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The World is Your Stage and You are ON!

From: Jay
Sent on: Friday, January 10, 2014 3:27 PM

The 3rd R of Self Management - Roles. The World is Your Stage and You are ON!
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The Third R of Self Management – Roles

The World is Your Stage and You are ON!

How many roles did you play today? Did you notice your were moving between roles as the day progressed?  Are you still playing any of those roles in your head as you re-play certain scenes and look back on the day with pride or regret?  Shakespeare encapsulated one aspect of our multidimensional journey through life when he stood back and reflected that 'all the world is a stage and all men and women merely players with many parts to play', or words to that effect.
 
Each day is filled with different scenes and in each scene we get the opportunity to play a different role.  And that means during the course or our life we can effectively play as many roles as we want.  In fact we will not only 'play' those roles we will 'create' them.  When life is seen from this 'on stage' perspective, it becomes both a creative and playful journey.  But we tend to take it all far too seriously.   Why?  Because no one teaches us how to play the right role, in the right scene, in the right way, at the right time.   So instead of 'playing' our life, instead of 'creating' our life, we tend to see it as a serious business being created by others.  We lose our playfulness and our lightness, and an increasing heaviness easily creeps into the journey.
 
Behind all seriousness is fear in its various guises including worry, tension and anxiety.  These fears arise because we forget to 'play' our role(s) and start to identify with the role(s).  The two most common 'role identities' which many of us learn to lock onto and limit ourselves with, are usually our job/position at work and our position within our family.  The more we 'slip into' and identify with the role the more we lose
a) our flexibility
b) our capacity to be playful and
c) most significantly, our creativity. 

But we don't notice these consequences of identifying ourselves with one or two roles, because it seems everyone else is doing the same.
 
When we remember that life is designed to be a 'play full' experience we invoke our mostly latent creative and playful tendencies.   This shift in perception also allows us to pay a different kind of attention to what is going on around us.   Instead of struggling with life and the world around us (pressure) we learn to flow with life as it comes to us. Occasionally we meet someone who has completely altered the way they 'do life' and the direction of their life, after realizing
a) they have other options
b) they are in charge of their life
c) they don't have to swim with the current
d) the whole thing is just a game in which to play
e) you can choose the roles you play

As we quietly applaud their 'radical adventure' we wistfully wonder if we could do something similar, but only until our perception of the seriousness of our situation kicks back in again!
 
As someone working in an organization, for example, if we are aware of our immediate relationships in the workplace, and we don't take it all so seriously, we might sense where others are at and play the appropriate role that helps them to relax and be more effective in what they do.  During an average day a manager/leader may drop into and out of a variety of roles such as facilitator, counselor, motivator, mediator, even playing the role of a parent in sensitive moments.  It's not usually specified in the job description but the enlightened manager will see the community of relationships at work as an opportunity for this kind of creativity.   If such an awareness were to permeate our workplace communities the underlying caring behind this kind of relational creativity and flexibility would likely generate a lighter, happier, more playful atmosphere.  What dampens that creativity is the idea that we go to work just to do a job and then we identify with the job or the position.  And what so often kills that creativity is the notion that by definition business is a serious business.  It's no wonder that after a day of being serious about business because business is a serious business we go home and find it hard to leave that seriousness behind and lighten up!
 
Seeing life as a series of role-plays does not mean we lose our authenticity or sincerity.  In fact it is only when we see each scene as just a scene that we realize we are only an actor in that scene and that we can write and direct the role or character we need to play.  To do that consciously and genuinely requires the cultivation of an awareness that

a) this is just another scene
b) no one scene is more important than the other
c) we are only an actor in the scene
d) all scenes fade out 
e) all roles fade out

The only constant is the self, the 'I' that says 'I am'.  The actor.  But if we identify with what has to fade then we will obviously generate the fear of our self fading too, hence the feelings of anxiety, tension and insecurity, hence the seriousness.
 
© Mike George 2014

Copyright © 2014 Brahma Kumaris, All rights reserved. 

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