By: Jess Canty
I took a yoga class the other day, and at the end of the class as he lead us into the resting pose, the instructor says "Rest Your Future." Very nonchalantly I might add. As if just saying hello.
And this phrase hit me like a ton of bricks.
I feel like we are often talking in our posts about not letting the past influence you or your career in the negative, right? And a lot of being a successful artist is about letting the past go - over and over and over again.
You have to let past bad auditions go. Past good auditions go. You have to let go that you booked and shot something last week and now you are back to the grind. You have to let that awesome project that you didn't get hired on go. You have to let last week's episode go and work on this week's episode. You have to let that amazing awards season run and win or loss go. You have to let that project you loved working on and the people you loved working with go. The past is hard to let go of.
But I also think once and a while it is very important to rest your future.
But Jess! You guys talk all the time about how I have to be pushing, and working and planning, and strategizing for my career. To quote Brian Gilleece - "every. day."
Yes, and all of that is true.
And we stand by everything we have blogged about with regards to your futures.
But everyone needs a rest. Even creators.
Rest your future is just another way of saying - be present.
Be here. Be with yourself where you are - i.e. lying on the floor after a yoga class not letting thoughts of the future interrupt the present of lying on the floor after a yoga class.
It is more difficult than it would seem.
We all know that the best acting is acting that is truly in the present. The best cinematography is when the photographer is so present they capture just the right look on the actor's face, or just the right breath in. The director who doesn't cut too early because they are present - paying attention to the performance that is going beyond the page.
How many acting exercises deal with just getting you to be present, with the other actor and react/listen, react/listen? Even the most basic - the mirror exercise that is in every intro to acting class across the land - it is designed to get you to just be there. With another person. In the moment.
Is your possible future fucking up your present?
By yoga standards I failed with the whole "rest your future" thing immediately. Because you know what I did? Instead of resting my future, I was lying there thinking - "wow rest my future. That is an amazing phrase. I should use that phrase in a blog post because it totally relates to having an artistic career. Oh and ACTING! It relates to acting because the best actors are always present... and I could totally write a post..."
The instructor's voice came wafting in - "return to your natural breath, let everything you just experienced synthesize."
Shit! Here I am thinking about a future blog post for Sunday while I am supposed to be resting my future. AND NOW I'm beating myself up for missing the first part of the resting pose in my yoga class by thinking about how cool the concept of resting my future is and ahhhhhhhh..... wtf the class is over and I haven't rested AT ALL!!!!
Being present is hard work!
That spinning out about the future I just described above? I think it is harder to stop and possibly more detrimental than the spinning out about the past.
The shudda, wudda, cudda, of the past becomes the I should and if only I then I could and maybe I would be here if only this happens or this could happen when I, and if my friend would just introduce me to, then I might-
Rest your future.