After almost two years of being madly in love with and inspired by Mastin and ALL the Daily Lovers, I have spent the past few months in a deep inquiry about this.
Ironically, it’s my fear of the answer I have been receiving that’s kept me from writing my first blog. So I figured what better way to start than to just lay it out on the table?
While I joyfully work alongside Mastin and mentor for TDL, I also have a lifelong, deep seated passion for performance and expression. I grew up performing, acting, and left my former career as an opera singer to move to Los Angeles in pursuit of acting.
And while I love everything I’m currently doing, I know there is a whole other dimension to my purpose that I’m not expressing. And it feels terrible.
And I would be lying to you if I said it didn’t keep me up at night. [And really, lying is no way to start off our relationship - so here's the truth: I cry about it too. Like, a lot. (Mastin can always tell where I've been, because there's normally a mini tee pee of Kleenex.)]
So there you have it: I’m an actor and I cry a lot. Shocking.
After years of immersing myself in personal growth, I can tell you that I found it to be a very effective hiding spot. Up until recently, I had been at war resistance with myself that my desire for acting might have been significance driven, that it might be an expired dream, that because I have so much richness and love in my life, it might be selfish and egotistical. Trust me, I’ve exhausted the list of doubts, fears, and self criticisms. I am my own judge and my own jury – and they are both out to lunch.
My fear tempts me to just let it go and focus on serving, because currently, that’s what’s in front of me to do. However, when I go to that still and quiet place below my highly overloaded brain, clarity awaits me. My heart is holding my truth, reminding me of what my service really is: bravely and vulnerably expressing my love.
Holding back your love in anyway is not surrendering, it’s hiding.
I’ll never forget the day I watched a conversation between Jim Carrey and Oprah. Jim talked about how he would manifest. He held onto his knowing that amazing things were on their way to him, while working hard and taking massive action in the direction of his dreams. What he shared that day shifted something in me. Here was a man whose spirit and career I have adamantly admired my whole life. Someone who inspired me to live authentically and march to the beat of my own drum – all by his example. When I listened to that interview, I felt every ounce of my being resound with truth. I knew I was on the right track, and I had to keep going.
It wasn’t long after that when I truly owned my passion for personal growth. And ironically, (or not at all), that’s when the acting opportunities began to pop up and I was gently nudged towards singing again.
I know that when I stopped using these gifts, I had been somewhat lost. Not because of a belief that I wasn’t whole, but because I had not wholly embraced my life’s highest calling. And the only reason personal growth is what’s in front of me is because that is all I have allowed.
I spend my days encouraging others to live their best life, and yet I wasn’t giving myself the same joy. I stood to the side in this supportive role, all in the name of service. How can sacrificing your gifts in any way contribute to your wholeness or that of someone else? When you sacrifice yourself, you sacrifice giving yourself.
Last month, however, this questioning and one-way hide-and-go-seek game came to an end forever. Right before Thanksgiving, I heard four words that have forever changed my life:
“Your mom has cancer.”
Never in my life have I been so afraid and yet so flooded by faith as when I heard these words. Since hearing them, never have I loved more, cared more, forgiven more, lived more.
My mom is everything to me. My family is everything to me – and there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for them or give to them.
While home for Christmas, my Mom was surrounded by support and love as she began her treatment. I felt so blessed to be able to be there with her and offer her whatever support I possibly could. I was completely focused on what was in front of me… service.
One night, I could see she was exhausted and in a great deal of discomfort, although she was being so brave. I had never seen her so uncomfortable, and it pained me to not be able to help. She was barely speaking, barely eating or drinking, and I found myself feeling tears come on so I excused myself to the kitchen.
Standing there in the middle of the room, I prayed:
“Dear God, please tell me how to ease her pain. Please show me how to help her. Please tell me she is going to be okay. I will do anything.”
The answer came a few short moments later.
My mother’s laughter.
I returned to the living room to find my mom and dad watching a Jim Carrey movie, Mr. Popper’s Penguins.
And in that moment I heard it: “This is how you heal, this is how you help”.
And I got it.
Like, really, really, got it.
While I have always been grateful for Jim Carrey and he is someone I’ve always looked up to – after years of inspiration and joy, that night he gave me the greatest gift of all – witnessing the healing power of him sharing one love of his life with two of mine. Every day after that, I made it my mission to make my mother laugh and bring her joy. I can tell you with my whole heart that never have I ever felt more in service.
To Jim, wherever he is: thank you.
To Daily Lovers everywhere: Thank you for being so brave in sharing your love, your passion, and your gifts. Your courage and love saved me long before I met Mastin, and it is an honor to wake up everyday and serve you. In whatever form that may be.
My job is not to be a professional mentor, writer, singer, or actor. My job is to be a professional human being. My job is to use whatever gifts I’ve been given to reveal more of the soul I truly am, and help others to do the same however I am able.
I missed that the first time around, and I can only tell you that this time as I set out to use pursue my dreams it makes all the difference.
Your gift is part you, part through you. Therefore, you are never alone in the manifestation or means through which it comes. Rest assured that because you have a gift, there are people on this earth who need to hear it from you. You never know who you are helping.
Your gifts are part of your love, and really, is there a place where more is not needed?
What are your gifts and how can you serve? What will you share with the world?
I would love to know!
All my Love,
Jenna Hall is an actress, opera singer, Reiki Master, and Senior Daily Love Mentor. She is also the resident Boo at TDL.
Follow her on twitter here: @seejennalove