Humans around the world, for zillions of years, have been freaking out every time the sun goes dark in the middle of the day. I would too, if I didn’t know the science. I might believe that the gods are angry, or that the earth has been cut off from its source of light and goodness. Or maybe the whole thing is really about me, or my people, my tribe.
In my decades on the planet, I’ve had times where my heart has felt like it’s been stuck in a partial (or total) eclipse. Like when the record deals I worked towards for twenty years got completely derailed by inept executives and the 2008 market crash. Or when my short film Mystic Coffee was rejected by every single film festival I applied to. Or the singer in my band abruptly quit.
In those moments, it can feel devastating. Like the world is against you. Or the planets are f*ing with you. Or the struggle are endless.
When I lived in LA, my roommate was an actor. Scott Brody went out on literally hundreds of auditions. Every once in awhile he’d get a tiny part or make a few bucks. But he never got his ‘big break.’
I asked him, “Why do you keep doing this to yourself?”
His answer was so simple and profound that I’ve always kept it simmering in the back of my brain. He said, “The chance of succeeding is infinitely greater if you go on one more audition.”
As in, if you quit, there ain’t no way it’s gonna happen, whatever it is. Trying just one more day opens up your odds of success exponentially.
He’s right. I kept pushing the music and eventually I scored a million spins on Pandora (with royalty checks!). Mystic Coffee miraculously got picked up for international distribution, effectively bypassing the entire film festival scene. And since the singer quit, I’ve had the privilege of working with dozens of astonishing vocalists that blow my mind.
There are always going to be eclipses in the creative life. Some will be relatively soft and easy. Some will rip us to pieces. The trick is to remember that it’s just an eclipse, even when it’s really f*ing dark. The sun will eventually rise again. Our hearts will find joy and fulfillment again. And if we go on for even one more day, the chances of sharing our truth, beauty, love and creativity with the world increases exponentially.
How do you push past your personal eclipses?
What has been your darkest eclipse and what did you learn from it?