By: Brian Gilleece
Let's chat about this word I hear people misusing left and right called "mindfulness".
Britney - "I like totally have been buying only fair trade, conflict free green tea."
Mackenzie - "Oh my god, that's like soooo mindful Britney, you'r like hella woke."
Britney - "I'm like totally spiritual you know?"
Annnd Scene. Ughh Gross. I'm sure you have heard similar conversations somewhere in the vicinity of a Michael Kors or Lululemon in your travels around the city, but, let's break down this basic b*tch talk and get to what MINDFUL actually means....
MINDFULNESS - A mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
Yah, its like a real thing not just something you say when explaining to someone how "woke" you are. And ya know what it is pretty useful in helping to get to our main topic...
Jess Canty says it on occasion but one of the best phrases she ever heard an agent use was....
"Your expectations can't be larger than your resume".
Love this, it's spot on, often time the im going to roll into town and be discovered at the soda fountain pie in the skyness of this town can take actors off the deep end. If you are expecting to run without learning to walk, your gonna fall. Let's chat about managing expectations by you got it, being mindful, because I know you are all already hella woke.
1) CHALENGES OF EXPECTATIONS
People want what they want when they want it. This wanting often clouds and closes the mind to rational thought. So we are inclined to lack mindfulness when setting expectations at the onset of a project, when it matters most. We become too ambitious, and move ahead with unrealistic expectations that are destined to leave us disappointed and create conflict. Mindfulness here can help prevent issues from bubbling up later on, when it is much more difficult to address them.
Practice: When starting something, make sure expectations are reasonable. Think the project through to the end, including all of the details. Communicate clearly, so everyone’s expectations are aligned. Being mindful now, at the beginning of something, will ensure a smoother flow toward its conclusion, and will increase the likelihood of success.
2) ALL THE FEELS Things change. That’s the nature of reality. Sometimes an unexpected circumstance will come along to shift the scope of your project, and expectations will need to be adjusted. When this happens, you have a choice. React emotionally, with anger and resistance, or apply mindfulness, pause and consider your options before making a decision about how best to proceed.
Don’t just pivot in a new direction, make sure those around you who are involved are clear that the original expectations may no longer be a possibility.
Practice: When the unexpected occurs, take a pause and breathe before you react. Don’t just pivot in a new direction, make sure those around you who are involved are clear that the original expectations may no longer be a possibility. Use communication as your anchor. Consciously noting your frustration allows you to accept it and respond rather than react. With mindfulness of your feelings, you can calm yourself down and start problem solving about how to handle the implications and manage expectations accordingly.
WRAP: We as performers and creatives and dreamers can not always have what we want when we want it, but we can not let the fact that our resume may not line up with our expectations yet cloud our judgment or appreciation of the opportunities we do have and our abilities to capitalize on what can be the stepping stones to the ultimate dreams. Be mindful in managing were you are AT and were you want to BE, it is often times the difference between someone who gets what they want and someone who washes out of town to never be heard from again...... ta ta.