If you've been following me on FB, you know that my trip to Morocco was transformative to say the least. But how did I get there, what drove this woman to travel to the other side of the world?
Well, I'll tell you...
I've been lost, depressed, wrestling with feelings of failure....call it a mid life crisis or whatever, but I feel like I've done nothing of use...and haven't accomplished the goals I set out to make:
1. Become one of the greatest actors and writers of my generation and win the highest honors as result and a lucrative living
2. Meet, marry and make a baby with my soulmate.
None of these things happened despite my best efforts...but a whole bunch of other shit happened that was the handwriting on the wall:
I got to do a TED Talk, produce a bunch of movies and plays, win a Tony for producing, starred in my own off broadway multi-nominated play, build an online business that supports my dreams.
**These were good things, but somehow felt like not enough...**
and to make it worse, having done all these things, to find that _the industry that I invested so much of my life in had no interest in what I had to say, write or sell...my ideas weren't valued._
Instead, I was left auditioning for work I could give a rat's ass about...i wasn't changing the world...
And to add insult to injury...I looked at the success of my peers working, directing, writing, producing, garnering awards and posting multitudes of photos of themselves on the red carpet on instagram and Facebook.
And one day, I thought (well, many days), what they're doing is okay, but not great...and certainly wouldn't be enough for me. Little ego, there....or was it?
I wouldn't feel satisfied with the work that passes as extraordinary and worthy of being made and awarded and building careers.
I couldn't point to one person's acting, writing career that I wanted to have or duplicate.
My industry simply did not value the complicated story of humanity that I wanted to tell.
It simply was not what the commercial industry wanted.
THE STORY I WANTED TO TELL
was too complicated and concerned with how the world really works for poor and working class people...in short, I didn't care about what dress, so and so wore on the red carpet...I cared about the little brown girls on the other side of the world who didn't even feel they had a right to any kind of dress...
Because I identified with her...and this is what I learned in Morocco.
There was a change in the world I wanted to make that being a series regular wasn't going to fix. There was **something missing**....
And the question remained, have I truly failed because the things I set out to do have not actually happened on my timetable or the way I want?
But then something revolutionary happened that changed my life. My coach, Roz Coleman said, why are you working for other people? No one is saying, doing or teaching what you're teaching...
Go out on your own and put it online so it can reach more people and you'll never have to worry about anyone giving you work or having enough money again.
All your content is inside of you.
Give it away and see what comes back.
And of course, teaching what I've learned has been the key.
But also giving up and **going back to what feels good and what makes me happy.**
I got the main thing that has been missing:
was the thing that was missing.
And with that a **new sense of purpose**.
Connection to other human beings who were dreaming what I was dreaming, living a quality of life that was about sensual enjoyment, sunsets, the riot of colors on a carpet you can't wait to touch, beautiful images from Zadie Smith's books, a Jhumpa Lahiri short story that gave my soul wings, the way Oumou Sangare sings out across the deserts of Mali telling women that what they know is ancient, important and should be hollered every day...
Instead, I would open my facebook or instagram and to pages of selfies or people going on and on about how all the success was tiring, but look at me in my new dress at this awards show....and I've got so many projects I'm too exhausted to have dinner with you or drop by for a glass of wine and conversation.
Everyone was too busy being successful and talking about it to bother to stop and spend time in the moment. There was a busyness that held no interest for me...
On top of that, my coaching and speaking business was taking off...and I tried to figure out why this is when the other parts of my life seem to be rejecting me...
Because teaching, storytelling, writing down your stories is about deep, quantifiable connection to others.
It means, someone must sit still, listen, be present, interact...and that was exhilarating...
But the kicker was that in Morocco, people were sitting in cafes through the late afternoon talking, trying out new ideas for new businesses...reveling in the freedom and advances that the King has initiated.
From cooperatives, to an Riad business that is better than AirBNB, young people, middle aged people open to new ways of doing things since their country is exploding with progress and women joining the workforce.
The most profound moment of my trip was the day, Morocco qualified for the world cup and people were blowing their horns, dancing in the streets, yelling out of their cars and as I was walking back to my hotel,
Three beautiful young girls in hijabs leaned out of the window of their car, pumped their fists and said,
"We are fierce, Sister!"
Then they started blasting some hip hop ....
This is not our idea of what girls in hijabs are doing....
And they identified with me...
I knew then I was in the right place.
**A place where people do, say, believe act in unexpected ways...where there are no limits and so many new opportunities....**
Where people asked for my opinion, offered me jobs, business partnerships and straight up marriage where we run a business together.
No one wanted to run to America. Too much exciting opportunities are opening up in Morocco...
But what they did want was to connect, force me to dream and to make something with me that would change people's lives.
Purpose, direction, beauty, clarity and perspective...
That's what I got in Morocco...
I also found a new home that needs, wants and is overjoyed to see me...
I'd love to take you to Morocco for 17 days and show you the entire country from the mountains of Chefchaouen to the midnight drums at a Saharan desert campsite to the magic of a 3000 year old city filled with markets that have been in existence since the Romans to the beaches where girls in hijabs surf to the hippie beach town of Essaouira where Moroccan, dreadlocked musicians play Gnaowa, a desert music created by Africans from Ghana who migrated to Morocco and added to the wonderful tagine that is Moroccan culture...
Let me take you there...
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is a Tony-winning producer/writer/actor & CEO of TheDreamUnLocked: Boutique Coaching for Actors, Writers & Dreamers