Suit Up, Show Up, SHUT UP… then Let Go!
I’m in the midst of my 10th or 20th round of presenting my “Dream TV Show Dog & Pony Show.”
I should be grateful to have the honor of being invited to share my passion for dreams to hot shot Hollywood decision-makers in fancy schmancy penthouse suites in high rise buildings that touch the sky, to “pitch/sell” the notion there should be a show on the subject of dreams.
Why a show on dreams?
Hmmm…besides the fact it’s never been done before and all of us humans spend 1/3 of our lives sleeping and dreaming, and have approximately 3-9 dreams a night. Not to mention, dreams are the ultimate X-file, that once explored could positively change our lives (for the better)! I think the question should be:
Why NOT a show on dreams?
At the conclusion of these meetings, the decision-maker either says Yes or No. Some have said flat out NO because the show idea is too “soft”-because dreams take place in the mind and aren’t “hard” like car chases with Kardashians, little people getting married, or glamorous mob wives stabbing each other in the back during lunch.
Some executives get a twinkle in their eye-like they can actually see the show in their mind’s eye-and their ego loves the idea of going down in history for being a pioneer-trailblazing a new and different type of programming to an oversaturated entertainment industry.
Other’s say, “Hmmmmm…I like this…let me dream on this and get back to you.”
Sometimes they do…sometimes they don’t…but I have yet to get the coveted green light of which I’ve been dreaming.
Do I sound bitter?
Shit! I don’t want to sound bitter…much less BE bitter!
I should be grateful-and most of the time I am, don’t get me wrong. However, no one (myself included) wants to pour their whole heart and soul into something-to feel so certain about its viability, and ultimately hear, “Sorry, shweetheart. Close, but no cigar.”
At a woman’s retreat I recently facilitated, I had the blessing of popping out of the maze of my mind and hear the loving nudging of my higher (God) self say:
This hit me between the eyes, and cracked opened my armored heart as I realized this higher wisdom was right. DUH! If I am in your lane, then by definition, there’s no one in my lane. And the only lane that is actually mine to be in is my lane…and all the stuff in my lane that needs to be done by me won’t get tended to if I’m trying to micro-manage the happenings in your (or anyone else’s) lane!
As I journaled about this, the following formula wrote itself across the page. I refer to this (especially now) to help me stay in my lane as I gear up for today’s Dog and Pony show:
- Suit Up
- Show Up
- Shut Up (or Speak When Spoken Through)
- …then LET GO!
Allow me to elaborate:
1. Suit Up:
My friend Tami Walsh said to me during a moment of overwhelm when I was making the rounds doing TV appearances promoting my first dream book, I Had the Strangest Dream. She said,
Suit up means put your clothes on (and make up, oh yes, and brush your hair and teeth, why not?). If there is anything to prepare for, then prepare. If there isn’t, then at the very least get your head in the game by doing a little meditation/prayer before you leave…which brings us to step two…
2. Show Up:
Get your ass out the door and get your body to the meeting! If you’ve managed to put clothes on but you don’t get out the door and make it to your designated appointment on time or at the correct address, NOTHING’S GOING TO HAPPEN…except you will piss people off.
This may seem like the biggest duh in the world, but I can’t tell you how many people I’ve talked to that claim the universe isn’t on their side, but upon further investigation, they never SHOWED UP TO THE DANCE!
If you don’t get your body to the dance and stay in the entropy of your comfy couch, all your pretty clothes, false eyelashes, and bejeweled tiaras are for not! To have a chance of tripping the light fantastic with the handsome someone you’ve been dreaming of, you must get your ass out the door and drive the car. Oh yes, and give yourself buffer time in case of unforeseen traffic.
And…if we’re going to get a little fancier with this one you could do a little meditation before making your appearance, so you can…
Arrive with an open heart, grounded, not flustered like a human cyclone.
Arrive as in BE PRESENT.
And arrive as in don’t have your head inside your phone returning emails, Facebook messages, and tweeting about things unrelated to the meeting at hand.
3a. Shut Up:
Now that you’ve suited up and shown up, give yourself a high five! You are now in the right place at the right time, with your mind, body, and spirit present and accounted for! But, this next part may be more challenging than it looks (depending on how you’re wired).
If you are one of those people who is naturally observant, quiet, spacious, and generous with your energy, then skip to 3b.
However, if you are one of those people who walks through the door like a whirling dervish tumbleweed drama-maker with complaints, the latest gossip, tall tales of your trials and tribulations on the wild journey through traffic, then this one’s for you…and I say this with all due respect:
SHUT the (BLEEP) UP!
God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason.
Turn your radar on, ears up, and heart open to the other people in the room (shock-there may be actual humans in the room with you). And (wait for it) they may have something of value to say.
Michael Bernard Beckwith says there are two types of people in the world.
The first kind walks in the room and announces, “I’m here!”
The second kind walks in the room and announces, “You’re here!”
Be the second kind of person.
The first kind sucks… the oxygen out of the room, tries too hard to be recognized, seen, and affirmed.
Unless you are hired (paid money) to perform or entertain everyone upon entering the room (like a singing telegram), get out of your own way, be present, and allow the universe to create space for grace to take place through you.
3b. Speak When Spoken Through (or Move When Moved)
According to the Art of Navigation, by Felix Wolf, our job is to dance with this universe…and LET IT LEAD.
In other words, our job is to become the most excellent dance partner to the universe we can possibly be, attuned to its every nuance, dip, flip, and sashay.
As we dance with the universe we’ll know when it’s our turn to talk, to dazzle the crowd with our fan kicks or, as Kenny Rogers sang in his song The Gambler:
Years ago, my husband’s friend Bob was in a pitch meeting at Universal Studios, in a high rise building that literally touched the sky, attempting to convince the powers that be to buy his “Earthquake Ride” concept.
He’d enthusiastically presented his dog and pony show (like me) as the poker-faced judges yawned and looked at their watches. As they ushered dejected Bob to the door…just a moment before they reached the exit, a REAL LIFE EARTHQUAKE STRUCK- jolting these executives frantically awake as they ducked for cover.
Once the quaking stopped, they burst into laughter at the crazy coincidence, and signed the deal with Bob immediately. They said it was a sign that the ride would be enthralling to audiences…which it was, for years. And our friend, Bob’s dream came true…because he suited up, showed up, spoke when spoken through (and moved when moved-literally).
4. Let Go!
This brings us to the final step in this manifesting dance. So you’ve suited up, showed up, shut up (or spoke when spoken through and/or moved when moved), and that’s great. But, if you don’t let go, then by definition, you are holding on. Staring at the phone as you will it to ring, like waiting for the pot to boil, ensures it never will.
I have a magic trick I do at restaurants when I’m hungry and want my food to come. I visit the Ladies’ room. Inevitably, I return and see, Voila’, my food has magically arrived. I’m convinced that it never would if I didn’t let go by removing myself from the premises, and I would, in fact starve to death if I stayed there glaring at the waitress and drooling over the food delivered to all the other tables in the restaurant but mine.
The job opportunity, relationship, health diagnosis, financial abundance you’ve been working so hard to muster may be delayed because it can’t do its magic with you and your willful energy in the way, running around like Chicken Little.
Speaking of chicken, fourteen years ago I met Mark Victor Hanson (the original co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series), and I suggested that he do a book on inspirational dream stories-with moi as the co-author on the book.
I wasn’t discouraged (ok, maybe a little), but I persisted.
I kept meeting people who knew his wife, personal assistant, event coordinator and at every turn I’d ask them to put in a good word about my dream book idea…to no avail.
Eventually, another creative project tapped me on the shoulder, then another, then another. Why should I turn down all the boys who ask me to dance, just because the cutest boy is flirting with someone else? What if he never asks me to dance? I will have wasted the whole night.
So, I began to twirl with another creative idea that spun me around into another project, and another, without skipping a beat, I became the belle of the ball.
Ten years and nine books later, through an act of complete effortlessness creativity and a series of synchronicities beyond my conscious control, the cutest boy (who, actually turns out to be a girl-the new editor in chief of Chicken Soup for the Soul) asked me to dance! She and I are now working on our second book in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series on dreams…which, by the way, has sold over 50,000 copies!
This wouldn’t have happened had I not let go of my attachment…in fact, had I not let go, I might have been arrested for being a stalker and would be writing this blog from a jail cell…and it would have a very different ending than the uplifting one that this one has!
Doctor (Dream) heal thyself, I think I’ll take my own medicine now and apply this formula as I head off to present my “Dog and Pony Show” to the next interested series of TV executives.
I’ll suit up, show up, shut up (unless spoken through), and let go. Let’s see what the universe has up its sleeves. I’ll let it lead, since it more than likely has a better idea than I about how the universe should flow.
And if that doesn’t get me out of my own way, I’ll console myself by reading this long, long, long, long list of famously successful people (like Walt Disney, Abraham Lincoln, Henry Ford, and JK Rowling) who failed and flailed pitifully along the journey toward making their dreams come true.
And if that doesn’t work, I’ll just let go…but first, and most importantly, I have to figure out what to wear???
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