They have an insatiable need to consume you.
To stop and stare. To trespass. To capture you. To devour every aspect of your life, vomit it up, eat it again. They can’t stop watching you. They can’t stop following.
They can’t stop fabricating and believing lies about what you said, who you’re with, how you reacted, what you believe, how your heart is cold or broken or happy. They love you. They hate you. They take you.
They gnaw at the edges of every space you enter. They linger around the corner. They are always there. Waiting. Snarling. Salivating.
You have nightmares of being chased, cornered, attacked. You live with a constant sense of unease, mask on, shield up, this never-ending battle between what you will reveal, how much you can conceal, what they will steal.
Sometimes you wonder if there’s anything left of you.
No where is ever truly safe, though you put your trust in security and hope that those guarding you and your loved ones are strong enough to withstand the pressure to betray you.
The threat to your safety and your wellbeing is perpetual and credible. Sick, infatuated minds fixate on you. Unstable personalities. Unpredictable behaviors. Stalkers. Weirdos. Creeps. Lurking. Always. Out there. You never know how close they are. That thought never fully leaves you. Especially when your kids are with you.
People have no idea what it feels like to be one sole individual, no different from any other, made of flesh and blood, faith and fear — and to live at the mercy of millions. Naked and vulnerable. To enter any public space and have life freeze, people gawk and whisper. To be stared at is unnerving for most.
To have everyone stop and stare and keep staring, to have them assume that you in some way belong to them, that they have a right to you — is beyond unnerving. It strips you of a natural barrier that anonymity provides human beings. And that shifts your energy field.
Managing fame is all about managing energy. Yours and the masses. It’s about deciphering which energy belongs to you, which doesn’t. It’s being aware and perceptive to how energy flows, responds, and how you can shift it.
It’s about understanding your energy field and how you can expand or contract it, depending on what you need. It’s understanding how intrusion into your energy field — on a physical, emotional, psychic, or spiritual level — impacts your inherent sense of safety, and how prolonged exposure to intrusive energy can wreak havoc on your energy field.
In my healing work with combat veterans, my warfighters have had prolonged exposure to life-threatening environments. The sustained drain on their energy systems leaves them with energy fields that are quite literally riddled with holes. Permeable energy fields cause an inability to regain a sense of safety. Most don’t have a language to discuss this, but when we talk about it, it makes perfect sense to them and to how they feel.
Prolonged exposure to intrusive, threatening energy can leave your energy field in tatters.
Unlike warfighters, you already know how to focus your energy to perform. You know how to manage the energy on set/stage to deliver. You are already perceptive to intrusive energy from dealing with it day in and day out.
But you may not be making the connection between feeling drained, depleted, dizzy, lethargic, tense, sore, achy, “off”, moody, unmotivated, worried, unable to sleep, mentally cloudy, blocked, insecure, shaken — and the influence on you of the energy of your fans, followers, and haters.
The intrusive, threatening, persistent lack of privacy tends to shrink your life so that unless you are 100% alone in an unbugged, shade-drawn room, you are never free from it. (Kind of ironic that you spend so much time in hotel rooms, huh?)
What it does to your energy is keep you in a chronic low-grade state of anxiety – even if you feel calm – your nerves, muscles, and spirit are in a constant state of tension. You are never fully allowed to be you, and this is crippling to the spirit.
Never having true privacy is just part of the cost of fame though, right?
Yes. But what you may not realize is that fame is traumatic.
Most people don’t truly grasp that because fame is supposed to be a positive thing, right? We don’t associate trauma with positive things, but it most definitely can be. When fame first hits you, it’s shocking, exhilarating, terrifying, alluring.
As with any prolonged exposure, after time you adapt and to some degree it becomes your normal state of being. But just because you get used to it, doesn’t mean it stops doing its damage. The fact that fame is supposed to be positive also makes it that much harder to confess that it’s suffocating you.
You may secretly struggle facing crowds, have anxiety when you leave your secure space, find yourself wanting to isolate or imbibe more. And, no doubt, try to hide all of this from those around you. If you are living in a quiet state of chronic desperation, you are not alone. And there’s nothing to be ashamed of.
Remember, it’s easy to fall prey to the illusions of fame that disallow you from struggling because everyone believes your life is too privileged for you to ever complain. Bullshit. Please don’t allow yourself to believe this.
How do you manage the intrusive energy of fame? How do you deal with the pressure of it? How do you not let fear make your choices for you? How do you deal with the way it has changed you?
Get clear on your calling. No matter where you are in your career, delve deep inside your soul and get clear on why your art is worth tolerating the intrusion and the security risks. You have to be grounded within yourself, certain of your calling and your purpose, in order to stand firm in facing this violent energy (and it is violent to the soul).
Let me tell you, it can’t be for the money and it can’t be because it’s what “they” expect of you. You have to be deeply rooted in your creative calling to justify these risks and costs to your soul. And that calling needs to be true and valid here and now. Not 20 years ago. Now. Dreams change. Creative callings change.
It’s important to know that at any point in your career you have the authority and the option to quit living your current story and change your life. You get to a point where quitting does not seem possible, the pressure so great, the expectations, the years of effort it took to get here, the sense that you’ve locked yourself in to something you can’t get out of, you can’t stop being your public persona, after all, fame will always identify your face.
But strip those thoughts away, all of them — and you are an individual with the right to choose how you will spend your time on this earth. You answer to no one but your Self. And yes, your soul and your life are worth forfeiting a career and fame and income if that’s what you need to do to reclaim your Self. So you can stop. It IS an option.
It would be a radical change, but don’t believe the lie that you are trapped. Contracts can be broken, income forfeited, marriages ended, lifestyles changed. You are the only one who can change your life.
Take care of your energy. The natural effect of intrusive energy is to confine, shrink, contract, make you smaller, cause you to hide. Your job entails that you step before the masses and be visible to millions. What you need to do, energetically, is visualize expanding your sense of Self so that you are vast and far-reaching. Imagine that your spirit reaches across continents, that you are not bound by time and space.
From this vast You, there is room within your sense of Self for millions of people AND for the real You AND room to spare for newness. By broadening the energetic borders of your Self, you give yourself more space and room to be. Try it. See how it feels.
Secondly, your tattered energy field can be smoothed and healed and repaired as a protective force field around you. Imagine that your energy field is a second skin that hovers about six inches away from your physical body.
Visualize calm healing energy gently pouring over your head and down toward your feet (think of it like a bucket of thick paint). As it moves toward your feet, it fills and repairs all the rips and tears and holes in your field, leaving your energy field whole, complete, and strong. Leaving you feeling calm and protected.
You can do this anytime you feel you are getting pulled off-center, or worn down.
You can also “zip-up” your energy field to close out the energy of others and protect your own. Imagine a zipper from your genitals extending to the crown of your head. Mentally or with your hand, “zip up” this force field to block others’ energy from entering your main energy centers (chakras). I am hypersensitive to others’ energy, to the point where even spending too much time in an antique or vintage retailer will overwhelm me. I zip up my energy and it prevents me from picking up the energy of the hundreds of people who owned the antiques.
Cut energetic cords. You have hundreds of thousands of people interacting with your energy whenever your work or presence connects to them. You also have a smaller group of fans fixated on you. All of their energy will congest yours and can make you feel dizzy, nauseous, “thick”, worn out, insecure, fearful, on edge, bothered by something you can’t pinpoint.
Be aware of the energetic influence on you and cut the cords from all the energy that is not yours. I take my hands and literally make chopping sweeps from head to toe about six inches from my body, and do this on all sides of me. You can do it mentally, the main point is to remember to do it.
Breaking these energy cords helps you reclaim your own energetic space. Be mindful of this especially during press tours, premieres, and anytime there’s spikes in publicity.
Ask yourself “whose feelings are these?” When you have the collective energy of millions impacting your energy, you will run into feeling emotions that aren’t yours. If you’re an actor, you also have the emotions of characters impacting you. Get into a habit of asking yourself “whose feelings are these?” when you’re upset, down, sad, angry, irritable, apathetic, discouraged, fearful.
Start separating out what you own from what you don’t.
A good portion of what you pick up emotionally is not going to belong to you. Recognizing that gives you back your power. Let go of what is not yours. Disown it. Refuse to carry what is not yours to carry. This can be incredibly liberating, especially when crowd sentiment is negative. You can do this with your characters, too, when they linger or when you’re disengaging from them.
Mindfully decide what fame is and isn’t allowed to take from you. I know you’ve tried fighting and resisting and have ended up battered and bruised and defeated. Fame is not an energy that you can overpower.
Do not try to fight fame. Instead, fight for your beliefs about who You are as someone entrusted with fame.
Fight for the small wins, the little ways that you decide you won’t let fame take control. Begin with your own mind. Where can you gain control by changing how you think about things? Start there.
Honor your wounds. This is something I teach my warfighters and it applies to you as well. It’s too easy to dismiss the reality of invisible wounds. It’s too easy to turn the true anger and pain and loss caused by the energy of fame into abusive, cruel, and incessant self-hatred, inferiority or rudeness to others.
It’s easier to berate yourself for resenting your fans, or fall into depression because you can’t reveal how vulnerable you feel, or be mean to people, than it is to squarely face the reality that fame has wounded you… and that you feel hurt.
There is no shame in feeling hurt and in being wounded. It is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign that you have been dead center in the midst of battle and you’re still in the fight. When you begin to accept the fact that you ARE wounded, and you avoid self-pitying narratives, you start to shift your energy back to a place of empowerment, and that opens you toward healing paths.