So I recently flew to LA for a workshop with my super special acting teacher.
It’s my fifth time taking a class with him in about 18 months. Every time it’s amazing and every time it’s totally different. (Which is why I keep going!!)
At the very end of the workshop, we did this special exercise to access an “inner superhero” we could call upon in the future.
Usually I jump up in front of the group, eager for my turn. But for some reason this time I was dreading going up there.
Sitting and waiting was so intense. Like every cell in my body was going crazy.
The longer I waited the more intense it was. And I waited until no one else was left.
When I got up there to embody my inner superhero, I didn’t know what to expect.
What happened was it felt like I was channeling something huge, something so powerful. I found myself giving the audience loving advice, telling them, “DON’T BACK DOWN.”
I singled out one classmate who was a “struggling actor” and told him the truth, that I saw him as a leading man and he couldn’t stay in his cave.
I felt so connected to the people in the audience. I felt so strong, so direct, so clear. I felt way different than I normally feel.
Afterwards it felt like whatever I had just channeled was still happening in my body.
And where my mind started to go was, “How could I possibly be strong enough to be this big, this clear, this direct, all of the time?”
And also, “What if that was the peak of my entire life? What if I never experience that again, and that’s as good as it gets?”
I brought this up in front of the group and asked these questions to my teacher, and he told me that this was always accessible to me, that what I had just channeled was me, and was always inside me.
And the doubt was still there. How do I stay connected to this huge amazing breakthrough? How do I go forward from here?
Let me tell you, it does NOT always feel good to be called to the next level of growth.
It does NOT always feel comfortable, even when you are having an incredible breakthrough.
It doesn’t always feel safe. It doesn’t always feel like you know what to do next.
So…. flash forward. I’m back from LA. Someone who saw me playing my cello in Central Park this summer is emailing me asking me to play my cello for a private party after his dad gets knighted (??!!) and was wondering if I could send him some video clips.
I’m going through videos of my cello performances… one from the very beginning of the summer, right after another huge breakthrough, but before I started performing regularly in the magical Central Park tunnel. Another clip from my last performance of the summer, after I’d clocked dozens of hours in front of people.
When I was performing in the first clip, I remember it felt like a major peak. A big deal. But watching it now, I could see how uncomfortable I was, still, even after my breakthrough.
Performing in the second clip from the end of the summer, I remember feeling tired and pissed off. It didn’t feel like my best performance ever. I didn’t feel like anyone was connecting to what I was sharing.
But that’s not what it looked like on video.
On the video I was shining, beautiful, playing from my heart.
What the heck happened?
Back right after my huge breakthrough in May, that performance felt like the best I’d ever played.
But instead of staying at that level, or retreating out of fear that I’d never “hit that level” again, I kept going. I played every weekend. I played for hours. I played for strangers.
And the things that had felt like a huge breakthrough in May became second nature. They became automated. They became integrated.
And now I’m being called to go through the whole cycle AGAIN!!
And it’s scary AGAIN!!
What I’m here to do is create transformation – in my own self, in my performances, for my audiences, and for my students’ relationships with math, mastery, and themselves.
But people don’t always talk about what to do after the breakthrough.
Here’s what I see needs to happen….
After the breakthrough…
1. …keep going. Just keep going.
2. Remember that there is always another loop on the upward spiral of growth. This is part of what it means to be a trailblazer. It’s OK if it feels scary and uncomfortable.
3. Stay connected to community. Stay connected to people who are also committed to their own transformation. Let them reflect your growth back to you. Let them celebrate where you’ve come from and lovingly remind you what it was like before. Let them hold the vision of where you’re going and travel through the next steps together.
4. Stay connected to your mentors who are farther along the upward cycle of growth, and who can help you through what they’ve already been through. Being guided by aligned people who have walked their own path with heart is an incredible transformation accelerator.
Do you want your trailblazing, outside-the-box, creative, passionate kid to be mentored in creating math mastery breakthroughs by a fellow trailblazer? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get you started with my special application to explore whether or not my magical math tutoring programs would be a fit for your family!
And here’s the video I was talking about…