You Don’t Need All The Answers

As you may know, before I started my business, I was an actor. I would regularly take acting classes as a way to improve my craft and become a better artist.

Because business got, well, busy, I no longer had a real desire to keep honing my craft, so I stopped taking acting class.

However, a few months ago, I started hearing a gentle knock on my soul’s door. It said, “Maybe you should go back to acting class.”

I quickly brushed it off, because that just didn’t make any sense.

I’m not looking to be cast in a Broadway show or do another film, and I certainly don’t have TWO days a week for almost FOUR hours at a time to be in a class!

But when something knocks on your soul’s door, you must listen…

…or else it just continues to knock louder and louder.

As my knock got louder, I began to tune into WHY it was suggesting that I go back to acting class. Slowly, it became clear.

You see, in this world of wellness, where all these wonderfully uplifting blogs exist, inspiring hashtags are shared and self betterment programs live, there is often little space allowed for the real truth of life.

And not just the real truth of life, but the real truth of life that is meant to be experienced with another human being in real time, in front of you.

I’m not suggesting that anyone (including me) is falsely representing the power of positivity, but sometimes there’s a sense that if you have “messy” feelings, opinions or thoughts, they must be fixed.

And if they are not fixed, there is a sense that perhaps they should be hidden.

I started to realize that the knocking on my soul’s door was not about longing to be a performer again, but it was actually about longing to tell the truth to myself about some of my messier feelings.

Because this thing that we are all living, LIFE, is not always pretty. We (I’m including myself here) get angry, frustrated, jealous, insecure, afraid and pissed off. And that’s just the tip of the feelings iceberg.

Our opinions about the world, others and even ourselves don’t always fit into these inspiring hashtags or uplifting blog posts. Nor should they. But because they don’t always fit so well…

It becomes easy to push these important, messy feelings aside.

We brush them off, don’t look at them, don’t address them, don’t tell the truth about them, because they may not be in alignment with what we think an inspirational, positive person is supposed to look like.

But when you don’t allow yourself to experience ALL the colors of what it is to be human, it catches up to you.

If you close the door on these true and real (yet messy) feelings, that’s usually when something else starts to bubble up.

As Pema Chodren says, “Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.”  TWEET IT.

It may start as a low-grade irritation, but over time, still unaddressed, that irritation will turn into anything from a feverish anxiety, to burnout, or even depression.

My sense is that the only real solution to this bubbling up is to open the door completely and let some of these thoughts and feelings get some air.

Gorgeous, you can try to ignore these things and you can even try to transform them.

But what if instead of TRYING to transform them, you simply EXPLORED them?

And I don’t mean just explore them on your instagram account in order to get the approval from others that your ‘messy’ feelings are valid.

I mean what if you examined them? In your real life. Today. In this moment.

How do you really feel?

What if you let some of these thoughts and feelings have a voice without being afraid that they would swallow you whole?

Perhaps this exploration is actually where the real joy exists. Not the manufactured hallmark, happiest person you know JOY, as my acting teacher, Matt Corozine would say.

There is an exhilarating and deeper sense of joy that comes from really living the truth. Moment to moment.

Maybe when you stop trying to control everything and instead let yourself live in the unknown of your own feelings, you will step into an even greater sense of freedom.

You fling the door open and say, “Hey you guys! You thoughts and feelings and opinions. Let’s have a freakin’ chat. Maybe we even need a yelling match. Maybe we need to flirt. Maybe we need to have it out. Whatever it is, I am ready!”

So I did it.

SOULS_DOOR

I went back to acting class.

And let me tell you…

It is giving me life.

It is allowing me to explore all my colors. In real time. With other human beings. In the moment. It’s giving me the space to play with them and even make something out of them.

I have no idea where it’s going, but I don’t need all the answers.

The people in that room that day may be the only people who ever witness the work.

There may be zero tangible result that comes of it.

I have committed to not needing to know.

I have committed to not having to do what makes “logical” sense.

I have committed to allowing whatever comes up, to come up. In fact, I am welcoming it all. And let me tell you again, it feels like I am really living.

Now, over to you…

Is there something that has been knocking on your soul’s door that doesn’t exactly make sense? Is there something you feel the need to do that may not be what is expected of you from others or yourself? Are you feeling a calling to explore something new, even if it you don’t know what RESULT you will get? Do you need answers before acting?

Share it below. It’s always so good to hear about your callings and longings.

Love,
Erin

 

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35 Responses to You Don’t Need All The Answers

  1. Kandie says:

    Thank you Erin. My”knocking” has been living the authentic me, my emotions, and my spirituallaity. I am ready to answer the door, and let the world know the real me.

  2. Nancy says:

    Sharing your beautiful feelings has started my day with much clarity (in my life). Sending you happy thoughts and appreciation and I hope you always share so nicely and captivating. By the way what hit soul with me was the sentence about “truth of real time…to be with real time people”. Thank you, the forever therapist from Florida, nancy

  3. Caroline says:

    This came at a perfect time…I get motivated in planning my week, staying healthy,but by Wednesday normally I’m kind of burnt out. I feel stuck where I’m at career-wise.

  4. Leslie says:

    Thank you for nudging me to get back to an acting class!!! I couldn’t believe your story because it is so in sync with my own.
    WOW! What a great way to start the day! Be well and thanks again!

  5. Anna says:

    I am a Psychologist and have NEVER posted anything online even though I read a ton of blogs. This post really moved me! I could not agree with you more. Feelings are meant to be experienced with understanding and self-compassion. That’s how we heal them. Even more importantly, that’s how we feel most alive. It is also wonderful when we can share them with other people without fear. Thanks for inspiring me…I have felt called to start a blog about how feelings lately.

    • Erin says:

      Anna, I bet you would have a lot of insight to offer on the topic. At the very least, it could be a fun way to explore your own feelings:) Hope you feel moved to follow it through. xo

  6. LovemySD says:

    I too am at a point I feel. Stuck in my career. I also have this nagging feeling I need to be some where else and do something completely different. At 52 years old it scares me to take that step. But your words of wisdom encourage me to just close the door to where I am at and open a new one. Thank you Erin! Your a true inspiration to so many!!

  7. laurie says:

    Funny~ I’ve been struggling with the “mirror image” of this!

    I’ve always painted in some form and have somehow moved on from it & have been feeling guilty about my Lack of desire!

    Maybe it has “taught me what I need to know” and it’s ok to let it go…. 😉

  8. Dlatte says:

    Wow, very inspiring Erin. I have been trying g to get my essential oil skincare off the ground ,but recently gave up. Lately my soul has been asking is it what you really want? I have wanted to work with children my whole life. Recently a new woman took over my grandson’s preschool sooo, I contacted her had a wonderful chat, and maybe come Sept. I will be doing that. Thanks for the nudge.

  9. Rebecca says:

    Erin!! I looved reading this. I’m so happy you went back to class. I am getting ready to take kind of the opposite plunge and – in the middle of my acting career – go back to school. Got a scholarship to study /train in writing musical theatre at nyu – something I certainly never thought I would want to do -(tho I’m interested in not-traditional forms) and they have asked me to focus for a while on lyrics and script (i.e. Instead of/added to music) which I definitely wasn’t expecting. So it’s the year of chatting with those ‘other’ thoughts and opinions I guess, as I think ‘what stories do I want to tell’ etc.

  10. Thank you for this. I’m a musician with a full time “real job” and I’m constantly battling with myself and asking, “Where is this music thing going? Am I wasting my time?” I’m trying to remember that this is about doing what I was built to do and simply ENJOYING LIFE. I even recorded this video last night as my own little pep talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aryv_jcA9t0

    Thank you for the reminder that my passion isn’t the means to an end, IT’S THE POINT.

  11. Robin says:

    Thank you Erin .. so very beautifully expressed!! All amazing sharing from the heart is deeply appreciated.
    My soul belongs to Christ Jesus .. & yes, to experience all ‘colors’ .. such a journey this life we have here. Erin, how incredible your love/passions/talents, thank you, Blessings galore!!

  12. Marianne says:

    Hello All! I am so glad to finally see a post like this. Yes, emotional health is the ability to experience and appropriately express all of our emotions. Even the ones considered “bad”. I used to suppress all of my “bad” emotions but with some knowledge and practice I now have made best friends with my dark side and am finally pursuing my calling. I am by no means certain of how it’s going to manifest nor of it’s outcome but I know I’m in the right place doing the right thing. I can feel it. 😀

  13. Lucie says:

    My soul has been telling me to start writing/blogging. I have yet to follow that call, I don’t know why. Like you said, it feels like it doesn’t make sense. I feel like I don’t have anything really extraordinary to day. Yet I still have the inner voice nagging me. Thanks for this post. 🙂

  14. Joanne says:

    Thank you so much Erin! I have been so stressed out lately. I have been doing all the “right” things, working out, seeing friends, eating right, but a family situation has left me ruminating with thoughts of constant worry and “what if”. I got your email today, did a session and I feel so much better. What is meant for me will come. Thank you for being such an inspiration and for lightening my heavy load. Hugs!!

  15. Jeannine says:

    Thank you for sharing this, and for willing to be honest. It reminds me of the idea of ‘spiritual bypass’ and the notion that if there are uncomfortable feelings or shadowy areas, we should just ignore them and ‘focus on the light.’ Just as you said, life is more complex than that and we are more dimensional and interesting when we can relate to all of our messy parts. We may even create art out of it, even if only our classmates see it. Being in our truth leaves more of an imprint than we know. Thank you for reminding me of this and for your courage to look deeper…?

  16. Arwen Rogers says:

    Thank you for writing this and giving words to these feelings I’ve been having a hard time identifying. I am a former dancer who aches to dance again. But at 39 I feel like that time is over even though I still have a lot of my skills. Dance is something that makes ZERO sense since I’ve worked at it for years and barely squeaked out a living with it. I left it after major surgery and when I healed I felt lost because to return to dance in the same way I had been doing it would mean I would continue to stay stuck in poverty and isolation (dancers don’t get out of the black box theater very often). After reading this post I feel like I need to dance again so I can sort out the messy mixed emotions I have about it. If I don’t I’ll just keep getting the same results. Thank you for writing this in a way that made me wake up! I can’t wait to move creatively again and hope it brings an equally creative solution!

  17. Sara says:

    YES!!! You’re so right on the money with this, Erin. And the older you get (like me), there’s lots more of that toxicity. Years and years of the stuff! It builds up and becomes a big ugly cesspool of crap. Bitterness and anger and negativity all breed there. Let’s open the door and shine some light on that crap. It occurs to me that if we spread it around a little, it becomes fertilizer for the rest of our lives. Thanks for your message this morning. I’m in the mood to stir up some of my messy stuff!! 🙂 xoxo

    PS Can’t wait for the new stuff! Enjoy your acting class!!!

  18. I’ve been really wanting to start a YouTube channel for about 9 months now, but have been dragging my feet because of fear that my videos would suck. I also have fear because it is such a big place online, and there’s so much competition. But I also realize that I’ve been thinking about starting a channel nearly everyday. I do think I have something unique to offer, and would be targeting a niche that isn’t well represented as of now. I just took a great class on how to start a channel, I gave skills to make my channel look great, do I just need to practice filming and start putting my stuff out there, even if I’m not at the skill level I want to be at now.

    I’ve been in the habit of discounting my skills and talent since I was a kid, and I think since I’m now in my forties, I should be able to shake those old feelings and realize I have something unique and special to share that I feel passionate about. I’m fully capable of this. Thanks for the nudge, Erin! I’m going to start filming something today!

  19. Alanna says:

    I can definitely relate to this one. I moved about 6 months ago from PA to CO, and I took a bath selling my house in PA. I was so ready to be a long-term renter again for a while, and when the dishwasher at my apartment broke, it was awesome to be able to call maintenance rather than deal with it myself. I had no interest in owning a home again anytime soon.

    A few weeks ago I found myself thinking about it, but dismissed those thoughts as just a reaction to seeing ads for gardening products since I enjoyed landscaping. It doesn’t make sense to buy now and I don’t want the responsibility, I told myself. Besides, my savings were depleted with the move, so I can’t afford it.

    Then last week I started hearing about mortgage down payment assistance plans in my area that would eliminate that barrier. I looked into homes in the area I’d want to live, and it looks like I might actually be able to buy a nice place for about what I’m paying in rent. All of a sudden that gentle knock has become very insistent. I got pre-qualified to make sure I could actually afford this, and next week I’m meeting with a realtor to discuss options. I can’t really explain why I’m pursuing this; I love my apartment, and the idea of moving again so soon is very unappealing. I may end up deciding to stay put and renew my lease this summer, and I’d be totally fine with that. All I know is that if I don’t at least explore the idea, it’ll drive me bonkers wondering “what if…”

  20. Olivia says:

    Hi dearest Mama E,
    Truly love this post! So deeply happy for you that you’re back in class. I feel so excited that as I’ve grown older (all the way to 30 ha!), I feel more and more strongly that the right move for me in any moment is to just pursue what interests me. The world of birth work and women’s health and rights has been knocking on my door for oh, FIVE+ years now, and I am thrilled to say that I am in training to be a doula. Will this be my new career? I don’t know. Will I love it? I don’t know. The only thing I know for sure (copyright Oprah) is that this work sets off fireworks in my head and heart and therefore I MUST explore. The knocking was honestly SO LOUD and I kept trying to turn up other music and sounds, but finally, it knocked so hard and for so long that it beat that door right down. My training has barely begun but even just starting out on the path that calls to me has positively influenced all other parts of my life. If I can let go of the need for it to RESULT in something and allow it to just BE, I can see clearly that there is nothing to lose by pursuing what calls me. What am I afraid of losing? Time? Money? Energy? So clearly stuck in Lack when I’m having those thoughts. In reality, I only GAIN: knowledge. Trust. Skills. Information. Friends. It goes on and on! Thanks for this great post and so excited for you to be in class.
    Xoxoxox Olivia

    • Erin says:

      I love that you are going on this adventure. And can’t wait to hear about all the gems you pick up along the way. Xox

  21. Robin says:

    Love this. (And keep finding reminders in my day-to-day: where I’m pushing something away, things tend to start getting really mess and uncomfortable…hmmm – guess maybe pushing isn’t what is needed!) Thanks, Erin!

  22. Aimee says:

    Thanks for this post! I’m an actress too and I love those acting classes that bring out the authentic you. You’re free to be yourself – naked but secured in front of others, no judgment, no blame. It takes courage sometimes but accepting oneself is something I’ve been trying to work on being throughout my life. These classes allow me to show all the colors of my soul – anger, sadness, bewilderment, joy, love, etc. It’s a gift to myself.

  23. katie ka says:

    that exploration i’m going to take up is singing. this blog post came to me in a very timely matter… thanks.

  24. Gloria says:

    Erin, I love reading your e-mails they are written so true and uplifting so thank you. Somewhat of similar experience was going through a separation and finding fun things to do when kids not around. I never thought I would go to dinner alone ever but guess what I do and I love it. I found a fun quiet sushi place with a bar I go to after work by myself. Unwind with a glass of wine and some sushi. It’s exhilarating to do things by myself and not feel as though I need a partner to do fun things. Now I just want to work on enjoying doing physical activity just as exhilarating. Thank you again for your inspirational words!

  25. Safena says:

    Love this. It perfectly aligned with something I just wrote to myself. I understood that I didn’t know me at all. I need to start my journey by introducing myself to myself. I was feeling so down this morning for no “good” reason and my whole body collapsed into itself. I felt done. Lifeless. And again I’m coming from a place where really I have “everything”. The words that came up shocked me. “Dying to be loved”. It’s too early to know the why but I’m assuming the love that I’m craving is by me. Thanks for sharing your truth. I will be exploring this further too. I’m so glad at the end of your blog you did return to acting. It just felt right. Love to you!!

  26. Kelly Okoro says:

    I felt a whisper to host a Cook at Home Challenge. This didn’t make any sense, I have 3 children under 5, I’m finishing my bachelors and I’m just trying to keep up with life in general. But I keep feeling the tug. So, I grabbed a friend who could help and we’re doing it!!! 😀 I truly hope to help inspire others & myself over the next month. Thank you for this beautiful post & inspiring message. My favorite part was were you talked about exploring thoughts and feelings without being afraid they will swallow you whole. This is EXACTLY why I push them away, and why so many others must as well. Again, thanks for your message and all you do! ♥

  27. Karen says:

    I definitely feel a tug. Something is calling me, but I am not sure what it is. Do you have any suggestions as to bringing enlightenment to the direction of the tug? I may just have to be patient and let in come in time, all the while keeping an open mind. Thank you for your ever inspiring and honest words.

    • Erin says:

      Karen- Great q. I always think committing to journaling on a regular basis is a good way to bring forth the idea and give it a space to express itself. I also would ask yourself what you are needing, from a values/feeling perspective. Is it connection, creative expression, stability, shake things up, friendship, alone time? If you can start to identify the nature of the ‘tug’ it’s a great first step. Xo

  28. Omg I love this and you! Amazing post. I literally just shared a similar thing in one of my private FB groups. About how in this new age world of positivity…the fake it until you make it mentality is stuffing stuff DOWN…that needs to be explored..
    Awesome for sharing keep it up and good for you for getting back to acting class. That is where I want to be too and dance and singing. BUt my rational single mom self is resisting…..I am going to explore. It is not optional. It is a soul calling and who knows what it will bring. Who cares. Just do. and be. Thank you!

  29. Abra says:

    I went back to dance class 6 months ago after 10+ years away. I was so afraid of my body betraying me and not being able to do what it used to. It can’t do what it used to, I was right. It doesn’t move the same way it did when I was in my 20’s pre-injuries, pre-everything else and you know what? It’s totally ok! I dance now because I love it, not because I’m desperate to land a role or impress someone, or be the best in class. It’s just pure joy.
    Next on the list is getting back to singing – that one is a bit grittier, deeper feelings of disappointment for “not making it”, but I think the result will be much like your experience – an opportunity to explore and find deeper love, joy, passion for something that filled my life for 30+ years.
    Thanks so much for sharing, I 100% can relate.