At the age of seven, I was cast in the role of princess in a school play on account of the fact that I had a mane of golden hair that tumbled past my waist. The blue eyes and English rose complexion probably helped too. Said princess laughed her way through every crisis and finally learned how to cry with the help of a magic spell, but unfortunately, my acting skills didn’t quite live up to my flaxen tresses.
Describing my performance as wooden would be an understatement. I was so appalling, they had to give me a piece of onion to rub into my eyes for the denouement crying scene. The girl who played my maid; who had buck teeth, ears that stuck out at right angles and thin black hair, kindly showed me how it was done. She was incredible. This girl could really act and even back then, I realised the ridiculousness of the situation. We’d been given the wrong parts.
Acting has always been a struggle for me. When presented with a gift I don’t like, it is nigh on impossible for me to hide my displeasure and this has become a running joke amongst family members. I have to watch myself on Zoom calls too, because I give myself away without realising. I should really switch the camera off and declare a fake fault.
Is it any wonder then that the aspect of manifesting I have struggled with most is acting as if I am/have the thing that I most desire. All the books I’ve read tell me that I must act as if I am rich in order to attract wealth, feel as if I am already on the holiday of my dreams in order for it to come about and picture my novel in the bookshop with my name on the cover to make it a reality.
Try as I might, I cannot muster up emotions on demand. I am no actor and never will be, no matter how many times I vision myself walking off stage with a BAFTA.
But I had a little realisation this week, thanks to booking myself last minute onto one of Marion Young’s online silent retreats. Regulars to this blog will know that I am a big fan of silence, but recently, what with the pandemic and my compulsion to work really really hard with not that much to show for it, the practice has taken a back seat. I wasn’t going to do the latest retreat, because I didn’t have time. Too much work.
However, on reflection, I realised that I am craving more free time. I fantasise about life in the slow lane, days off, a life free of busyness and an end to this compulsion I have to work until I drop. I don’t need a Grammy winning performance to signal to the universe that this is my intention – all I have to do is take a damned day off.
Putting a colleague on my OOO, turning off all electronic devices and spending an entire day meditating, gazing out of the window and taking the odd nap, was like sending up a flare, a signpost saying, ‘This is what I want to do, THIS.’ My action showed my intention and I didn’t have to rub an onion in my eye or fake a thing.
It reminds me of the time I threw out my ancient, cracked cereal bowls. I’d had them since university and one day, I decided that I didn’t want to eat my porridge from something an impoverished student would use. I went online and ordered six bone china bowls from John Lewis. They didn’t cost the earth and allowed me to breakfast like a person who could afford decent crockery. And yes, it made me feel a little bit richer.
I can’t act for toffee, but I can show the universe and myself for that matter, what it is I want more of.
I have a new carpet in the hallway (it has only taken 18 years!) and every time I walk along it, I feel as if I am in a boutique hotel. Its lavishness is intoxicating. The same can be said for my new hand blown glass lights from Made.com (I’m not an affiliate or anything, but I do love them!) that twinkle like jewels. Previously, we had naked 100 watt bulbs illuminating our bare, paint spattered floorboards and it felt like being on the runway at Heathrow airport. Ghastly!
Next, I am going to overhaul my mugs as some of them are older than my children – who are coming up to 21, 18 and 15 in case you were wondering. No more thick rims, chips and Mr Men slogans. It’s bone china or bust. Every time I have a cup of tea I will feel a little bit richer.
It’s easy when you boil it down, isn’t it? No acting required because actions speak a whole lot louder.