Those that know me/ have been listening to the podcast for awhile, might call me a “Joy Machine”. My default setting is “SPARKLE”… but my ratio of joy to sadness has been inverted as of late. I am deeply sad as I am recording this episode, and that is OK. Stepping into the booth and talking to a microphone was my Minimum Viable Effort and I am so glad I did it, because it turns out, this episode (and feeling blue) is really really important to me. I hope it can be for you too.
In this episode, I remind myself to “feel it first” (before trying to do the thought work to “change” sadness into something else). I also talk about taking a page from the rapid prototyping playbook and aiming for MVP (which probably doesn’t mean what you think it means in this context).
Is this my best episode ever? Probably not, but it is one of the most important because I didn’t beat myself up to make it, and I am not pretending to be any other way than the way I am.
Intro: This is words that move me, the podcast where movers and shakers, like you get the information and inspiration. You need to navigate your creative career with clarity and confidence. I am your host master mover, Dana Wilson. And if you’re someone that loves to learn, laugh and is looking to rewrite the starving artist story, then sit tight, but don’t stop moving because you’re in the right place.
Dana: Good morning, my friend. It’s morning for me. I’m recording in the morning, which doesn’t usually happen because of the voice. Um, yeah, usually she’s not ready to go at this ripe hour of the day, but I have a flight this afternoon. So here we are. And here we go.
This episode is going to be short and not sweet. I don’t think it’s going to be sweet. Y’all I don’t think it’s going to be spicy either or salty. What other S word sou sour. Not going to be sour. Um, it will probably be a little bit sad and that is okay. I think there is value in sad. And if you know me, if you’ve been listening to the pod for awhile, you know that I think there’s value in all of the feels. Um, and today I’m honoring the sadness. Honestly, I’ll be totally straight with you as your guide. I don’t know what this episode is about yet. I don’t know what I’m going to call it. Um, I don’t know what the, what the point is other than simply to be an example of me doing what I said I would do. I said, I will make a podcast this week and here I am on Friday about to go to the airport and I’m doing it. Why? Great question. Because it’s important to me, period. Like I could stop there, but I’ll keep going. Um, you know, me, it’s important to me to share the lessons that I’ve learned and am learning. It’s important to me to be an example of what is possible for creative types, such as yourself. And today I guess that means I am showing up to show you that it is possible to do what you said you would do, even if you feel sad. I will immediately follow that up with, uh, a warning into a favor. Please do not use this episode as a weapon against yourself. Please try not to think that well, if Dana can get over her sadness and get shit done, then I should be able to also. My friends that is not at all, what is happening very much, not the case. I have not gotten over my sads. I am not pushing through them so that I can quote get on with my life end quote. I am truly letting them be here with me today. Just like I let my enthusiasm and my sparkle and my giggles be here with me most other days. And actually, maybe that is what today is about, being blue and leaving room for blue. Which is funny because I am the blue seaweed sister. So I know a lot about being blue. Yeah, the blues, my little blue friend. I like it.
Today we’re going to talk about feeling blue, but first we’ll do wins. See, here I am being an example of how you can and maybe should celebrate what’s going well even when you’re feeling down Today, I am celebrating that it is my first convention weekend back after the summer break, and my first convention weekend, back after my vocal cord surgery, I feel ready. I feel in tune, I feel safe. Um, and I feel those things because I am thinking that I know how to modify. I have my finger firmly on the pulse of my comfort level speaking. And by the way, right now, I did a few things this morning that were ill-advised. I did do my vocal warmups, but, um, I just made my bed and I have relatively new sheets, which is another win, holy love my sheets. Um, but they’re so new that they’re so quite linty, linty, that’s a funny word. Um, and it just made my bed and there’s lint everywhere. I’ve been sneezing like crazy. So the voice in this moment doesn’t sound great, but I do feel like I have a good grip on it. Um, I’ll be bringing my clave, the instrument, not the rhythm. Those claps were weak. I was trying to not blow out the microphone. Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap. If you have seen in the Heights, you know, the clade rhythm. Well, um, but I received a clade. The instrument, there are two pretty girthy, another great word, wooden, um, pieces of wood. And they’re called the clade. Uh, I got, I received this clave as a gift from the fabulous Rebecca Rangel. um, daily doer, Rebecca Rangle, past guest, Rebecca Rangle and friend Rebecca Ringle. Can I say that one more time? So now I have an actual clave. I’m going to bring it with me this weekend to capture the room’s attention instead of yelling or using my lame claps that are just demonstrated to you. I also have a microphone. I also am bringing my very own headphones for judging. I’ve got this. I’m winning. I can already feel it. Okay. Now you go, what’s going well in your world.
Dana: Awesome. Congratulations. Keep winning. Thinking about ya. Okay. Now today, blue bleh, a few reminders to me and to you in case you might need to hear this. The thing that I want to remember today, as you can tell, I do quite quickly default to chipper. Um, and I think that there’s a huge emphasis on people in general, but especially Americans and perhaps even more especially creative leaders in, in the entertainment industry and other industries who people are looking to. People think that we should be happy all the time and that projects will flow best when everyone’s happy or that our best work happens when we’re happy. And maybe it does, but also maybe it doesn’t. The bottom line here for me is that I won’t be happy all the time, period. I shouldn’t be happy all the time. I don’t want to like look at the face of racism and inequality and injustice and you know, all the terrible things that are going on and be happy about that. I don’t want to be happy all the time. But pretending to be happy, doesn’t give the same results as actually being happy, like white knuckle gripping myself to feeling happy feelings and changing my thoughts to thinking happy thoughts without believing them? In other words, just reading the happy script. That doesn’t make you happy. So, before you even consider trying to do those things. Before you consider faking it as an option, maybe just feel sad for awhile. Like feel sad. First, feel the feeling first before you try to change the feeling. Yeah, that’s me feeling it right now. You can just feel it for awhile. How long, how long should you feel it? I don’t know until it changes, morphs evolves into something else. Last night actually was a brilliant example of this. I was sitting in various places of my house, feeling sad, kitchen floor for a little while, yoga ball for a little while on the couch for a little while. And I watched myself evolve from feeling small and inconsequential, you know, is a good word, but it’s a tough one to feel. It was wild. Like genuinely, I felt like a grain of rice, wild rice. I felt small and dry and crusty and sad, like the one grain of rice that didn’t make it into the bowl and just fell onto the floor and gets lost in the like, uh, what’s it called floorboards. Yeah. And then while I had some friendly conversation with myself and my husband and I was having my, having my back, I watched that feeling, the rice feeling kind of warm up and puff up a little bit, kind of rise up and fill up till eventually I felt more like kind of like a slice of bread when I think about it. Ooh, progress rice to bread. Um, and I know that my goal in life is not to feel like a slice of bread, but that was enough for me in that moment. At least a slice of bread can be easily picked up when it falls on the floor. Even if you have acrylic nails, I digress. My point is to let sadness or whatever is going on in there. Be there to let it be there, especially before you try to change it into anything else. Watch it closely, and you will absolutely notice that it will absolutely not be there for far too long. It’s going to change. It will shift slightly or subtly into being something else. Something else that you can be fascinated by and watch. Hmm. This is the note to self that I need today. We are not our feelings. We are the watchers of our emotions and we are not our thoughts. We are the Watchers of our minds. It’s really helpful for me to remember when I feel like my thoughts are crazy. So I must be crazy. And my thoughts are sad and dark. So I must be sad and dark. I’m just watching them. I can just watch them. They are not who I am. And that’s okay. The last thing I think I want to say to myself and to you sort of underlines what I said earlier about, please don’t use this episode as an excuse to white knuckle grip your way through things. When you feel sad, this isn’t an example of pushing through. If you will. You don’t have to do all of the things when you’re sad or anxious or angry or whatever it is, but you should do the things that are important to you. In other words, try not to stop completely. I’ll take a page out of the rapid prototyping book and remember that unless we’re trying to change the laws of gravity, anything is possible, right? Anything outside of those few limitations is actually possible. And sometimes it helps to be critical along the way, but you don’t usually start by aiming for perfection. Take for example, one of my favorite, um, acronyms, M.V.P not most valuable player, although it is a very, very valuable player in my toolkit, uh, MVP, in this case, I’m referring to the minimum viable product, which is a version of the final product that works exactly well enough to be usable, just well enough to be usable. And I do use the word just deliberately, barely right there. Just barely similarly, the minimum viable effort is, or can be a way of working to move forward with baby steps, not big leaps, not massive to do lists, but the minimum viable effort is a way that you can do the minimum and do it every single day consistently so that you succeed in the end instead of burning out or breaking down by being too ambitious in the beginning. So today I am calling on my minimum viable effort. I am standing in this podcast booth. I am talking into a microphone about the way that I feel and the things that I think I need to hear today probably will not be the best podcast, but I’m sure that I needed it. And if I needed it, then maybe one or two of you did too. And that is enough for me today. That is my minimum viable product. And I made it without beating myself up for feeling sad, telling myself that I’m stupid for feeling sad. I should be grateful. Look at this cool podcast booth and these listeners in this cool thing that I do. I didn’t do that. I didn’t put myself through that thing. I didn’t pretend to be any other way than I am. I’m a little bit blue.
All right, told you it would be short and sweet and sour, spicy, salty, funny. Um, but I have to have to call this out real quick. I simply can not let myself, an artist, off the hook for getting through an entire episode where blue is synonymous with sadness and only sadness. I’d be a fool to let you go on thinking that. Blue is also the color of the ocean. Well, not the ocean in Los Angeles, which is murky, murky, gray brown, but some ocean somewhere has blue and blue can mean depth and power. Blue is the color of the sky. It can be synonymous with clarity or calm or dreaming or opportunity. Blue can also be cool. Blue can be calming and relaxing. And as I have shown you in the past, in my work with the seaweed sisters, and as I will show you till the day that I die, blue can be very, very funky. So please get out there, keep it funky and feel whatever you’re feeling. No matter what you’re feeling, you can be funky. Thanks for listening everybody. I’ll talk to you soon. Bye
Outro: Me again. Wondering if you ever noticed that one more time. Almost never means one more time. Well, here on the podcast, one more thing actually means two more things. Number one thing. If you’re digging the pod, if these words are moving you, please don’t forget to download, subscribe and leave a rating or review because your words move me too. Number two thing, I make more than weekly podcasts. So please visit thedanawilson.com for links to free workshops. And so, so much more. All right, that’s it now for real talk to you soon. Bye.