What do you want?

I’m taking a workshop with Connie Domino called “The Law of Attraction.” LOA is a concept that started spreading about 5 or 6 years ago with the publication of “The Secret.” So, it’s not new but Connie has a delightful personality and sense of humor; and, quite frankly, her attendees manifest like mad! Even I have experienced manifestations when I took her “The Law of Forgiveness” workshop. (I’m of the mind, “sure, it will work for you! But why would it work for me?” Have I mentioned that I’m mental?) Connie found the forgiveness piece of this work to be essential for her students’ manifestations.

With the LOA workshop, we are asked to come up with three priority goals for our lives. And, then challenged to dig out the blocks we have created to our goals up until this point. How does Connie know we have created blocks? Because we haven’t obtained our stated goals so far or, rather, we have, up until now, been frustrated in reaching them.

So, this morning, I’m sitting down to do the work (tonight is the last meeting of this LOA series, OF COURSE), and I am just jotting things down that come to mind. I realize that I can’t remember having any goals as a kid. I mean my own, specific, and only related to me, kind of goals. I have discovered and accepted that my goal of having kids, getting married, and living in suburbia, come from my parents who were born in the 1920s. (As does my own personal repulsion of these very same beliefs do.) And from other sources of input such as my favorite television shows, sitcoms, and Hollywood movies.  Oh, and from reading Cosmopolitan magazine as a teenager in the 70s. (Well, if I could, I would undo that last one!)

As I dig deeper, I see that that is not 100% true for me, though.

My childhood buddy Cathy and I used to come up with ideas for changing our names – I am sorry Cathy I can’t remember yours. Myself as “Toni Pepperoni” (Have I mentioned my eating disorder?), was either a movie star or a Veterinarian. Cathy and I rescued a lot of cats and dogs back then and we are both still dedicated to rescuing or caring for strays today, in our different ways. Later on, as I thought about Toni’s profession, I reasoned that it was too painful for me to see hurt animals all the time. (Have I mentioned my self-centered fears, lately?)

Early in my life my family lived in Ohio, during kindergarten years, I had the “goal” of playing Baby Bear when our teacher decided to mount “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” in class for a couple of days. The “actors” got to pick the next “actor” to play their part for the next show. I should probably be ashamed to admit that I bribed a classmate to pick me as the next Baby Bear by offering her a place in the water line ahead of me.  Of course the deal was sealed, I had a greed and she had a need. That night I can remember telling my mother that I wanted my own curly locks in pigtails for the part and that when Baby Bear was supposed to cry (often), I would laugh instead. I guess it made sense in my head. So, that is what I did and what of course happened is – that every time I laughed instead of crying – a whole classroom of 4-year-olds laughed along with me. Ah! I get it now – one of my first episodes of attention-seeking behavior!

In secret for most of my life I longed to be a movie star. Especially after seeing “The Sting” which looked like a hellava good time and introduced me to my next obsession – Robert Redford.

As a college student and amateur actor, I was frustrated with trying to get AT the craft of acting – how do you do it? How do you create a believable character in a believable situation? I took all the theatre classes offered at my college – but there was no Fine Arts program and most of the classes were technical theater courses. In my one acting class, the teacher gave us the history of performance in a one-two punch:  first there was Thebes and next came Stanislavsky and not much of anything happened in between.  Being astute, I recognized a big gap when I heard one!

So, I began to dig for the information. I dug and found the Neighborhood Playhouse School of Acting in NYC – headed by Sanford Meisner.  At the time, the only reason I needed to look to the Playhouse and Meisner was that Joanne Woodward had attended the school.  And, man, she knew how to ACT! That was the only recommendation I needed.

That was a long time ago for me. And I’m not sure that it would be the goal I’d pick for my LOA workshop tonight. I’m still mulling whether or not it will make the list and in what form.  Should I even want to be an “actor” anymore? Because everything I did and didn’t do in my life lead me to getting sober when I got sober. That – although it looked like no goal or life or wish I ever had – was the best thing that ever happened to me. My motives have changed as has my life’s direction (Thank God). And gosh darn it! I’m 50 – an awkward age for any actor, especially a female one.

Ok, so what do I want? What goals do I put down on the paper? Things I know about myself so far – I want the next 50-65 years of my life to be happy, healthy, full of people to care about and for, and have I mentioned, LONG? I want to keep building a healthy body, mind, and spirit. Those two wants must, for me, be based in my continuing contact and relationship with a Higher Power whom I chose to call God. (Sorry, I’m just used to saying it this way.) It would be nice to find a life partner. I want to go see Alan Rickman on Broadway this fall – so that requires some kind of financial abundance.  I want to publish some of my writing and finish my children’s novel.

And that is, most likely, just the start of it.