So I just got back after a whirlwind 2 day working trip to Los Angeles where I was asked to give my testimonial for a new anti-aging product. While I have been asked many times over the last 14 years to endorse technologies and cosmetic products in the media, this is the first time that I was asked to do so in a commercial-like format. Mostly, I have done live tv or taped interviews which I am now fairly comfortable with. And this time, I was asked to sit side by side on camera with one of my favorite actresses, Jane Seymour. Her role in, and the storyline of Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman very much influenced my desire to be a pioneer in medicine. To say that I was nervous, was an understatement. I wasn’t really nervous about meeting her, but I was afraid that my inexperience in this type of production would make me seem incapable. And I didn’t want to seem incapable in front of all these new people, much less Jane Seymour.
And then I paused and thought… this is new for everyone. There were 3 of us women on the set and this was a new experience for all of us with each other. A new dynamic and a new product. A new set, a new crew, a new day. Perhaps, the two other women were feeling exactly the same way. So I relied on what a very close mentor once told me. When you do something new, you are on the edge of creation. That is a powerful place to be, and you can either choose to shrink back from the edge or you can sit forward and bring that forward engaged energy into the moment. And so there I was, on the edge of creation and I had a choice to make. Knowing that leaning forward is my true nature even though sitting back is my comfortable place, I chose the former and with it came the fear. Fear…..that dark passenger that steals away your confidence and your intuition and your freedom to experience life.
So I leaned forward through the fear and I went out of my way to introduce myself to everyone, including Jane and Kim whom I was sharing the set with. I tried to think about what I liked talking about with other women, so I asked about their children. Soon enough we were sharing YouTube videos and photographs of our collective 10 offspring. Walls fell down. I truly felt that if we all were relieved from the fear that might be plaguing all of us in this new experience, perhaps those barriers of insecurity that prevent women from letting down their guard with each other wouldn’t go up in the first place. And if they didn’t go up, then this CREATION (the project, the new relationships, the experience) we were on the edge of, would turn out to be really great……and we would all walk away from it elevated in all sorts of ways we hadn’t anticipated.
So with a ripple effect it happened. Jane was generous and supportive. She gave to me the calmness of her lifelong acting experience and I was able to be calm. Kim was able to share with me her humility, and I was able to feel like perfection was not a expectation for me to hold over my head. My stylist Kate was on a personal mission to make me look amazing and instead of letting my insecurity of how I would look on camera derail her, I gave her my full trust and she relaxed into her gift of fit and detail and style. The same transpired with the makeup artists, the hair stylists, the photographers and the woman who made me the most delicious omlet my first morning on the set.
At the end of it all, my experience was elevated far beyond my expectations. My energy was expanded through the shared experience of all of us lifting each other up. And it reminded me of the power of realizing that in any situation, however insecure or uncomfortable you feel, the best place to be is leaning forward with your real self. Only then does the fear fall behind and you can fall smack in to the richness of life.