Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Romance is Alive and Well!

Where did I start to cultivate this idea that romance is a wonderful way to enjoy life?  Disney? As if that's the only way romance can bloom in a person - hah!  The more television I watch covering news and dramatic series, the more I become devastated by how cynical our culture has become.  Shows like Black Mirror (BBC) and even shows that are designed to make me laugh at the news (like John Oliver or The Daily Show) only serve to remind me that I live in a backward and negative world.

So what do I do to remain romantic?  Well, I read romance novels as much as possible.  I used to shy away from telling people this because I thought this pastime implied I was an idiot, though I don't actually think that's true of myself or my friends who also love reading romance novels.  What I love about these novels is the fact that the formula for love is clear and I know this book will have a happy ending.  Life doesn't work like that.  I don't care if the story is implausible and would never happen in a million years, the point is I get to enjoy the feelings of cheering a couple on to love because that's fun and inspiring!

Simple human kindness seems a romantic ideal and is behavior our fast paced society overlooks often, myself included.  I feel like I'd really like to be able to invite a little more kindness into my everyday, which makes me think of romance and people simply being courteous to one another. The Victorian era is a favorite in romance novels.  The time was not ideal and had many more problems than we focus on in these novels, but the reason so many romances are historical is because society has a set of rules that people lived by, including taking someone at his or her word.  That is a ridiculous idea these days because if you don't "get it in writing," the agreement is not lawfully supported.  Yet another realm of cynicism that our society requires.

Bottom Line: I like it when I am courteous to someone and they acknowledge that kindness.  The opposite is true that I enjoy when others do me a kindness that I acknowledge.   Simple, but not a commonly employed idea here in L.A.  This starts with me, and I vow to do my best to be kind (with an impish gleam in my eye) to those around me.  Here goes!!!

Happy New Year 2015!

Copyright 2014 Dr. Heather Corwin

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Egotism is Not JOY

I have a few God given talents.  I know I do - because I believe everyone has a few.  Mine happen to be teaching actor training, healing through Rolfing, and tenacity.  I have above average intelligence, but I know many people smarter than I am.  This past year I've discovered something new in myself that I have been taking time to examine: guilt at enjoying and celebrating my talents. 

It's not like I rub my talent in people's faces, which would be egotistical.   Somehow I've linked this teaching ability (take the leap with me) to the idea that I may get attached to students liking me.  Well, students usually do like me, but in all honesty, I'm much more attached to the idea that they have to learn something than they have to like me.  Regardless, liking your teacher is not a prerequisite for staying in the course. 

This past semester was magical for me on many levels.  The students I was teaching, some familiar and some new, were reaching new levels of curiosity, achievement, and understanding of the material I was teaching.  I felt like I may have just entered a golden age of my teaching career because I feel like I more deeply applied nuanced individual teaching to my students in ways that supported them to soar in the material!  Witnessing their growth in acting as performers and as people was a gift and a delight!

And then I started to wonder about wanting them to like me too much, in a similar vein to my ego wanting great reviews as an actor.  Though the result is not the same thing, I somehow tangled approval in my mind to both types of reactions to me.  As a result, I was aware that I was creating a space where I would not allow myself to enjoy the relationships of the students as much as I wanted to because I was afraid I would become egotistical and NEED the adoration of my students. 

Upon great reflection over the duration of this past semester, I've come to realize that confidence is not egotism.  Joy is not arrogance.  Trust is not dependance or validation, it's a special event that occurs when people have respect for each other.  I want to take back the moments of holding back joy!!!  I delight in my students and I revel in my successes as a teacher. I promise myself to not confuse these ideas again in the future.  I promise to unleash my joy!

This is my foremost New Years' resolution!  2015 is going to be GREAT!

Copyright 2014 Dr. Heather Corwin