"On this path, effort never goes to waste, and there is no failure." - Bhagavad Gita, 2.41
"Those who are motivated only by the fruits of actions are miserable, for they are constantly anxious about the results..." - B.G., 2.49
I'm incredibly selfish. I admit it. I NEED to hike, travel, vacate, get out of the house, etc., or I whine like a little child. Too much work makes me cranky and wistful for tropical jungles. Hours inside make me antsy and mentally cloudy.
The past two years, I've sacrificed money and said tropical vacations for doing what I love: acting and teaching yoga. I've let go of all other jobs to engage in these two passions. Oh, and there's also the retreat center I'm building with my fiance and our two business partners. Most of time, I am overjoyed with this life I lead. I get to do what I love every single day. I do not begrudge getting up or going to a job I hate. I am constantly challenged and learning new things, greeting each day with curiosity and an open mind.
But sometimes, my need for escape, new yoga pants, a new gutter, or fixing the air conditioning in my car (especially on these numerous 100 degree days we've been having!) overrride the usual joy I feel in my day to day. I start becoming wistful for Scuba Diving, a or a multi-million dollar investment in my retreat center so I can actually start paying myself for the long hours I put into this venture. I crave security, paid vacations, and you know, decent health insurance (or the ability to contribute to some friends' kickstarter for their awesome play/movie/invention).
When I get caught in this cycle of thinking, I start to freak out. Literally. I have had panic attacks over this shit. I've had heart palpitations. I've almost thrown it all out the window to get some 40 hour a week job inside, waiting for the clock to tick by so I can go hiking or checking off each calendar day before my next vacation. Literally LIVING for those 2 weeks that silly American companies allow their employees. Then I remember: I've lived that life. I did that. It sucked. I was miserable. Sure, I was able to give donations to The Nature Conservancy, but now I am working to conserve 80 acres of forest here in the Pacific NW. Sure, I was able to buy a monthly membership to a yoga studio, but now I get free yoga because I teach every day. Sure, I could afford to take as many acting/singing/dancing lessons as I want, but wouldn't have the time or energy to put those skills to use.
So, each day, when I meditate, is a time to remember. To remember why I sacrifice. To remember why I spend hours planning yoga classes, drawing up business plans, and taking acting classes/updating my Casting Frontier/practicing songs. The answer is LOVE. I fucking LOVE this stuff. I love to perform. I love to teach yoga. I love the dream of our 80 acres bringing joy and healing and spaciousness to many humans. And if I only do these things for the FRUITS of the actions, I am missing the point. The Bhagavad Gita is SUCH a great reminder of this. Do the action for action's sake, not for the fruits. And I truly believe this. And maybe one day, this effort and sacrifice will lead to being able to fix the air conditioning in my car. But I know for certain I'd much rather ride in a hot car (or actually, I usually bike) to a life that I adore than in an air conditioned limo to one that I despise.
So, until I am eating Ramen out of a plastic cup on the streets, I will continue with this effort. And I know there are many of my fellow actors/artists/yoga teachers/dreamers out there feeling the same way. Keep up the effort and the sacrifice, my friends. You've got to give it up to get it! Much love and admiration to you, always.