All The World's A Stage
“All the world’s a stage,
and all the men and women merely players.
They have their exits and their entrances,
and one man, in his time, plays many parts”
~ William Shakespeare (from the play, As You Like It)
This week begins with the topic, “Freeing”, referring to the notion of how our world would be if all people did exactly what they wanted (without losing regard for our interconnection with all of Life, of course). Perhaps, instead of being troublesome, the experience would bring us to a place of liberation, where each person’s heart was fulfilled. Imagine!
Consider the story of acclaimed ‘man of letters’, Samuel Johnson, born in 1709 and not expected to survive infancy. Instead of buying into that doubt, Johnson was fiercely independent and driven to get along in life with as little assistance as possible. His writings reveal a passion that is inspiring. How often do we let setbacks rob us of our gladness? What if, instead, we are committed to using our life challenges to propel us forward into a much greater experience of that life?
I remember, a few years ago, watching Glee (a television series which aired from 2009 to 2015). Glee’s intention was to make a family show that was appealing to adults as well as young people. The producer is reported to have said, "There's so much on the air right now about people with guns, or sci-fi, or lawyers running around. This is a different genre, it's pure escapism.” Why? Because it was joy-filled and fun… where dance, harmony, collaboration and song all had the ability to shine pure delight.
However, what causes one person to experience joy or humour may have no effect on another. It is said that humour is as personal as our taste in food. (I am certain you have had the experience of telling what you thought was the most hilarious story, only to receive blank stares in response. Hence, the birth of the acronym HTBT: Had To Be There. Yup, HTBT somehow gives us an escape hatch, either from our poor storytelling abilities, or from opposing views of the comedic value in any given circumstance). This past Sunday night, we were successful in getting giggles from the whole crowd that was participating in our Plug Into Happiness event. We created a broad field of opportunity for diverse perspectives to find connection… whether putting people on the spot or behaving in a totally silly and unexpected manner, we unleashed a domino effect of light hearted antics from the crowd. It has been stated that, “vigorous laughter gives the body a release from tension, is reported to boost the immune system, and stimulates the chemicals our bodies use to feel good.” Seems to me, a hearty dose of laughter is just what the doctor ordered. My granddaughter was a hoot last weekend, putting on her show of ‘magic’. Every one of her stunts (which were ridiculously obvious, on purpose), had her audience in stitches with the absurdity of it all. There we all were, captivated with the playfulness of the moment. It is time to be more playful and to discover what childlike creativity lies dormant within each of us!
I don’t want to suffer. I want to live a life of pleasure in every way possible. Ernest Holmes, one of our key New Thought leaders, believed that the ultimate goal of life is complete liberation from conflict of every nature. Can you imagine that? I believe it is possible. Pleasure exists in truly being awake to the present moment: a sunrise over the ocean, the cool air and rosy cheeks of a walk through the forest with a friend…. But, how often do any of us truly step into the present moment and see the beauty of Life, right here and now? Satisfaction in life begins here… starting right now… with work, home, family, friends, creative contributions, and the love that we share. What if we were to live each day as if it were our last? If you were to die tonight, would you be pleased with the life that you have lived to this date? If not, today is the day to make changes.
Cruising through the Practice the Presence journal this week has given me lots to ponder. Often the December holiday season is filled with tension, brought forward from the past. The invitation is now to drop the old stories, and to begin writing a new manuscript for today… conjuring a free life, filled with gladness, glee, humour, laughter, playfulness, pleasure and, of course… ending in total satisfaction. We are the playwrights of our own lives. It is time to take pen in hand to draft the script for the story we desire to live, and to let the rest fall away.
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