Practice For Dying

Being this the beginning of a new year, I have been thinking a lot about dreams, goals and action. Which brings me to a story. About six years ago, I began my Silver Savior road trip. I hauled my Airstream down to New Mexico to interview people living their artistic dreams. I was turned on to a film maker in Santa Fe, we will call him Frank, who quickly wanted to know what I was up to. He called me up and asked me all about the project. After telling him the vision, he said, “who do you think you are?” “Excuse me?”, I said. So, he went further and said, “really, what makes you think you are a film maker?”
Without missing a beat, I said, “because I declare myself to be one and I am filming”. Little did I know he hadn’t produced anything in years, but that’s not the point to this story. What really mattered in that moment was that I believed I could do ‘it’, something I had never done before, but set my mind to and quite honestly wasn’t going to be sidetracked by this very insecure man.
Do you have a Frank in your life? That critic that says, “who do you think you are?’ Or maybe it is yourself. We all know him, often all too well.
But what I’ve learned over the years from being a self-taught artist is that you can be whoever you set out your mind to be.
Formal training or not. Confidence is not something you obtain when you’re winning. It is those hard lessons when nothing seems to be going right and some little voice from deep within says, you can do this. To create curiosity and not stay in a place of self-doubt. I mean life and the people in your story are always prepping you for something. It is the failures and heartbreaks, and it is the Frank’s along the way who always teach us the most important lessons in life.
In my mind, I call it Practice For Dying.
Not to be morbid, but quite the opposite. I never want to get to the end of my life and say, “I wish I had done that”. So, it’s sort of a start at the end and work backwards if you will. Like GPS in a car. You get in and plug in your final destination so that you don’t get to Austin when you meant to go to New York City.
Yes, we all have a Frank in our lives and thank God. They are that tiny voice either from family or friends or deep within that is indirectly saying, “go out there, prove it to yourself and the world that you really want to succeed in your one and only life”.
If there is one thing I would say to you all is: own what you have come here to do. Because this gift called your life is not a dress rehearsal, it is a film and you are the star, not the supporting actor. Thank that critic and keep filming.
Here’s to your greater purpose, potential and productivity this year,
Nancy + Team Sweet Bird