21 minutes ago
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
"This is how I feel today. This is my baseline."
"This is how I feel today. This is my baseline.
That's a trick. I learned that from an actor. I had asked her how she grounded herself, how she got rid of anxiety before she walked on stage. She said that there were certain things that were very difficult to control, and that how she felt at that moment was one of them. For her it was less about getting rid of that anxiety - less about subtraction - and more about recalibration.
She would pause for a moment to take what seemed to be her emotional temperature - a pause to feel the anxiety, the excitement, the sadness, whatever it was that day. She would try to do this without judgment, without separating out the bad things from the good things with an eye to change them, but rather taking them at face value.
Instead, she would recalibrate. The total of what she found would become her normal, the new baseline from which she would experience the world. Certain emotions can feed on themselves. It's easy to become anxious about being anxious, become more depressed about being depressed. The goal of the recalibration was to normalize these feelings, to make them things that you didn't have to apologize to yourself for, or worse beat yourself up about.
I like this idea, this idea I stole from the actor. It's the idea that you're constantly in flux.
This is how I feel today. This is my baseline."
- Ze Frank [slightly edited and shortened]