All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women are merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts are seven ages. At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
Then the whining schoolboy with his satchel.
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,
With spectacles on the nose and a pouch on the side;
Are second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.
William Shakespeare, As You Like It, Act II, Scene VII
The most important story is the one we tell ourselves in our head when going through the day, interacting with people, and coping with problems.
Change your story, and you can change the reality you are experiencing or experienced in the past.
And your story about expectations of your future from this future as well.
The positive story in your head may only sometimes come true, but the negative story will very often come true if repeated too intensely.
Exercise: My Life As An Actor
Are you living your life or only playing in other people's movies?
Some live to impress others, get others' respect and recognition, or please them…
You can play in your movie or make other people direct it, write a scenario and invite you to act.
So the first part of the exercise is to face the truth and look objectively at where you are authentically pursuing your own story or taking the roles other people write for you.
To help you to do it, here are some sentence stems you can use to do sentence completion:
“The way I am taking someone else's roles and not living authentically is when…”
“The reason I am not living according to my story is… ”
Write a few endings of this sentence without overthinking.
Write what goes from your subconscious, don’t criticize yourself.
The second part of this exercise is not to be too serious about ourselves and the events happening in our lives.
If this happens, it is straightforward to get overwhelmed by everything happening and start seeing trees instead of a forest.
While your and my life have a significant meaning for people around us, for us, for family, or even for the future of humanity, we can easily forget that it is just a human life with a beginning and end.
This can lead to a solid attachment to a character we are playing and forgetting that we are skillful actors that can choose what character to play.
Some common examples:
A person can be so attached to an idea to make a lot of money that he does not think about anything more …
When he is not getting to her goal, her anxiety can be so intense that he should be ready to do anything to achieve the goal, not thinking about the health or good of others.
Or another example is when a person falls in love with someone, not seeing if this person matches her or not, and starts dreaming only about an object of their infatuation… Then they lose objectivity. These are a few of millions of examples.
To help you to shift your perspective from a dynamic character with all its struggles to an actor, I propose you try this exercise.
This mental shift can change your day-to-day story.
Imagine you are a strong eagle flying very, very high in the sky and looking down at what is happening on the earth.
From the height of many kilometers, you start noticing an exciting person.
When you look attentively with your eagle eye, you see a familiar person acting here and there.
That person is you.
Now describe the character you are playing as detailed as you can in your journal from the position of that flying eagle.
Ask yourself these reflection questions:
a) what do you see there?
b) what traits does your character have?
c) are you satisfied with your role?
d) are you playing your role?
e) if you were the movie director, would you change the role your actor is playing? Then what would it be?
f) Does your actor take time to rest from his character and not forget that this is just the role he chose to play?