Stepping Forward with Your Courageous Heart

(I wrote this a few weeks ago— right before I started production on my second short film, ROADTRIPPING WITH DIA.)

In case you’ve never made a movie before, it’s an incredibly complex creative and technical process. Even in a simple film there are abut a zillion things to consider. Everything from the words in the script, to the actor’s clothes, to the lighting, props, direction, camera angles. It goes on. And all of these choices become your movie. They all count.

I’ve had exactly one day of professional film production/ directorial experience before this. On the day I  hired a crew and shot MYSTIC COFFEE five years ago, I was beyond stressed. With over a dozen people on my personal payroll, every minute counted. And I really couldn’t tell if I was doing a good job until after it was all done. 

That film cost me eleven times what I budgeted for. It took months longer than I anticipated to create it. It was shot down by every single film festival I applied to. And then by some miracle, it got picked up for international distribution by, a streaming service like Netflix. Essentially I skipped several steps in the process and ended up with a major win. And quarterly royalty checks.

But even bigger than that, I made a freakin’ movie. I stepped into my fear. And created something that I believed in.

What’s the moral of the story? The lesson learned?

If you want to expand— in your career, your creativity, your relationships, your love, your self— you need to push your edge. Even when it might seem foolish. Even when you really don’t know what you’re doing.

If your heart calls. If you have a story to tell. If  you have a song to sing. If you know something that transcends logic, or even common sense. If you feel the pull, the calling. Then it’s time to push forward. It’s time to lose the fear, the procrastination.

It’s time to breathe deep and step forward towards your truth. Even if it hurts. Even if the people around you think you’re nuts. If you know it in your center, then it’s time to step up your courageous heart and act.

This is living on your edge. And yes, it’s supposed to be scary. Sometimes it’s supposed to be shitless scary. If it’s not, you’re not growing and expanding. But when you do rally the confidence and conviction to commit to what you love, what you want in this life, the Universe bends to meet you. It may not be the way you imagine. It may not be your desired outcome. But it will be something powerful. And something important.

In a few days I’ll start shouting ‘action,’ pointing out camera angles, attempting to communicate to the actors the depth and histories of the characters they’re playing. I’ll be sweating bullets the whole time. I’ll be battling some serious ‘imposter syndrome.’ I’ll be guzzling coffee and multitasking for at least twelve hours straight. And at the end of the day there’ll be footage on a hard drive that resembles a short film.

And in this process, I will be expressed. I will be seen through this story in ways that I cannot be seen otherwise. And I will be healed through the catharsis of telling it. I’m willing to push my edge to get it. This is what I want.




What does your courageous heart want? Why?



About the Author:

Jeff Leisawitz burns with a mission—to inspire writers, artists, musicians and random creative types to amp up their creativity, heal their hearts and shine in the world. Author. Award winning musician/ producer. Internationally distributed filmmaker. College prof. Photographer. Speaker. Consultant. Not F*ing Around—The No Bullsh*t Guide for Getting Your Creative Dreams Off the Ground is Jeff’s first book.

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