You Are Not My Competition

Dear woman on the street,
You are not my competition.

Dear talented sisters working behind the scenes,
You are not who I strive to be.

Dear gorgeous beauties who time and time again I have been
assured of your jealousy towards me to validate my ego,
You are not my end goal.

Hello familiar face,
Restless eyes who has seen what I’ve seen,
Hands who have touched what I’ve felt,
And heart who knows my deepest yearnings,
You are my only competition.

My daily task list consists of goals and aspirations that are set
day after day so that the only person I am better than,
The only person who I want to rise above,
Is the girl who stared back at me yesterday.
The girl shedding her skin,
To become a better woman tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

Photo by Manny Man Photography

Introspective

There has been many changes in my personal and creative life lately. Rather significant relationships and endeavors have changed, and in doing so has left me in a place of vulnerability in the unknown. These sentiments are something all of us have experienced at one time or another. Losing a relationship, changing a job, or having to start a big new project over from scratch are just a few examples of situations that can leave a person feeling lost in the dark. When we get like that though, there are a few things that can help guide us in the right direction. Although sometimes we just want to retreat and hide under the covers (been there, did it yesterday) sometimes it’s best to take slow and simple steps in the right direction. So here are a few tools to help you deal with a creative overhaul and various introspective situations.

Reading
Reading is one of those simple pleasures that too many people often don’t make time for.  Whether it’s a biography of your personal hero, a fiction story to escape in, or a book of poetry to get lost in the dance of words, reading is never a waste of time or energy.  It gives you something to talk about instead of the newest gossip and helps generate ideas that you may have not come up with on your own. Above all, it helps to create a society of knowledgeable individuals ready to help create a better world.

Meditation
I’m not the best when it comes to sitting still, but forcing myself to take even 10 minutes to do a guided meditation has become one of my favorite moments of the day. There are various apps, websites, and YouTube channels dedicated to helping the public meditate. Meditation helps to relax you and to evaluate your situation in a thoughtful and objective sense.

Make a List
I love making lists! This is the complete Type A personality in me, but I love creating lists to realize what’s important to me in my life. My recent lists have been: What Do I Want Out Of Life, What Creative Things Do I Want To Accomplish, Where Do I Want To Go, and What Do I Need To Let Go Of To Accomplish My Goals. Sometimes just seeing certain things in writing helps us realize what we want manifested in our lives. What does your list look like?

Leave Your Circle
Go out and meet new people. Go to events that you otherwise would have stayed away from. Sometimes opening up our circle of friends and acquaintances helps us to realize how not alone we really are. Getting stuck in the same circle over and over again can make a person stagnant if you don’t try to see what is beyond your personal world. Maybe pick up a new hobby, go to a networking group, or find an activity that you’ve been putting off for various reasons. You don’t have to completely dump your friends and family, but realizing there are others out there sometimes helps to direct you where you want to go in life.

Retreat
When an animal is hurt or wounded, they retreat until they are ready to come back into the world. If a major life change has happened, and you just aren’t ready to face the world yet, that is completely understandable. Be honest with yourself and your personal limits. They exist for a reason. Try spending some extra time in nature. Take a hike, sit under a tree, go where there are very few people. Retreating can also mean taking a trip somewhere, either with a close friend or loved one, or by yourself. Sometimes we all need those moments to heal, analyze, and come back stronger.

What are some of your methods for healing? Have you tried any of those listed above? I would love to hear your experiences in the comments below, and as always stay feisty loves!

Eva Mae Logo

 

Photo by Lisa Petz Photography

Falling in Love With Your Act

This past week I have traveled from San Diego to New York City to Toronto performing and competing. It was a rewarding and exhausting week. I have to admit that I was apprehensive about the act I competed with last night. 

I have traveled, performed, and competed with Soul of a Man. What I have realized was that when it wasn’t accepted or judged how I would have hoped, then the love that I had while originally creating the act started to diminish. I would doubt myself before ever hitting the stage. I would harshly compare my slow sultry number against a high energy crowd pleaser that was more audibly enjoyed. Little by little, my confidence in whether or not I should even perform my act started to fade. 

  
But call it the energy of the city, or a new attitude in performing and loving what I do, or even a little more time spent getting grounded for the show so I could be present with the audience, last night I stepped up on that stage and felt fabulous while performing that number. It was electric, and although not a loud crowd pleaser (slower acts that focus on glamour rarely are) I loved every second of it. I realized that I wasn’t watching the show backstage and judging my act against the others. I wasn’t trying to figure out if my technique would come off more polished or graceful. Instead, before I hit the stage, I set an intention directed for the audience. I wanted to transport them away from their troubles and everyday life, even if only for 4 minutes. I wanted to entertain them and show them a little extra love that they may have not gotten that day. And just like that, doing my act was no longer about me. 

  
When I stepped off the stage, I was overflowing with love for an act that just days before I considered changing entirely to better suit what I thought would be more expected. I no longer cared about expectations or judging criteria. I realized, after walking through the crowd and being stopped several times by audience members who enjoyed my act, that the reason I perform isn’t for the titles or the competitions, but because I want to entertain a crowd and share my vision of beauty and glamour. I want to create a special moment that they can take away with them, and if that is my focus, then the other noise won’t matter when it comes to how you perceive your own art. 

There are various factors that go into award winning acts and even acceptance letters from festivals. Don’t let others’ judgements diminish your love for your art form. Continue to polish your own work, and try not to judge yourself against other performers. There are performers who I adore that I will never be able to do what they do. Be true to yourself onstage and remember, we wouldn’t be anything without our audience. Show them some love. 

  

Feisty Thoughts: Transitions

If you asked me to describe myself in three words I would say I was passionate, loving, and a workaholic. From a young age I picked up my family’s work ethics, and have brutally policed myself on my drive and capabilities ever since. From holding down three jobs while pregnant and finishing college, to co-producing a leading troupe in San Diego with more determination than we know what to do with, drive and work have never been far from my vocabulary. But I currently find myself in new territory. I am currently in a personal and professional transition that I’m not quite sure how to process.

Ironically enough, I have always been one to follow a formula, at least in my professional life. You work hard in school and get the grades. Then you go to college and get the degree. Then you find a job and work hard and get promoted. Then you continue to work hard and continue to rise in said job. But what happens when you find out that formula isn’t fail proof? What happens when you realize that the college degree you were told to get comes with devastating student loans that you now have to pay back? What happens when you find out that those in your career don’t follow this same formula, and more often than not, those who work the least and have friends within the system are the ones to get promoted as well as take the praise for your work? Well in my personal story, the answer is you walk away from that formula and you decide to work for yourself.

So after almost a year of contemplation, depression, and constant anxiety, I walked away from a situation that wasn’t helping me grow. And here I am. A professional showgirl, graphic designer, video assistant, and now blogger who has no idea what my next steps are. And for someone like myself, that is terrifying.

I’ve been through various transitions in my life. I moved out to California from Charleston with about $300 to my name and no clue what my next steps were. I had my daughter two weeks after my college graduation with no clue as to how my husband, then boyfriend, and I were going to survive. I walked away from a drug filled life including “friends” and surroundings cold turkey when I decided to get clean. But the one thing I keep thinking about, is that in each of these transitions, I threw myself into work. Work took on various forms, but it was work none the less.

The question I keep asking myself is, what do I need to confront? Instead of distracting myself, what if I took time for me and figured out what I need in my life to feel whole. Instead of being afraid of what the future can hold, what if I entertained the excitement of the unknown? What if I don’t have a plan, but just a general direction? What if I give myself time to just float and see where it takes me?

I have a lot of family and friends who are going through their own transitions. Some are having kids, some are changing jobs, and some are starting to evaluate where they are in space and time. My advice to you, is not to get caught up in the comparison game. Focus on yourself, and allow yourself time to mourn what you lost, and celebrate the unknown. Give yourself time to float before you power down the river to success. Realize the beauty in stillness and spend some time in the air before you ground yourself. It’s okay, as long as you know that it’s not a long-term solution. Sometimes we all need to go on a soul search. Read things that interest you. Show some love to your body by working out and meditating. Take some time to look at yourself in the mirror and say “I love you.”

What if that was our 30 day challenge? What if we took 30 days to show some self-love? Where will that take us? What’s the worst that can happen? You come out happier and more confident than before? I will be taking that journey, and I invite you all to do the same.
#takingtimetofloat