It’s no surprise that Justin Baldoni is using his time stuck at home to look inward. The actor, who made his name on Jane the Virgin, is the driving force behind “Man Enough,” a video series that aims to interrogate traditional masculine norms and ‘My Last Days,’ a series about terminal illness. Even his personal Instagram ditches the celebrity selfie for psychoanalysis and philosophizing. What’s he thinking about now? Spirituality and insight. He repeats a Bahái affirmation: “My calamity is My providence, outwardly it is fire and vengeance, but inwardly it is light and mercy.”
He’s trying to be thoughtful — to put it mildly.
You’re a sensitive guy. You’re honest about that. How do you think about the present moment without succumbing to the temptation to look away?
This is terrible and devastating and tens hundreds of thousands are going to pass away. It’s a disaster. But collectively we’re finding it’s so easy to dive in and distract ourselves with work or social media or alcohol or other addictions. There is an underlying root, the trauma, pain, and anxiety, that is so easy for us to put a bandaid on when we work more. There’s always something that’s pulling to distract us from what’s really going on.
This is an opportunity to heal the wound — to heal the actual underlying issue. And there’s a beautiful opportunity in being forced to stay with our kids. When we look back, we’ll say, ‘What an opportunity we had.’ So… why is it so hard to be still and to be with our family? Look at the why. Ask yourselves why more than once.
What are your strategies for achieving stillness? It’s a great idea, but incredibly difficult in practice.
Stillness is hard for me. As a creative, who is always bouncing back and forth, cold exposure is my outlet.I find that in a 30-second cold shower I force myself to be still, to bring everything to my breath, which becomes all my awareness. I make it a challenge. I breathe and I focus and at the end of it, I just accomplished something that’s very hard. Men are so task-oriented and driven and we need to accomplish something. Cold showers are an accomplishment. They’re helpful for sleep too, which is really important right now.