Updated: Sep 14
How to begin a sustainable journey to getting results you want - a life you want.
I traveled to Ireland on my first solo trip when I was 19. At that time in my life I had a romantic American view of the world. All Irish people, I thought, would sound like Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman in “Far And Away.” In my ignorance, I thought there was one Irish accent. Whoa! Was I in for an education!
When I was in my early 20’s I left Minnesota for college in Dublin, Ireland. Part of that education was not only the multitude of accents, but phrases I needed to decipher. Some are obvious, like “well on ye.” Others not so obvious, “I’m gonna rip the piss out of ye.” And others make you stop and try to translate the best sense option, “come ‘ere til I tell ye.” One of my favorites is “the state of ye!” Often said when, in my experience, when someone is hungover, totally drenched from the rain, or basically look like they have had a rough go of it.
The state you’re in dictates your experience of everything around you. If your hungover, your experience of the world tends to be more negative - it's so loud!
If you are dissatisfied with a situation, possibly of long standing, we often think to try something different to get the result we want, to feel the happiness we’re searching for. For example: you might say, “I need to lose weight, I am an overweight person.” That’s your story. What you want to feel is confident in your clothing, have more energy, get to a better state of being. So, you might try different diets, get a gym membership and go twice because you don’t really know what to do there or are intimidated by those who are there working out. The diet you try works for 2 weeks, you lose a few pounds, then your cravings and sadness of restriction take over, you gain more weight than you lost. Your story hasn’t changed, but now you have an excuse of a diet not working for you.
We do this constantly, try things and fail and then say, “I tried, it didn’t work out.” I tried dating (you go on one date) it never works out for me. Over and over, we get used to failing ourselves, and then oddly comforted with the idea that, “ah sure, well, I tried.” That's depressing, and we're good at it.
Change the state you’re in!
What does that mean? I feel like theatre gives us the best example. When you’re in rehearsal for, let’s say, a musical. Do you start singing the song right away that’s scheduled? What if you did? You know you can sound better, those high notes are totally in your range, but your voice cracks. Then you might question whether this song is actually too hard for you.
Is that what we do first in rehearsal?
You warmup, you sing scales, hoot sirens, sing "Many Mumbling Mice," repeat tongue twisters. You physically stretch, warm up your body and move in space before you pick up your music and start softly with the voice, especially the high notes.
That’s changing your state. What happens now when you go to sing the scheduled song for rehearsal? You sound good, you feel like there are more options for movement or vocal inflection. Your character relationship gets stronger because you are in a state to explore possibilities.
Without the warmup:
Story = this song is hard for me.
The State you want = to feel good singing the song. So, you change your Strategy and try different blocking or use a prop and feel awkward because everything you try makes the high note crack.
Result: your Story is still, “this song is hard for me, no matter what I try.”
With the warmup:
Story = this song is hard for me.
The State you want = to feel good singing the song. So you change your STATE by warming up.
Result: your Story has changed to, “this song is not too hard for me, I sound good and know I can get better. This is rehearsal, after all.”
Then the Strategy is laid out for you to explore new blocking options, play with the voice and your relationship with other characters with confidence - because your Story has changed.
Am I making sense? When you put yourself into a feel-good state, possibilities open up to you that you didn’t see before. Let’s bring this back to the person who has tried diets.
How to break the cycle of failing yourself:
Story = I need to lose weight, I’m an overweight person.
The State you want = to feel confident in my clothes and have more energy.
Change your State by going outside, if you’ve been inside, and walking around the block, or anything that gets your body moving for even a short period of time. Your mind becomes clearer, you feel physically better and energized and may choose to drink a glass of water to rehydrate instead of an energy drink that you usually rely on to get you through the day. That ONE decision of a glass of water after a 45 second walk has just saved your body from having to metabolize a huge amount of sugar - even “sugar-free” items. Your body does not discern between types of sweeteners. You won’t crash from the caffeine and sugar high and, over time, will noticed a marked increase in your energy and more mental clarity to think about healthier food choices.
RESULT = You will be on a SUSTAINABLE path to your goal of confidence and more energy.
The State of You is what dictates your present experience influencing your future. So dance with wild abandon, run up and down the stairs, get the zoomies. You will feel better and be in a better mental, emotional, and physical state to explore possibilities to get to your goals.
About the Author:
Amber is a multi-passionate person. She is a NASM-CPT personal trainer and nutrition coach who works 1:1 with clients in online coaching - with a special flare for working with artists of all mediums - opera singers to cross stitchers., and all creative folks between. She is a working artist herself and her paintings and sculptures can be seen in her shared studio gallery space at the Northrup King Building in NE Minneapolis, MN, or online at Amber Art MN.