In general, adults have the awareness that we will have to disappoint in the micro in order to serve the macro.

Meaning.

Saying no to the inner voice demanding a cookie creates a better long-term relationship with food as fuel.

Saying no to putting up your friend whose life-of-drama has led to yet another tragic breakup… leads to a future in which you’re not such a drama magnet.

Saying no to overstuffing your calendar with way too many commitments creates a more balanced you, who is fully present at the times she DOES commit.

But.

Right now? The macro is taking a backseat.

Because if I have to think about things in the macro, I will lose my shit in the micro.

Case in point: On Friday I was doing a walk — dutifully bound up in my mask even though it was 82F out and there was no one around — to warm up for a virtual meeting with my personal trainer… because me in the macro? She shows up for workouts in the micro. Macro me? She has the fitness of someone who keeps her commitments in the micro. Future me, macro me… she’s post-pandemic healthy and fit and strong.

Yeah… but as I walked to warm up, I felt not only my mask grow tight but also my sportsbra and my leggings. Everything constricted. And as my sunglasses fogged up from the hotboxing going on in my mask, I knew the all-too-familiar (and quite frequent, many years ago) reality of a panic attack.

So I stopped in my tracks, whipped out my phone, texted my trainer, and said our workout was off. I also cancelled our workouts on the calendar for the next few weeks.

Not because I won’t want to do those, but because right now? Right now, I cannot have the PRESSURE of what Best Me, Future Me, Macro Me would like to put on the schedule.

Right now, I have to live in the micro.

And feeling good in the micro? Sometimes that looks like icecream for breakfast. Sometimes that looks like a nap in the middle of the day. Sometimes that looks like picking off all the fingernail polish I so carefully applied the day before.

Because micro yesterday wanted to paint the nails. Micro right now wants to do something inconsequentially destructive.

Emphasis on the INCONSEQUENTIALLY destructive, y’all.

I have been living a sober life of disappointing in the micro in order to serve the macro long enough to know that I’ve banked a LOT of good momentum. I have to TRUST that there are future conditions in which Best Me is easier to maintain.

Of course, ideally, we want our Best Selves to be served irrespective of conditions. Best times, worst times, everything in between… the macro is in mind. We’re brushing our teeth because we want to keep ’em in our heads ’til we die.

But right now? It’s one long slumber party for which we forgot to pack a toothbrush.

And we’ve gotta trust we’ll have the tools to undo any micro damage happening right now.

Here’s the most important thing about overriding the Proper Adult Status of disappointing in the micro in order to serve the macro (it’s proper adult status because an adult knows it’s unwise to let a child stay up all night and they don’t fear being the bad guy who enforces bedtime, because the adult knows tomorrow will go better when decisions are not made by the child who can’t conceive of anything but NOW NOW NOW): When we have those moments of macro thinking, we are not allowed to beat ourselves up for what we’re doing in the micro.

Because macro us has LOTS of judgment about micro us. And macro us is coming from the POV of the reality we’re used to… not this one.

So, right now, I’m asking, “What helps in the micro?” And as long as my commitments to my sobriety, my marriage, and my values are intact, we’re good to go with whatever it is that gets me through the next moment.

Macro-minded me is not invited to critique the breakfast of popcorn I just had. Macro-minded me will be invited back into the world when the world looks more like the one for which it was built.

What I can promise right now is that I’m not going to be cruel to myself for not being Best Bon every single minute of every single day. Best me is showing up pretty often, all things considered. So my work is to be grateful for those visits and aware that there’s a future in which I’m less micro-focused than I am at this moment.

The only thing we owe ourselves is a safe place to be exactly who we are at any time.

There’s a lot of judgment out there. Keeping ourselves out of the condemnation business is the work sometimes.

Hey, if hanging out feels good to you, I’ll be hosting a livestream at 12pm PDT Wednesday the 29th on Facebook, YouTube, and Periscope c/o Twitter. I’d love to have you hop on in with us as we dive in on the resilience of creatives… and a little bit of the woo! I’ll also share a bit about how I’m actively casting right now — yes, right now — and I’m not the only one.

Ah, there is much of life that is not all that different from what we’re used to… and there’s so so much that’s way more magical and wonderful than we’ve ever believed possible.

The potential we’re living is just so exciting! Staying focused on that really helps. πŸ˜‰

Pop your thoughts in the comments just below, wouldja? I love connecting with you! Macro, micro, always. πŸ˜‰

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.

[The Resilience of Creatives (I’m CASTING Right Now)]

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33 Comments

  1. Avatar Jess Sabatini April 28, 2020 at 12:17 am

    This spoke to me in the clearest way. Macro me is pushing to submit to agents and managers by Thursday. Micro me wants to sit on the couch and eat Ben and Jerry’s. Macro me wanted to get those submissions in last week. Micro me needed to cry and nap. Thank you for reminding me that it’s okay to do the minimum right now. I’m going to work on being gentle with myself. I hope you’re all hanging in there πŸ™‚

    Reply
    1. Bonnie Gillespie Bonnie Gillespie April 28, 2020 at 12:45 am

      Oh, sweetheart. Yes. YESSSSSS! (And *why* is Ben & Jerry’s SO SO SO comforting?!?)

      It’s great when we get glimpses of Best Us and have the ability to move something forward on that path… but it is SO totally okay when we can’t even THINK about that right now.

      Sending you so much love. If being gentle with yourself is what you get out of this time, OMG what a gift.

      Reply
  2. Avatar Jsye April 28, 2020 at 12:56 am

    Just as I was going through feeling all the feels about my elderly aunt dying of COVID19, I found out over the weekend that my ex-husband had died. Wham. Wham. Wham. He was an ex for a reason. However, we had a shared history- including a daughter – I am numb now. And too much “Story Story” to go into it all now.
    What feels really weird is that now I am inspired not to leave the planet while I still have music in me – i.e. the creativity that I was given to use.
    I feel like I’m upside down…

    Reply
    1. Bonnie Gillespie Bonnie Gillespie April 28, 2020 at 1:01 am

      {{{{{hugs}}}}} Let that upside down feeling soak all the way in, Jaye. It’s safe. You are well. And everything’s gonna be all right. Sending you love.

      Reply
  3. Avatar Breezy Sharp April 28, 2020 at 1:18 am

    So timely! I definitely needed this. And though I got it via email at like 4 in the morning lol, I’m so glad I was randomly up to read it. It’s moments like these that I reflect on the happy β€œcoincidences” in life. Thank you for the reminder, Bonnie!!! πŸ’œ

    Reply
    1. Bonnie Gillespie Bonnie Gillespie April 28, 2020 at 1:21 am

      Isn’t it great when things land right on time? Sending you so much love!

      Reply
  4. Avatar Lisa Cole April 28, 2020 at 2:11 am

    Ok. I was picking off my (freshly done) nail polish when I read this! Also, had cake for breakfast (when I got up at noon) and popcorn for dinner. I’d say I got this micro thing going full blast. πŸ˜†
    Perfect, Bon. Perfect. Thank you. xo

    Reply
    1. Bonnie Gillespie Bonnie Gillespie April 28, 2020 at 2:39 am

      Girl. You and I could quarantine together forEVER. How in-sync are we?!? LOL LOL LOL Way to micro!!

      Sending you so much love, my sweet Lisa love. XO

      Reply
  5. Avatar janet rembaum April 28, 2020 at 4:24 am

    This is just what i was going through,( coming terms with), and i read this… you put it so beautifully and clearly Bonnie. i think maybe i was pushing myself too much last week and had a kind of meltdown breakdown on friday of isolation and everything. I’d done a 5 day online self taping workshop with a casting director and been doing several online ballet, yoga mediation classes, per day, songs, work on my things like Bios etc, was keeping positive, a schedule, and felt i was doing well, but could hardly breathe πŸ™‚ then i just broke. THIS week i am totally i think as you say in the micro, still doing things but taking it easier, moment by moment exactly what i want and can do.feels better, sending love.

    Reply
    1. Bonnie Gillespie Bonnie Gillespie May 6, 2020 at 8:21 pm

      Yes, yes, yes! I think this pace you’re describing is something a lot of us got caught in (and are getting caught in, still). I’m so glad this landed right on time for you. πŸ™‚

      Reply
  6. Avatar Bernard O'Sullivan April 28, 2020 at 5:18 am

    This was exactly what I needed to read (and reread) today. One again, thank you for getting it right, Bonnie.

    Reply
  7. Avatar Judy Kerr April 28, 2020 at 7:05 am

    Wow – thank you Bonnie – yes as usual you address what I need to hear. Loved reading the comments and hearing we really are in this together. Yesterday I was struck down because I had cold cereal and cinnamon toast for dinner. The two nights before that I had Trader Joe’s movie popcorn for dinner. I told a friend I was having cereal and she was so shocked like it sounded awful so I really took that in and judging myself talking trash talk putting myself down. Horrible treatment – I don’t deserve it.

    Its tough to try and eat anymore with macro vision. Breakfast is fine with my protein drink and toast I get a good start. I don’t cook I can fix but what I fix I end up taking two or three good bites and then I throw the rest away. the cereal, popcorn and angel food cake I have no problem finishing. Lovely to confess in this safe place.

    In many ways I like the quiet and I’ve found all the things I said I’d do if I had the time I’m not doing. It wasn’t ever a time issue. I’m disappointed I’m not catching up on all I’ve listed I want to watch. I do keep up on the news I want to know all that is going on in these times.

    Yes, the micro – I haven’t gained weight which is always a big scare, I can let the bad self-talk go and I can deal with the macro as we come out of this. There is nothing I need to pressure myself about at the moment. Yay! It helps so much to look at eating as a micro vs. macro problem, it’s choices. Food can be so soothing.

    Reply
    1. Bonnie Gillespie Bonnie Gillespie May 6, 2020 at 8:18 pm

      I find such freedom in learning it was never a time issue! Because now I can never again lie to myself about who I would be “if only I had the time.” Because you know who I would be? Exactly what I am. πŸ™‚ And luckily, I like that girl a lot!

      I bet you like yourself a lot too, Judy. It just takes a little relaxing of that self-concept. πŸ™‚

      I think your meals sound GREAT! I would totally come over for cereal, popcorn, and angel food cake! Love you.

      Reply
  8. Avatar LEIGH ARIANA TRIFARI April 28, 2020 at 7:20 am

    This post is soooooo brilliant, Bonnie!! Thank you so much for really diving in on this one.
    I live in the UK, where I am pursuing my dream of being an international TV/film actress (my macro) and we have been in lockdown here for almost 5 weeks now. I have a desk job and have been furloughed for about the same amount of time. My husband and I are very fortunate in that we live in the countryside, away from major cities, and we have a spacious house and grounds to self-isolate in, and I’ve been giving gratitude for THAT alone Every.Single.Day.
    I have given your post some thought and it seemed too me that once the shock, anger and despair of lost wages and work schedules wore off, I went into even MORE of a Macro mode, but Macro MY way. I refused to sit in on endless Zoom calls and webinars, I refused to do social media more than once a day, I even started trimming my time on emails (I skim first thing in the morning to see if there’s anything urgent, and then I leave the rest til after lunch). I’m finally getting to do lots of little projects that contribute to the macro that I never seemed to have had time to do before. Now there’s talk about us returning to work in possibly 2 weeks, and I’m actually starting to panic because I’m going to miss having all this freedom to do what I want, when I want to, for as long as I want, ‘cuz I ain’t got nowhere else to go…….
    Which isn’t to say I haven’t had micro moments too. This morning, I just broke down in tears for no apparent reason. Last night, my body was craving salt and I definitely had too many helpings of homemade tamari-roasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds. (Thank god we don;t keep potato chips in the house–#grateful)
    I have also completely discarded any notions of becoming America’s next “Ninja Warrior” and creating my own Olympic-caliber backyard workouts with all my spare time—walk in the countryside? No problem. Burpees in the backyard? Fuggedaboutit!! Maybe because I was hospitalised once for 2-1/2 months, I learned to not go crazy with the food , to just ride each day as they came and I let my emotions come and go as they please, and I just start over all again the next day. I’m at about 50-50 in terms of getting fully dressed with full on hair and makeup, and staying in sweats and plain faced. Thanksfully hubby doesn’t comment #doublegrateful.
    I’m gonna miss all this free time I had, but man! am I chomping at the bit about getting back to work.
    Being safe to be who we are and how we’re feeling at any time is THE best place to be, lockdown or not!
    Thank you again, Bon-Bon! xoxox

    Reply
    1. Bonnie Gillespie Bonnie Gillespie May 6, 2020 at 8:11 pm

      Indeed! We should always aspire to being safe being ourselves! πŸ™‚ Right on, Leigh!

      Reply
  9. Avatar PageH April 28, 2020 at 7:38 am

    Oh but yes, girlfriend! If I get one more email telling me I’m a fool if I haven’t harnessed this unique time in the world to get ahead of everyone else sitting on their couches and build my business, stay in touch with clients, get ripped abs, and USE this time that is precious, I will throw up on myself. WTF is wrong with spending an afternoon eating gelato, picking up dog poop in the yard and choosing a paint color for the bedroom (and then changing it again tomorrow) instead of being up to my eyeballs in zoom meetings and strategy sessions about how to get ahead of everyone before this is over. Micro, micro micro!!!!!!!

    Reply
  10. Avatar Kellye Rowland April 28, 2020 at 12:30 pm

    This came at just the right time, per usual. I need a lot a lot a lot of help with micro me right now. Falling down and getting back up again is starting to really really hurt. One day at a time. Imma try and come to the livestream tomorrow. Love to you Bon. <3

    Reply
    1. Bonnie Gillespie Bonnie Gillespie May 6, 2020 at 8:10 pm

      I love you so much, hon. That getting back up again is the work. And you’re doing it. You’ve got this. One day at a time.

      Reply
  11. Avatar Sean Frost April 28, 2020 at 1:19 pm

    Seems like there is a lot of freedom to be had by focusing, when appropriate. Are used to be so focused on the micro on the small things that I could control but I would do it at the expense of taking care of the larger issues. Thank God I am learning (work in progress big-time) to ease up on that and to remember the bigger picture and that each small step is one step closer to a larger goal. I’m finding a lot of this is all about balance at the end of the day.

    Reply
  12. Avatar Kate Bergeron April 28, 2020 at 4:10 pm

    This article was so perfectly timed! I was literally sitting here thinking about how I SHOULD attend this big group meeting so I’ll feel more connected to the group further down the line. But I WANT to eat some popcorn (why is it so comforting?!) and watch a movie after being a full time quarantine parent all day.
    Imma take care of micro-me tonight, refill the well so I can do it all again tomorrow. There will be plenty more meetings. So thank you thank you for this!

    Reply
    1. Bonnie Gillespie Bonnie Gillespie May 6, 2020 at 8:08 pm

      Okay, so the popcorn thing? It’s primal. The crunch in our mouth actually tells a part of our brain that we’re okay, we’re safe, we’re strong and getting stronger with fuel… it’s “animals out in the wild” stuff. So, eating things that actually FEEL like we’re eating? That’s serving a purpose in our nervous system. Fun, right?

      Here’s what’s awesome — and you nailed it — there will be more meetings! There will be more time to connect! Hell, the connection LATER may even be higher quality because it won’t be trauma-bonding. It’ll be authentic connection. (I’m not saying that all trauma-bonding is inauthentic… but it certainly is not a lot to have in common with someone, big picture.)

      Proud of you, Kate. Micro, macro, all of you. πŸ™‚

      Reply
  13. Avatar Heather Alexander April 28, 2020 at 4:46 pm

    Spot on! I find that everyday of this lockdown has had me focusing more on my well being and less on my business. This leaves me feeling LOW. I’ve been through crap similar to this before having been married to a soldier and living overseas during 9/11 But this is different because the outside world is going through it too. It’s tough.

    Reply
    1. Bonnie Gillespie Bonnie Gillespie May 6, 2020 at 8:04 pm

      Totally. This is leaving a generational wound and that’s something we’re all going to be dealing with for decades to come. Hug yourself, hon. This is not small work.

      Reply
  14. Avatar Rachel April 29, 2020 at 2:02 am

    Bonnie, I’m on day 5 of your 11 day free course, and I was hesitant to sign up at first, as I never feel I’m a ‘proper’ Actor: I haven’t been to drama school, I don’t have a reel yet. But I do have film credits under my belt: one on Amazon Prime & one doing the festival rounds, amongst other less successful ones. Your programme has been so much more inspiring and beneficial than I ever thought it would be! Truly, these emails every day have not only encouraged me to launch my reel at 85% and re-do my CV, but they have been psychologically beneficial as well. This programme has been a real comfort and a real confidence boost, as well as practical and helpful. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart for all of these free tools and support!

    Reply
    1. Bonnie Gillespie Bonnie Gillespie May 6, 2020 at 8:03 pm

      Oh my goodness, Rachel, thank you so much for this feedback! πŸ™‚ I’m so glad you’re enjoying the free training and, hon, that feeling of not being a proper actor? That’s enoughness work and you’re already doing so much about that just by being here. Well done!

      Reply
  15. Avatar Jennie Olson Six April 29, 2020 at 7:04 am

    Yes Yes Yes to all of this. I found the neurotic ‘creative’ energy from some ‘here’s something to keep yourself busy during this time’ was NOT what I wanted to be doing at all. And when I listened to that inner voice, I have actually tuned into what felt right, and then the things that I wanted to do, I did them. And it felt good. This is a traumatic experience for everyone. Everyone. And it has shifted my priorities. And definitions of what self-care looks like. Thanks for helping others put down the stick.

    Reply
    1. Bonnie Gillespie Bonnie Gillespie May 6, 2020 at 8:01 pm

      EVERYONE. Yes. I’m so glad you’re prioritizing your self-care. That’s beautiful leadership.

      Reply
  16. Avatar Kelley Costigan May 1, 2020 at 8:47 am

    This really resonated with me, thank you. I have been seeing all sorts of “challenges” on social media – how many monologue contests can you do, 1;1s with Casting Directors via Zoom (gotta try and book a ticket and they go like hotcakes), webinars, tiktok challenges, video collages, etc. I feel overwhelmed and pressurised to participate when all I want to do is maybe draw pictures and read poetry, or just stare out the window. What I have been doing is putting out little videos of my reading a sonnet a day, making silly films for friends’ children’s birthdays in lockdown, and cleaning my spice cupboard. I still get up predawn and do some training, have a cup of coffee and plan my day, but I don’t always do everything I plan. I need structure, but not a restirctive one. Sometimes, I post on social media but don’t read anything (which sounds unsupportive, I guess). Other times, I go on and comment positively on everyone’s posts to try and help others. I get brain fog and go to bed very early. It’s weird.

    Reply
    1. Bonnie Gillespie Bonnie Gillespie May 6, 2020 at 7:59 pm

      I *so* hear you on the needing structure, but not restrictive structure. That’s exactly how I feel. And I think it’s so important for us to be gentle with ourselves for needing WHATEVER we need right now. Good work, Kelley!

      Reply
  17. Avatar Jessica Dardarian June 1, 2020 at 7:15 pm

    Yes, yes, and yes to all of this! Thanks for being so positive and inspiring!

    Reply

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