Sunday, May 5, 2019
I’m reading this book by Eckhart Tolle called The Power of Now and it’s changing my life. I bought it maybe a couple of years ago, started reading it and realized that it wasn’t what I thought it was and so I stopped reading it. Well the other day, I saw a musical on Broadway called Tootsie (which I really enjoyed by the way) and one of the actresses during her patter song mentioned Eckhart Tolle. The song was not about him, but in that moment I realized, ‘Oh shoot. I never finished reading that book… I wonder if I still have it.’ Cut to NOW.
I’m in a season in my life where I am so much more open and receptive to what he is talking about in this book. I’m maybe halfway through it currently and already I have been able to observe how much time I spend thinking about past memories or daydreaming (or worrying) about the future! I have observed how often or how little I spend in the actual present and I’m left purely dumbfounded.
The times I am the most present is when I’m on stage, or when I’m eating some bomb food, or kissing a boy that freaking rocks my socks, or if my crush simply walks in the room, or when I’m in Sheep Meadow in Central Park, et cetera. And in those times, I am free and happy or strategizing or just simply being and I ultimately feel the most alive.
This weekend, my friend and colleague Sarah Bockel will take her final bow (for now) as Carole King in the Broadway company of Beautiful the Carole King Musical. Sarah and I were both in rehearsals together for the mounting of the First National Tour of Beautiful back in August of 2015. Back then, she was on every night as Betty and the understudy to Abby Mueller who played Carole. I feel so much pride and love and joy to have watched Sarah start there to eventually headlining the touring company and now here on Broadway. She is the definition of a real person, sweet, hilarious, genuine, humble, unassuming, did I mention hilarious? (And obviously she’s talented and gorgeous.)
A couple days ago while we were onstage, in a passing moment in Act II, Sarah hugged me and she said, “Thank you for always being present with me.” And you know what? That meant the world to me for a couple of reasons: 1) I felt that same way about her, and 2) these are the moments that (for me) give life meaning. This is when life matters the most. I feel like the time with Sarah in New York has flown by, but at the same time it has felt full and meaningful and full circle. I feel like we lived in it fully and that her presence was fully enjoyed and felt.
This is the meaning of life. The future is an illusion. The past no longer exists. All we really have in this moment is THIS MOMENT! And what I’m finding is that when I’m in the moment, nothing’s ever really that bad. When I feel negative feelings it’s because I’m thinking about what someone said (IN THE PAST) or I’m worried about something (IN THE FUTURE). But in the moment, I’m usually pretty free and all my needs are met. Living in the NOW is where I find peace and a joy for life.
So cheers to The Power of Now. I’m excited to continue reading it and living it. And cheers to Sarah Bockel on her triumphant Principal Broadway Debut.