When I was about 22, I was enrolled in an acting class at Rutgers University, which is where I was getting my undergrad at the time. I'd always had an interest in acting and was thrilled to be taking this class.
I found through my participation that my thinking was really holding me back. My professor even took me aside one day, when I refused to participate in an exercise we were doing because of the terror I felt at being judged, and he suggested I go to therapy. Despite this feedback, I challenged myself to stay engaged and do the best that I could.
One of the most interesting parts of this experience was that I needed to do a monologue from a Tennessee Williams play. I had struggled to really feel as though I were doing this well at all. I desperately tried to figure out how to embody what was being said to little avail.
It wasn't until I took a vacation to New Orleans that something shifted. It wasn't New Orleans per se that created the shift, but the feeling of being on vacation in a city I love allowed me to be so present and open to whatever the days there would bring.
I was visiting a friend, and while she was at work one day, it occurred to me to pick up the play and read the monologue again.
I was stunned! I had no idea where it was coming from, but it felt so natural to read the words as if they were coming from me. I felt every emotion and it was so easy and effortless to convey what I was feeling as I spoke the words. There was no thinking on my mind, just being and it felt incredible. There was nothing to evaluate, nothing to do differently, only the present moment to be lived and enjoyed.
I went from having little to no talent to blossoming within a moment.
This memory came up for me this weekend in a workshop I attended and I was curious as to why it was present for me. After reflecting on it for a few moments, with a curious openness, I realized that it was showing me where the magic of Life happens, in the present moment in the stillness of our minds.
I saw how I had tried so hard to analyze my way to being a good actress and all that had done was push it further away. It wasn't until I became still, and open, and was enjoying the inspiration of the present moment that this revelation and new experience occurred.
It helped me to see that whatever it is that I am engaged in now, whether it be work, or relationship, or anything for that matter, it can be effortless and inspired the more that I see there is no need to figure anything out.
When my mind is clear and I am embracing the moment, the intelligence of Life has all the room it needs to blossom through me.
The more we open and relax our minds, the more solutions can occur from within. Whenever I try to understand this with my mind, I am out of the present moment. It is an experience of being present and open that allows us to experience our true nature, which is complete with all the wisdom we could possibly need in real time.
This is how a flower blooms, how our bodies heal without us doing anything. It can feel unfamiliar with the conditioning we have to allow this to happen day to day, yet it is the most effortless way to live.