Part of what being here and having this physical experience is about, is having wonderful desires that show up in the physical: a beautiful marriage, a Hollywood premiere, a house in the Hills, a lead on our own TV show.
But we get so consumed with going for these “events” that we forget that most of our lives are made up of all the stuff in between them. So we end up wasting so much time waiting for what we think is our real life when it’s happening at all times.
We have to live the minutiae in between the events as if they were the events themselves!
Because they really are. If most of our lives are being spent there, how do we start to live our lives more in what we casually brain-drain dismiss as the mundane?
First, it’s not easy. When you’re standing in line at the grocery store in the 12-items-or-less lane and the person in front of you has 50 items and you’re reading the covers of those glossy magazines talking about other peoples’ exciting life “events” and you think to yourself, “This can’t be my life event here,” it is.
It’s not easy when you get the call from your agent that you didn’t get the job. Again.
It’s not easy when you come home to find out your boyfriend or girlfriend has moved out.
But essentially all of these moments are event moments, they just aren’t being lived that way. But also, they lead us to other event moments of our lives. Without them there is no future event. If we can learn to appreciate them a little more, a few things happen: We get happier, we stop living for the future, we become less stressed because we let go of control, we let things unfold naturally, we wake up, we stop taking things so seriously. We realize that getting “the stuff” is great but all the stuff we experience along the way is also joyful.
Then we begin to realize our entire life is the event, just as it is, not necessarily as a lead-up to something else.
My student Shailene Woodley taught me a lesson about this the other night at a Divergent screening the night before the film’s premiere. I said to her, “Oh my gosh Shai, I’m so excited for you!” And then thinking about the next night’s opening I screamed, “It’s all going to be so exciting for you!”
She looked me squarely in the eyes and laughed, “Tony, it already is exciting.”
Every moment is the event.
Anthony Meindl is an award-winning writer, director, producer, and artistic director of Anthony Meindl's Actor Workshop (AMAW) with studios in Los Angeles, New York, London, and Vancouver. It was honored by Backstage three years in a row and named the Best Acting Studio in Los Angeles (Best Scene Study and Best Cold Read).
Meindl's first feature film, “Birds of a Feather,” won the Spirit of the Festival Award at the 2012 Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival, and he won Best Director at the Downtown Film Festival Los Angeles. It releases on iTunes and DVD in March of 2014. He is a regular contributor to The Daily Love, Backstage, and various spirituality podcasts. He has been featured in ABC News, Daily Variety, LA Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter, and CW KTLA. He has been a guest speaker at the GATE 2013 Story Conference, founded by Jim Carrey and Eckhart Tolle, and David Lynch's Masters in Film Program (Maharishi University of Management).
He is also the author of the best-selling creativity book, At Left Brain Turn Right, which helps artists of all kinds unleash their creative genius within. Check out Meindl's free smartphone app on iTunes. Follow Meindl on Twitter @AnthonyMeindl.