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, As You Like It, Act II Scene VII
I just shared some of these words in my current 2-week freewriting group, and then I poured a second cup of coffee and kept going.
Remember: This is PRACTICE.
Low stakes. Go for it. Splatter the paint. I mean, the words. Let it be messy. Don’t bother cleaning up when you’re finished. Just walk away and get on with your day and look at that — life will go on, whether you stumbled onto something amazing or happened to be totally unremarkable.
Every day is something different.
Every day is a new chance to practice missing the mark and trying again.
Every day is a hello, a goodbye, a series of interrupted conversations, an unexpected moment of grace, a shit storm, a halo.
Every day is go easy. Every day is fight hard.
Every day is the sun also rises and the moon falls beneath the horizon and clouds move across sky and all the time zones coexist.
Every day is 24 hours. Every day is 1,440 minutes. Every day is a cliche. Every day is a take your time or get ‘er done.
I know they say life is not a dress rehearsal, but seriously — that is a LOT of pressure to give the performance of a lifetime. We all wear many costumes. Take some time to chill backstage with your troop. Break with the script, walk out into the audience, and introduce yourself to a stranger.
We aren’t here to perfect being human or to perform or to pretend everything’s ok when it’s not.
Pay attention to the things you tell yourself. Do you talk to yourself in a different way than you talk to your kid or your partner or your bird or cat or dog?
The world will not end if you do less.
There is no “back” button. Breathe.
Pick three words. Mine, lately, have been “safe, loved, belong.”
Whisper these to yourself when you’re driving or falling asleep (hopefully not at the same time).
No one else has answers or a better life than you. Watch for where your mind creates shiny stories about other people’s (work, money, relationships, creativity, family life, homes, health, etc.). Or on the flip side, demonizing ones. (This is particularly intense for me, given the election.)
Every day, every one of us wakes up in a body. We pee, shit, eat, drink, shuffle and sprint.
This is not a drill. And this is practice. How both can be true is not something I understand, but I don’t really have to understand it. I just have to show up. And if I don’t feel like showing up, let me not show up with gusto.
Bottom line — I could’ve just started here and left it at that: It’s a brand new day. Be good to yourself and the other beings you encounter. And be sure to tell us how it goes.