Speaking of definitions… (as I was in Part One of this blog post)
One of the reasons I enjoy acting is that it affords an opportunity to step outside our normal self-definitions, wipe the slate clean, as it were, and create our character description from scratch. (Or, in the case of a scripted play, from the playwright’s notes!) But on the stage of Real Life, what a process, to look at our own character descriptions and realize that we really are the author of our self-defining “rules to live by!” We constantly tell ourselves who we are, what we can and can’t do, what our history (or in acting terms, our “back-story”) is. All true, on one level. All total illusion, on another.
As the Bard (Wm Shakespeare) infamously put it, “All the world’s a stage…”
Indeed. And we are merely players. So why not choose roles, and self-definitions that bring us a sense of joy, fulfillment and expansiveness of Being? For perhaps those outdated character descriptions we’ve been allowing to determine our lives – all those “this is just the way I am” or “just who I am” thoughts and behaviors – are not etched in stone, but rather penned with erasable ink.
Perhaps it’s time to take stock of what self-definitions are conducive to our highest good, and which are not. I’ll bet any of us, if we were to reflect for but a moment, could come up with at least one or two things we repeatedly tell ourselves about ourselves that are ridiculously outdated and needlessly limiting. (Care to reflect on that for a moment? I’ll wait…!)
In the EDGU classes I teach (and on the EDGU DVD), at a certain point during the guided moving meditation, we reach into the metaphoric canoes we’ve been paddling, and we “unload” anything which no longer serves us……any angers, guilt, resentments, judgments or criticisms of self or others…imbalances in health….time pressure, money pressure….any lack or limitation of any sort…….we let it go. Then I ask something like this: “If there were just one thing – a thought pattern, a behavioral pattern, an emotional response pattern, a circumstance or condition in your life – that you could really let go of, right here, in this moment…..just let it go and be free of it…….what would it be?” And then, again, using the power of our breath to assist, we reach in and unload it from our “canoes”, simultaneously releasing it from our consciousness.
Can it really be that simple, you might ask? To which my answer is a resounding “YES!!!”. Do most of us let it be that simple? Nope. Not usually. Myself included.
But ah, the times we do! To let go of something that has seemed so deeply entrenched, so unchangeable, so weighty……to let Love and heartfelt desire triumph over fear or feelings of lack or limitation…is to be fully alive.
So, if, the axiom is true (as my experience has unerringly proven it to be) that “I can only operate in accordance with the beliefs I hold about myself”, then it is of utmost importance that we diligently and continually review our self-definitions, our self-imposed character descriptions, and weed out any thoughts, images, conditioned emotional reactions and behavioral patterns which no longer (and perhaps never did!) serve us.
Creating this new website has been a huge part of this stepped-up, “weeding out” process that’s been happening in my life, most intensely over these past several years. In putting this website together, I’ve ended up reviewing just about every aspect of my life, personal and professional – looking back at my history, at how I’ve defined myself, how I’ve presented myself to the world.
My intention has been consistent for many years now: To bring the two major areas of my professional life – healing arts and performing arts – together. To use the accumulated wealth of my experience in one realm to enrich the value of my offerings in the other. To merge the two until there is no longer any real distinction in my perception. To bring that sense of unification and wholeness to all realms of my life. And it’s happening! Big time. Very exciting.
This process of Self-unification brings to mind another saying I heard, years ago:
“If all my friends, family, and associates from various parts of my life were gathered in one room at the same time, I wouldn’t know who to be!”
I suggest it’s time to have the courage to BE fully who we are, no matter what the circumstance, no matter who the company. It takes courage to make an unwavering stand for who it is you really are. No apologies. No subtle modifications to appease or impress.
And as we find our way to our true Selves, we realize that – whadda ya know! – at the Essence of our being, we’re all the same! Hooray for spiritual paradox: the more we step fully into our unique and powerful individuality, the more we realize and feel the supreme joy of our common Oneness.
Such a deal.
The bottom line is, the longer I live, the more I really “get it” (not just in theory, but in practice) that the biggest impact we have on the world is based not on what we do, but rather on who we are.
My prayer, then, is to continue to open to the full grandness of my being, by allowing Love to be stronger than fear, intentions stronger than illusory limitations. I believe we are here on this physical plane so that we might learn what it means to truly Love. To that end, I say whole-heartedly: “Bring it on!”
And so, my friends, if you’re still aboard, thanks for navigating this organic stream-of-consciousness two-part journey with me. I’ve attempted to at least give a glimpse of what’s been happening for me, and how this website came into being. If I began writing the same account again, starting right now, it would be different. Such is the ever-changing, ever-wonder-full nature of Life! I trust something I’ve said – maybe a word, a sentence – has struck a chord within you, touched your heart, and given you a little burst of courage to be more of the infinite grandness that You Are.
For this, and so much more, I am grateful.