One thing I say to my students all the time is a sentence I heard from my acting teacher in New York, Joan Rosenfels: Take it from where you are.

Excited? Adrenalized? Pissed? Tired? That’s where you are. Name it, and step.

This morning, Melissa and I are on the bus of struggles after our younger child regaled us with a night of creative waking patterns.

“Take it from where you are.” Fuzzy, thankful–(BRB, diaper change)–Okay, I’m back. Fuzzy, thankful, thinking about what’s helpful to share with you today.

And that’s it: Take it from where you are.

If you request directions from your GPS, it will take you from where you are.

If you’re in Boston, and Grace Patricia (that’s what Melissa calls her) starts you out in San Francisco, sorry Gracie, those directions are useless.

Same-same in life.

If you’re in Agitation Station, and you want to get to Serene-ville, your first step is to allow your inner satellite to locate you.

Then you can look at your ticket options.

We can only travel from where we are.

And it helps if we share that info with ourselves like we’d tell a friend.

This looks like this. “Friend, looks like you’re feeling a little anxious right now. Probably have a lot of things flying around your brain. Maybe we can sit down and get some of those things on paper so the nebulous stress doesn’t irritate you so much.”

This is a great alternative to “I can’t breathe. Why am I a spazzy bitch?”

We’ve all indulged in similar self-conversation. No bueno.

Yeah, what if we extended a measure of the grace to ourselves that we extend to those we care about?

“Self, you’re hurt. You’re unsure. You’re doubtful. Where do we want to go? And whom would we invite to help us get there?”

Something like that.

Yep, take it from where you are.

Name your location like a friend, and then take a step in some direction. If you’re walking to the wrong platform, you’ll know soon enough, and then you can turn around and walk toward the right one.

And if you are in New York and looking for top-notch acting training, get in touch with Joan Rosenfels.