Break a Leg … In theatre the rehearsal process is necessary.
It is where the artists all come together to work out the kinks of the script and the staging and prepare themselves for the opening night when all hell breaks loose, anything goes, and we wish each other well with the phrase, “break a leg.” When you understand all the things that can go wrong in a stage production the thought of breaking limbs is perhaps the least of ones worries.
In real life, there is no dress rehearsal. There are no days where we get to run over lines, make mistakes, back up and regroup only to do it again and again until we find the right blend of refinement and spontaneity for the viewing pleasure of the audience.
In real life it is balls to the walls. You are either in or your out. You either participate and roll with the punches or you are tentative and flimsy in your commitments and run the risk of leading a mediocre life. There is nothing wrong with playing it safe, but I will tell you that translated into theatre it reaps a dull performance indeed.
There are tools we learn as actors in order to cultivate a more believable scene. We work at raising the stakes and creating conflict in relationships in order to emulate the complexities of real life. There is this great Improvisation technique called “yes, and.” Like the Jim Carey movie Yes Man, participants find themselves in a conversation and the game is to take every suggestion that is offered (yes) and to build upon it (and). For example: “Hey man, I love that scarf, can I borrow it,” ”(yes)Of course dude , (and)I got it in the Amazon and it has these killer magic powers that you should try.” By accepting the offer and adding an interesting twist or option each player not only keeps the conversation going, they help further the story and create the opportunity for some real genius to emerge.
What would happen if we each did this in our day to day? How much more exciting could life be if we accepted the offer and then built upon it?! Now I am not saying that everything that comes our way is appropriate, critical thinking can be our ally, but what I am saying is that it is a worthy investigation to consider where our limiting beliefs get in the way of new experiences. Is it possible to be open to what others are offering us and to add to these opportunities in order to create something unique?
What Would I do if it were my Last Day on Earth?
It sounds like one of those brainstorming questions… like if you had a million dollars what would you do. We know that our answers are supposed to give us a roadmap to follow and get us up off our butts in order to move a baby step closer to our dream life.
In yoga we learn to be in each moment. Feel the experience, observe it, and make adjustments as necessary. This might not sound all that sexy but in order to be fully embodied we undertake these exercises so that we can be present and make adjustments based on the clear voice of our higher self.
Perhaps we can shake things up a bit by dialing in to our inner child. Employ the “yes, and” and see what genius comes your way. It may not be true that this is your last day on this crazy planet, but I would go as far as saying that there will never be another day like this one…ever. Why not play a bit?
Stay grounded in the moment and resist the urge to get caught up in the fairy-tale of your “story.” True magic comes in saying yes, trying something new, be your brightest self, show you care, say I Love You, offer help, accept a genuine friendship… the relationship is NOW. As Shakespeare would say, “all the world’s a stage. The curtain is up and I can’t wait to see what you will do-!!