of that whole shell thing — rarely do Cancers let much of what they THINK they need be out of reach).
There’s that word I chose for 2018. Remember?
I *thought* I meant reaching out, having greater reach with my clients around the world, reaching new heights. Welp… it’s really feeling like reaching WITHIN now. Like, hardcore.
And this medical situation has caused me to get ridiculously picky with how I invest my energy. When there’s so little of it, holy balls is it fascinating to see how LITTLE I *actually* need to deal with.
Stuff I spent decades not only dealing with but feeling as though it was all very very very very very important.
Answering emails — even when the question’s answer exists clearly in the pages of my website or books — once felt important.
Being complete in looking at every. flippin. thing. on social media — not important.
Correcting anyone who’s wrong about anything, ever. Nope. Not even the tiniest bit important. They’ll figure it out. Or they won’t.
It absolutely does not matter.
Even if what they’re WRONG about is me.
Label me however you wish. I’m not correcting your perception of me. That’s not at all in the Top 100 items of my to-do list anymore.
Maybe for the first time ever.
Basically, in the past few months, I’ve become keenly aware that I used to believe my value came from my ACTIVE involvement in conversations, discussions, master plans. And what’s starting to feel really great — when it comes to a full expression of who I am — is my hands-off-ed-ness. My TRUST. My faith that it’s all out there and findable and not mine to come fix or explain or rescue.
I’m learning that the less IN IT I am, the greater meaning my contributions have in the world.
I know. Pretty existential shit for a blog post, huh?
I’m packing a lot less than I ever have. Taking fewer belongings with me for nearly a month away than I normally would for even a week away. Letting events happen without me. Not stressing about what will happen if I’m not an ACTIVE part of so much busy-ness.
I expect I’ll do a lot of journaling. Some EFT. Walking around these beautiful cities I’m visiting. Yes, of course, coaching my badass clients, meeting fellow casting director type people, speaking to groups who’ve gathered to learn some SMFA goodness. Of course. But also a lot of introspection. Meditation. Exploration of enoughness from a place of BEING, not DOING.
Because really, for all the “I am enough” that I teach in our mindset work for actors, writers, and other creative storytellers in showbiz, the question: “How ENOUGH do you feel that you are when you just sit, alone, with your thoughts and feelings?” is way bigger than I have previously explored.
I’m most myself when I travel.
On this series of trips, I suspect I’ll discover things I’d never imagined about myself. And there’s zero chance this won’t impact my work. My relationships. My whole self-concept.
No point in feeling STALE in life, right? 😉
For those of you curious enough to see where this goes, I really look forward to sharing new things with y’all.
And for those of you saying, “WTF, Gillespie?!? We came here for the dance-monkey-dance of help with learning our type or formatting a resumé or getting an agent or booking more work. Help us with THAT. Shut up about the rest,” I’ll remind you that as creatives — which we ALL are — our work is not just to heal the world with our art, it’s to let others feel less alone by sharing a bit about our process. It’s okay if the work I’m doing right now feels so self-indulgent that it challenges you and your expression of love for me.
For the first time in my life, I really don’t give a shit what anybody thinks. Healing is never self-indulgent. It’s courageous. I hope you don’t have to build an empire, get sober, create the life of your dreams on every level on your own terms, exhale at the top of the mountain thinking, “YES!!!! We DID it!” and then get so jacked up that you have no choice but to examine what you’ve been hoping you never have to deal with. I hope you don’t wait ’til you’re 47 to invest in yourself as if you’re the only thing that counts in the world.
Because without you, you HAVE no world.
Love yourself a little extra right this moment, wouldja?
And if I’m about to see you in my travels, I hope you’ll find inspiration in my being my most selfy self!
Before I close off and we taxi across the tarmac, I should mention that my London Self-Management for Actors intensive (yes, this is SIX months away) is almost full! Oh, and Atlanta, I *just* today booked a speaking gig for while I’m there in September (for my daddy’s 85th b’day, don’tchaknow). Oh, I love having all of this come together! More travel!
Hope you’ll join me on my next Facebook Live broadcast this Saturday May 12th! I’ll be talking about how mindset work and massive self-care is the creative’s secret weapon to finding success and making it last. Meet me over here to join in the fun! (And yes, you can ask your questions about our first-ever live round of Get in Gear for the Next Tier during this broadcast. Happy to jam with y’all about that while registration is still open.)
Okay, gotta go! No “Sunday best” for the flight this time, but I so look forward to all I’ll learn on this trip, being my “Bonnie best” for sure!
Bonnie Gillespie is living her dreams by helping others figure out how to live theirs. Wanna work with Bon? Start here. Thanks!
Bam! This hit me, because I’m 49, and I’m still working on this: “I hope you don’t wait ’til you’re 47 to invest in yourself as if you’re the only thing that counts in the world.
Because without you, you HAVE no world.”
But you know what? I’m not gonna feel shame that I’m working on it, because at least I KNOW to work on it! I am aware and am making mindful choices, and I choose to work on investing in myself and loving myself. Sometimes it’s hard when your body isn’t doing what you want it to do. But maybe our bodies are telling us, “Invest MORE in me.” I’m trying to listen and give myself what I need. I’m glad you are too, Bon.
Lotsa love and happy healing vibes!
LOVE this, Laura! We are *all* works in progress, and there is no shame in that. <3 Sending lots of love to you as you do this important work.