Time is a much more valuable resource than money. This is my very first thought to start the New Year with. Following a crazy busy end of 2016, I’ve naturally reached a strong need to re-prioritise and reorganise things in my life. Trying to put the finger on something precise that I can work on towards that purpose, I’ve come to realise that there are two important subjects that have been “haunting” me for a while:
- Learning to say “NO”.
I am naturally a “yes-person”. I tend to get involved everything that occurs. I see different opportunities of self development in every job, or challenge that crosses my way, and I tend to take up too much, even if I was already overloaded. I blame it on a sort of curiosity and hunger for experiences, on all levels, that might lay at the bottom of my will to be an actress, but this often leads to exhaustion, and shallownes. Being in a constant hurry, switching between three multitasking jobs might be exciting for a while, but in the long run, I think it takes you far from being a true dedicated performer, or a fulfilled human being. So for me, the challenge is to learn when to say “no, thank you”, “stop” or “enough”. It’s a continuos choice that we make every single moment, and I want to learn to decide quickly (and stick to my decision) whether I really need something, or whether I should refuse it, especially if it doesn’t take me forward on my own path.
2. Time management.
Oh, this magical promise of extra time! I have no idea what that really means (yet), but I would be so grateful if it worked! I have so many plans and practices (both personal, and professional) that wait for me to have “time”… so I’m very eager to put everything in place, to make some kind of order so I don’t neglect my training, nor my little family.
Of course, being busy keeps you “fit”, artistically speaking, but I think that in time, you need to get used to getting back to basics once in a while. You need to get back to the gym, the dancing class, the singing class, whatever you feel you need to work on. One must not forget that an actors’ instrument needs to be tuned every single day, just like a musical one, or it will eventually fail.
Moreover, I think an actor’s mental state should also be “in training” all the time. It will help the performance be more accurate, alive and active. One should be aware of that every day: reading, writing, watching movies, going to the theatre, listening to classical music, learning a new musical instrument or meditating, one should be able to appreciate and take in any kind of activity that brings the mind to a focus and quietness. Clarity precedes Mastery – says Robin Sharma, and I couldn’t agree more. Mindful breathing is a great exercise, especially when you are “too busy” and you don’t have time for a full workout.
So what came along my way, right at the beginning of the new Year, are these two classes that I signed in without a doubt, and I’m willing to share with you:
- On how to set our priorites – and how to act upon them. A personal development workshop held by the renown psychotherapist and life coach Elisabeta Stanciulescu. You have a link here taking you to her article and class, also.
- Corporealism – a contemporary dance class held by Florin Fieroiu, a great choreographer and dance teacher, that I am happy to work with each time possible. You can see here the event with all the details, feel free to join the class!
Suddenly, I realised that having the priorities rightly set, one would naturally know what to say “no” to, and that way time might actually become your ally, not your enemy. Obviously, this class (the first one), already covers the two needs that I talked about previously. The second class definitely offers me a new motivation to get moving, to keep fit, flexible and sensible, as an actors’ body should be. I’m very excited, and can’t wait to attend both of them. (Despite the January schedule that already looks challenging. )
What are your priorities? Do you take the New Year as an opportunity to rediscover and restart yourself? Do you ask yourself “what can I do today to be a better actress/mom/wife/person”? How do you manage your time, schedule, professional and personal balance?
To a New Year of inspiration, hard training, positive energy, and a fuller, deeper, inner life!
ps: Andy Szekely says that one should be aware that most resources, like money, have several fluctuations, they come and they go, while time definitely flows in only one direction (as we humans, are able to control, right now :)). So that’s a thought that can make you reconsider the way you choose to spend your time. This very moment will never ever take place again in history. Carpe diem!