Did you catch the interview with Dustin Hoffman a few years ago when he talked about his Tootsie role? Excuse the pun, but not really.
He spoke of being disappointed with his makeup artists when he learned they couldn’t make him more beautiful for the part. ‘Sorry,’ they said, ‘but this is as good as it gets.’
He goes on to describe the experience like this:
It was at that moment I had an epiphany, and I went home and started crying. Talking to my wife, I said I have to make this picture, and she said, “Why?” And I said, “Because I think I am an interesting woman when I look at myself on screen. And I know that if I met myself at a party, I would never talk to that character because she doesn’t fulfill physically the demands that we’re brought up to think women have to have in order to ask them out.” She says, “What are you saying?” And I said, “There are too many interesting women I have not had the experience to know in this life because I have been brainwashed.”
Looking back over the year, I wondered how many connections I must have missed because I was focused on old scripts that seemed more important than creating real connections at the time. Sometimes the ease and convenience of staying put and playing safe gives us every reason not to extend ourselves toward new people and experiences. That actor makes a great point: we miss too much of life when we don’t give ourselves wholly to it–and to each other.
2015 continues to challenge me again on this point of showing up to life itself, and I’m continually recommitting to the practice. As the adage goes, though, we teach (and preach) the things we need to learn. Bringing all of yourself to the people and the life you love is more than a notion; it’s an ongoing choice you make to be available, transparent and seen at the same time. It’s not only an act of courage, it’s an act of power.
“You are very powerful, provided you know how powerful you are.”
So. what about you? Who or what do you think you’ve missed this year? More to the point, what did you gain? In what ways are you different?
For me, I’ve learned a lot about becoming comfortable with uncertainty. I’ve ventured into more emotional risk and am glad I did. One such risk was to take more action in the area of working with people ‘in person’ which shifted me away from my blog as a result. I craved more interaction than I thought I was getting in the online environment, only to realize all over again that this experience matters too.
It’s not that I needed some random celebrity to remind me to take inventory of my life and relationships and to ask myself hard questions about how I was living. I already had those pieces covered. What I did need, though, was the added incentive to help me live into the answers.
Here’s wishing you a renewal of your passion, a deepening of your sense of purpose, more full-filling relationships from the inside out, and everything you need to live like you mean it–now and in the year ahead. May we be present to it all and not miss a single moment, honey!