"Alignment" is a word I came to care about when I first moved to LA. I would listen to endless Abraham Hicks talks via Youtube in my car over miles of California freeways, slowly absorbing this idea of 'alignment' with my inner being, my purpose. I started tuning to 'what alignment with my higher self' feels like. It felt clarifying, and mischievous in a fun way. It felt like relief sometimes. Other times it felt like unbridled ecstasy. I figured out the 'tuning' or the 'alignment' was easier to come by when I stopped putting stipulations on its occurrence. Stipulations like: "when I achieve 'x' I will finally be happy," "as long as 'x' never happens, I'll be fine," or: "feeling aligned with my truest, happiest self must look like 'x'".
Stipulations are limiting. Your innermost being is unlimited. Trying to put limits and restrictive expectations on something limitless is not as fun and fulfilling as you might think.
I would try to align with more acting and dance gigs but my thought process was often too restrictive. I had trouble expanding my perspective to include pathways and means of achievement outside the more popular routes. I spent more time avoiding and shunning the creative process and less time simply enjoying the work with my signature positive outlook. I blamed factors outside of myself, like my agent or my exhausting schedule, but I didn't take enough time to just practice the things I wanted to do, like dance and sing and act. I was restrictive when I could have been expansive.
I don't regret it. Looking back, I think I uncovered a lot of my own insecurities and slowly cultivated a kind of healing self-acceptance. I began to understand my own resistance. I began to care more about the present moment than any future achievement. And I would align with my inner being almost at random. Unspeakable joy would hit me in the car when a song came on the radio, or on a walk through the grocery story, or as the trailers rolled in a quiet movie theatre. There is a joy simply in being. When you let go of all your restrictions and expectations of what joy "needs to look like", you let in the joy of just being.
I feel it pretty much every day now... in the grass, breathing deeply every morning with my housemates to start the day. I feel it before I fall asleep and as I wake up. I feel it in authentic interactions all around me. I feel it at the sight of the hummingbirds and monarchs that flutter around the lemon tree. I felt it a few hours ago in a giant glass of cold water after a long day of helping friends move in the Highland Park heat. I'm at a point, now, where the joy of being sometimes overwhelms me and I have to consciously mask it a bit so I can stay energized and level headed. But I suppose that's what four months of self-reflective quarantine will do-- help you align with yourself more consistently.
I'm not just aligning with excessive joy. I'm aligning with purpose and inspired action:
I'm writing articles and helping to edit films that showcase and lift Black voices and culture.
I'm uncovering ways to be more compassionate and learning more and more about the people I care about and how we reflect each other.
I'm stepping into my own worthiness and my life's overarching theme (Lucia Joyce means "bringer of light and joy" which I literally realized just this week :O).
I was accepted into the UCLA extension Creative Writing Certificate program and will be enrolling in classes, workshops, and writing groups for the summer term this week. It feels so serendipitous to be going back to school at a time and in a program I feel ready for. Instead of feeling bogged down by the process ahead, I'm feeling flush with ideas and fresh opportunity.
A film I shot this time last year is in post production, and the trailer was recently released! It was such a cool thing with such a cool team, and my involvement in the project didn't come about by the well-worn tracks that I once expected to use in booking acting gigs--an important lesson for me. I never would have thought to market myself as an ethereal, all seeing alien being in an apocalyptic suspense film, but here I am.