We Are Our Own Experts

Over the weekend I watched the movie Nine, and although I already had seen it in the movie theater when it first came out last year, its story always seems to stay in my mind for several days after.  Regardless of what the critics said about the movie, and I rarely pay attention to those things anyway; if a movie ignites thoughts and conversation, long after the credits stop rolling, in my opinion, it has accomplished some level of success.  If you are in the middle of a transition or transformation, Nine is the perfect movie to watch.  If you are aligning your thoughts, words and actions toward the manifestation of your divine dreams and goals, Nine is the perfect movie to watch.  Guido Contini, the main character, played by Daniel Day Lewis, is written as a supercilious and self-centered movie director who has only one week remaining before shooting begins on his new movie, Italia.  The crisis is the lack of an actual script, and Guido spends the entire movie trying to find inspiration, meaning and purpose for his movie, not to mention the creative expression to get words to paper.  With frantic, chaotic and self-defeating thoughts, he reaches out to his wife, mistress, muse, deceased mother, as well as the Pope, to find the answers.  During the movie, we also learn that while his early career was filled with brilliant cinematic films, the last several were considered flops.  In summary, Guido Contini stopped having faith and trusting in the unique gifts and talents he was born with and instead of going within, to his heart, for the answers, he looked outward, externally, and spiraled out of control.

All too often when fear shows up in our life, it can block the flow of energy between our hearts and minds to the point that we no longer hear that still small voice.  We forget about the joy and love filled experiences we’ve created and the successful opportunities manifested because we stepped out on faith, trusted in our absolute truth without apology, and believed in limitless possibilities.  We weren’t centered on What If, but instead Why Not Me! In early Spring, I wrote an Op Ed piece for the NY Post and it centered on the roll my spirituality has played in my life.  While it was well received by many people, there were a handful that didn’t care for it at all.  They didn’t just dislike it a little bit; they wrote comments that attacked my character and intelligence level.  I was more than a little shocked, angry and hurt and instead of focusing on the positive feedback I received from hundreds of people, I centered on the three that didn’t like it.  How many of us have experienced something similar?  We focus on the one person who criticizes us and forget about the many who are inspired by how we live our lives ~ our performances ~ whether that be on stage, within a company or in our homes.  We begin to trust outside influencers as the source of our worth and experts on our lives ~ from who we are to how we should live.  How can anyone know you better than you?  Where did these specialists go to school to attain official certification for pointing out the dreams and goals you should focus on?

Guido Contini’s movies became flops when he focused on fear ~ what if my next project isn’t as good as this one, what if my creativity runs out, what if I never had it to begin with and it was all luck, what if the very reason I’ve been so successful had nothing to do with me and everything to do with “the others”.  All the answers we ever need are within us, we just need to ask the questions and no one will EVER know you better than you.  While we might not know how we are going to obtain our next job, performance, home or meet love, our hearts know the direction, the path, for us to begin.  The unknown can appear as a formidable opponent if we choose to look at it that way or we can decide to enjoy and learn from the bends, sharp lefts and forks in the road.  The path to your dreams and goals will be EVERYTHING your heart knows to be true, and what you do with the answers you discover from within will only add to the delicious journey.

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  1. Lianda Ludwig’s avatar

    Michele, you made so many great points, both about the movie, and your own focus. I think how so many people limit themselves based solely upon: “what will people think?” People are so worried about being judged by others, that they forget it is ONLY their opinion! Why is not our opinion the one we value most? It is the one that comes from OUR heart, and our values!
    Why is it only when we visit someplace where nobody knows us that we can be our true selves?
    For success in life we must believe in our own heart’s desire and follow that path. By living in alignment with our heart, mind and body then we truly have the path of integrity to bring us to happiness and success.

  2. Jim’s avatar

    This is excellent!! You hit the nail right on the head. I am a little like Guido above. In my heart I know my performances are good. 99% of the time the reaction of the audience is excellent, but I still care what other people think, and I am my one worst critic. So even if everyone around me has a favorable opinion, my head keeps beating me up. It tells me you could have been better or you screwed up there. It’s hard to tune out your own head, but I always keep on trying to focus on what my heart has to say. Love this!

  3. Soma Mandal’s avatar

    Ahh Michele.
    How did YOU know that I’ve been struggling with these very same things? I am humbled and honored everytime a patient rewards with me with positivity and while I always remember, it’s the negative comments that strike me most. Your essay has reminded me to stay with the positive energy flow and to remember the courage and excitement that allowed me to create the things I love to do.