This book is published by Embracing Peace, an organization that inspires and empowers people through positive media. Many of us live in a culture of constant entertainment and stimulation through technology. Money, technology, and media are neutral tools which can be used for ill or for benefit. The mission of Embracing Peace is to provide a much-needed wake-up call to those in the slumber of busyness and the chaos of over-stimulation. We hope that the authors, speakers, and artists you find through our channel create beauty in your life and inspire you to create beauty as well. For more information, go to EmbracingPeace.com
Come on an artist’s retreat! Besides a theatre curriculum for personal transformation, this book is a Retreat Guide. It serves as a free preview of the full version of my Retreat-In-A-Box offered at NewLifeScripts.com It is filled with ideas for quiet moments, guided meditations, lifestyle assessments, healthy habit considerations, nature studies, art projects, yoga asanas and opportunities for spiritual and inspirational awakenings! All the things you would do on a retreat.
Take NLS on weekend excursions to the mountains, beach, or lake. Or go to your local park, even your backyard—anywhere to connect with nature.
Go solo, or better yet, get a group together. Theatre is a community activity. And retreats are often most effective with other like-minded people who support your belief and your vision for transformation.
RETREAT TO MOVE FORWARD!
In 2013 I began to carve out my own primitive retreat center on a 7-acre parcel of woods, bordering a meadow in Clearfield County, Pennsylvania. Literally, I carved it out of a bramble of vines and dense underbrush. I took a brush hog and pushed it around in circles until I had cleared out a space for a lodge tent, a fire ring, an outdoor compostable toilet and a creek-fed shower.
I named my sweet little woodland getaway Half-moon Hollow and proceeded to hold retreats for women, at-risk youth, and couples.
Retreat means to withdraw from society. To pause, or take a respite from the regular concerns and responsibilities of everyday life. Half-moon Hollow worked well for this. Water had to be fetched from the stream and filtrated, food prepared and cooked over an open fire. With a focus on basic needs, the whole mental process was recalibrated toward survival, basic needs, and deliberate acts toward creating comfort, sharing and enjoying primitive duties.
Cell phones? Don’t even think about it! So many other pursuits!
Watching hawks circle overhead could easily take up 30 minutes! And, this “mindless” activity is a meditation. And meditation helps one relax, tune in, and listen to inner wisdom.
What comes to the surface? A retreat gives you time and space to consider the idea of change. Since a retreat takes you out of routine, it allows you to notice where habituation may be causing a cycle of unhappiness.
Feeling gentle sunshine, smelling ferns, touching moss and listening to Blue Jays. Mindful attention to our sensory experience begins the process of becoming mindful in all areas of life so that we may see our own power to transform our lives into what we truly desire for ourselves, instead of succumbing to cultural demands or role expectations. On retreat, we are not father, mother, daughter, son, employee, landlord, or boss. We can then ask, “Who am I?”
There are three main assumptions in the Elements of New Life Scripts Retreat Guide. First, nature promises to be a template for change. Secondly, Theatre is a modality for changing our paradigms, our subconscious programming-- using the law of vibration, the law of attraction and the power of I AM; and thirdly-- A daily practice can serve to support a new lifestyle, and a new “life script.”
The unique aspect of The Elements of New Life Scripts as opposed to other forms of theatre (let’s say in High School or community theatre, or a visit to Broadway), is the creation of theatre pieces using the content of our[_ own lives_] for the very specific purpose of making deliberate and conscious changes in attitude, behavior, lifestyle, and even neural pathways! -- In other words, Theatre for Personal and Societal Transformation.
Come, be a theatre artist! Playwright George Bernard Shaw said, “Life isn’t about finding yourself, Life is about creating yourself.” What a fine idea-- our lives-- a work of art! Beautiful, enjoyable, with a precious gem of truth!
The Elements of New Life Scripts
The curriculum of[_ The Elements of New Life Scripts_] will provide ways for you to do this by looking at your life as a hologram. In the same way that Ebenezer Scrooge found redemption through visitations from the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future, you too have the chance to examine the jewel that is your life through this multi-faceted prism. Here is what you would have accomplished by the end of this book:
Four scripts written and performed:
• A Monologue of the Past—unlocking subconscious programming
• An I AM Poem—tuning into qualities and essences of personality for a new script and a solid foundation
• A Scene of Conflict—dialogue of the present—jousting with emotions and entering sacred ground of change
• Future Self/Future Life—scene or monologue—life visioning using imagination and internal guidance. Using the mental faculties of imagination and visualization
Skills for “acting” and daily practices to support change are:
• Mindfulness, through somatic intelligence (listening to the wisdom of the body)
• Nature immersion and studies—shinrin yoku
• Improvisation and pantomime as contemplative artforms
• Theatre games
• Painting, drawing, sculpting, photography
• Spiritual teachings through the world’s wisdom traditions
Whether you have experience in theatre and nature or not, you have what it takes for this adventure!
Any adventure worth its salt has an element of the unknown, and a hint of “danger.” The safety comes from the environment we create as the basis for our work and also because you are in charge. You are in charge of both feeling out the amount of work you are willing to put in and letting go to release your emotions in the work.
Although you will be called upon to open up, to express vulnerability, to admit shortcomings, to face demons, you don’t need to force it. As the Tao te Ching states: “One who lives in accordance with nature does not go against the way of things.” You will have the tools and skills to handle this in the very best way.
The art-form of the theatre will be the receptacle for emotions and container for feelings. It gives us something positive to do with this “stuff” that is sometimes untenable. Art is the container which allows us to mix and mingle our heart with our imagination in order to process emotions in a healthy way, and with any “luck,” to create a beautiful work of art.
An artist’s eye and objectivity that you will be developing along the way keeps you safe, and strong because your goal will have a high purpose. Your goal as an artist is to express the most knowable truth and the most beautiful expression of it.
Here is how this book will help navigate the worlds of personal transformation, theatre, and nature:
• Offer theory and rationale for the work of personal transformation
• Provide skill-building exercises in writing and theatre techniques
• Suggest experiential activities to develop and enhance mindfulness
• Encourage use of the imagination through the metaphors in nature
• Develop intuition and wisdom through sensitivity to the “messages” in nature
Who are you? And why are you here?
We ask ourselves these questions time and time again through our lives. There are times that we feel like we know the answer and times that we struggle to find any answer.
The struggle with this, I believe, has to do with the past, present, and future. We all have something from our past programming weighing us down in the present while we try to stretch towards the future. Let’s face it. We can’t be in all three places at once. Yet exploration of all three places is still crucial to our identity. That is where art comes in.
An artist can navigate all realms simultaneously--concrete reality, the senses, imagination, spirit, and mystery. An artist can excavate the past, the relics, and the remnants of thought while also creating-- bringing into being, the new, the fresh, the possible, and the infinite.
And, maybe this is “why we are here?” To transform—again, and again, and again…
This still does not give a complete answer, but I find the journey of transformation a worthy pursuit, and so, I am thrilled to share it. Why? Because of the benefits.
[* Theatre for Personal Transformation-- The Elements of New Life Scripts. *]
There is no better time than this very moment for you to consider living a better, healthier, more fulfilling and creative life. Change is inevitable, but personal growth is optional. You have a say about how your life will evolve. Regardless of your past, despite the failings of your upbringing, regardless of your age. It’s never too late. What do you want your life to look like? How do you want your life to feel? Exciting or draining? Stressed, or peaceful?
There are many who feel they need a “reset.” Perhaps you have an unsettling feeling, maybe in the gut that the world is in peril. You may want to know how to both “save” and “savor” life. How do you attend to yourself and the needs of the world? We will explore this because they do go together.
This is a playbook. Let’s “play” with the ideas and notions presented. Time to begin your Retreat!
Start here. How do you feel today about this list? Put a “1” next to anything that you would definitely like to change. Also, indicate any “2s” and “3s.”
If you have a desire for some shift in any area, the first step has just been taken. Recognition and awareness is the first step. Your “1s” require the next step—action. But there are many distractions and perceived reasons not to take action. There are obstacles to our thinking. Limiting beliefs that keep us from moving forward. If there is a log jam in your thinking, kick it apart by beginning with this question.
“Why am I here?”
Are you here to suffer and strive for things you don’t really want, but think you “should” have? Are you here to constantly force yourself to do things you don’t want to do? To do what others want you to do?
Do you find yourself eating foods that are bad for you, or being addicted to the computer, to drugs, to alcohol?
Are you here to worry and fret over climate change and terrorism? Are you here to be suspicious, constantly on guard, and fearing others?
Are you here to be obsessed with Facebook/social media, rather than living a fulfilling life in real time with real people?
As a human being, are you really supposed to be seated for hours on end, with no movement, dance, or flow?
Is there some voice in your head that says, “But I must do this, this and this, to be a success.” And, yet, you don’t even know what success means? Or you don’t agree with the current cultural definition?
The shift here is from what others think is important to what you think is important. A meaningful shift to the idea of extreme self-care may be in order. Listening to the wisdom of your own body will begin this shift.
Who am I?
Meister Eckhart said the most important question to answer is this one—Who are you? Start to answer that question by going inward. Begin with the breath.
Stop here to become aware of your breath. Sure, you are always breathing. But, you are not always aware of your breath. Listen now to your breath. Feel your breath. Breathe in for two counts and out for two counts. Do it again. Breathe in for four counts, hold, and breathe out for four counts. Again. What did you feel? What did you hear?
If you could relax any part of your body completely, where would you relax, right now?
How do we listen to our own body? Consider this. If your body is telling you day after day after day that it is stressed, tired, spent, and “you” continue to ignore it, can you see how completely unkind that is? What happens then, when there is a disconnect between what your body needs, wants and asks for, and what you decide to ignore, and discount?
Could this be mental illness? Could this be an addiction? Could this be obesity? Could this be a heart disease? Could this be unhappiness? Could this be part of the insanity of gun violence and terrorism?
Now think about your body as your artistic instrument. One that is beautiful, expressive and free. Just for a moment, let that sink in. Think of yourself as a whole -- mind, body, and spirit--as one.
It Begins With the Body
An artist knows the body holds the wisdom regarding the sacred arts.
Think about taking better care of your body. Write down three things you could do each day to take better care of your body that would only take three minutes each. You could start with “Listen to and feel my breath for four counts in and four counts out -- 8 breaths.” You could include something as simple as, “Turn my body completely, and put both feet on the ground before standing up from out of the car.”
Somatic Intelligence—shifting the focus from outer to the inner
If you want to experience a whole new way of being, where instead of feeling judged constantly, and being obsessively focused on appearance, you can “sense” who you are from the inside out by awakening your somatic (bodily) intelligence. You can enjoy the aliveness and stillness of the real you.
I will explain several somatic exercises that can be done daily which will help you get to the “who” in the question –“Who am I?” They will also, ironically, help you to be more available for the role of “actor” as you explore The Elements of New Life Scripts. I say, ironically, because the truer you are to yourself, the more your being is available to be a good “actor.”
First, let’s look at an old paradigm and compare it to a new paradigm-- old script/new script.
This comparison has been explained in wonderful, poetic detail by Risa F. Kaparo, Ph.D., in her book, Awakening Somatic Intelligence—The art and practice of embodied mindfulness.
Old Paradigm or “Old Script:”
1. We function as relatively fixed objects.
2. We are separate from everything else.
3. Gravity is a force that needs to be overcome by effort.
New Paradigm or “New Script”:
1. We function as self-sensing, self-organizing, and self-renewing energy beings.
2. We are interconnected with all that is.
3. Gravity provides an opportunity to sense and liberate us from our patterns of habitual tension. (Risa, K 2012)
Basically, awakening somatic intelligence, in Kaparos’ words, is like ”the convergence of rivers, the way two currents will interpenetrate and form a new streaming of life.” Your presence meets the infinite to form the new river.
Look to Nature as Metaphor
My Dad used to talk about the Red Moshannon and the Black Moshannon Creeks in Clearfield County. Where they converge, they hold their colors for a while. Black-- as the clear water flows through sphagnum moss and other wetland plants, it becomes colored by plant tannins. In a sense, the bog vegetation acts like a giant tea bag to color the water “black.” The other stream is red from the clay and acidic compounds in the basin. They travel parallel, red and black, for many miles until the mingling slowly begins, and then each takes on the characteristic of the other to form a whole new river, one that did not exist before.
My Dad used this river metaphor to describe marriage. What do you think? Begin to look to nature for metaphors to help with divining mystery and paradox.
Developing a Daily Practice
Part of your exploration of The Elements of New Life Scripts is the opportunity to put together your very own practice. What is a practice and why should this be something you consider doing?
A practice is something that you dedicate yourself to doing on a very regular basis to improve your wellbeing. Some people call it a discipline. I call discipline giving yourself a command and following it. For me, what really makes a practice or a discipline truly life-giving is the fact that it is constantly evolving, changing and most importantly—deepening.
I have a Yoga practice that allows me to go deeply into myself. Through this practice, I find both my “center,” and also the outer reaches of my “presence.” I sense the places in my body and my mind that experience limitation, but long for expansion and freedom.
Yoga is something that I do daily. And, I usually can’t wait to do it, because I feel so much better while doing it, and especially afterward!
Throughout this book, you will find a number of activities that would make a good practice. Immersion into and the study of nature, writing, painting, relaxation techniques, and acting methods all fall into this category. I suggest trying everything in this book! And then choose those things that truly make your heart sing on a daily basis! Watch your life improve dramatically improve!
What is a better time to take advantage of the renewing of ourselves than at nighttime? All is quiet, and dark on the “stage of life”. Tomorrow will be a “new production.” Part of the success of that new show will depend on preparation and openness.
Furthering this analogy, an actor is always prepared, and always open to what is expressed on the stage from moment to moment, so good bedtime ritual or “practice” gives your body and mind the time and space to prepare for the demands of the “new show” eight hours later, by integrating the bodywork while sleeping.
An actor prepares… make a list of six things you want/need to get done the next day. While you are sleeping, the “hows” of doing these things will tend to get themselves worked out by employing the subconscious mind.
So, alright, you’re in bed. Maybe you brought a little chamomile tea to your nightstand. Maybe you have done a little reading. Now it’s time to turn out the light. Click. Before you shut down the “computer brain” for the night, one last task. A good one. A nourishing one. Scan your memory of the day, and think of five things that you are grateful for.
How hard it can be to do this on a difficult day! How delicious it can be when you revisit, through your imagination and memory, the beauty of a single flower, your child’s face or a single act of kindness for a second time, before sleep!
Now, lying on your back, stretch out, with your hands over your head, maybe holding onto the headboard or mattress -- and stretch or elongate your spine. Now sense the weight of gravity allowing you to sink. Do a gravity scan. Where is your body touching the bed, and sinking without effort into the mattress?
Pour your bones further into the mattress as the soft tissue begins to be more fluid-like. Notice if you feel more relaxed in various areas of your body. What has changed after melting your bones? Good night!
How do you get out of bed in the morning? Consider making a ritual out of it! First, can you decide what time to awaken the night before? Yes, you can.
Now, when you awaken, just take some easy stretches right there while lying in bed. Maybe rub your arms and legs, rub the bottom of your feet, together, and then rub your face and your head! This feels surprisingly good and nurturing. It also gets things going!
To rise out of bed, think of your body as an hourglass. Sit on the side of the bed and then as you stand, think of the matrix of your bones filling the hour glass gently, like grains of sand as you rise and greet your day.
[* Transition Time-- There could be something going on in the world! *]
In our experience, as humans, we continually go from micro to macro and back again. We focus on our own discrete bodies, our needs, and our hunger. Then we think about the “body” of the world, climate change, the environment, and the many social justice concerns! Then back we go to our personal sliver of life-- “How will I make a living? Will I pass this test?” and “What will I eat for dinner?”
Is there something going on in the world, in our country, in our neighborhoods that is demanding a change in focus? A focus shift from the outer to inner? Is something ready to emerge? Something that has to do with more attention or mindfulness? Something to do with the care of the self, which ironically will translate to care for others?
Charles Eisenstein, author, and lecturer talks about a new story that awaits being written. He says that civilization is now “between stories.” What do you think about the following two quotes?
“The present convergence of crises––in money, energy, education, health, water, soil, climate, politics, the environment, and more––is a birth crisis, expelling us from the old world into a new.”
“Ultimately, work on self is inseparable from work in the world. Each mirrors the other; each is a vehicle for the other. When we change ourselves, our values and actions change as well. ― Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition
Working on Yourself
The Elements of New Life Scripts is a vehicle that allows you to “work on self” which translates into “work in the world.” By participating in the re-writing of your “old scripts,” you could be participating in writing the new story of our time.
I am suggesting that it could be that part of the desire and motivation for deep inner work that many people are experiencing today could be coming from an evolutionary place. It could be that our species requires a greater awareness of our own ability to transform so that a life-saving global change can happen. It could be that we need a variety of methods for transformation.
Some of the common “technologies” today include ancient practices actually:
• Religious practices
• Contemplative practices
• Experiential practices: nature studies, adventure, traveling, the arts
I am a proponent of integrative practices and so[_ The Elements of New Life Scripts_] actually uses almost all on this list. Many of the practices are preparatory for performing because it takes relaxation, mindfulness, and especially concentration to be fully present and able to perform on stage.
I would say most people freak out a bit thinking about performing on stage. It is scary, even for seasoned actors, but, it is also fun and exciting. Snow skiing, mountain climbing, yoga on a standing paddle board, all hold the same allure. And, the more skills acquired, the more the risk is mitigated.
When I tally up the list, I see many benefits and very few serious risks to The Elements of New Life Scripts. What do you see as the risks? Here is a small list, but a potent one.
• Feelings of fear—“I am scared to try something new. I could fail”
• Feelings of humiliation and shame—“My story is something I am ashamed of, and want to hide”
• Loss of faith—“I may not experience the change I seek”
For some, these risks could stop them dead in their tracks. I say, don’t let them. You won’t be sorry. Something transformative could happen because working through these fears is what tempers the steel.
Brené Brown, Ph.D., LMSW, best-selling author, has done extensive research on vulnerability and humiliation. In her book, Daring Greatly, She says there really is no choice about whether or not we will experience negative emotions. She says, “weakness and the uncertainty, risk, and the emotional exposure we face every day is not optional.”
She suggests that we must “show up and allow ourselves to be seen.” We can’t wait until we are perfect. We have to enter the arena today and work with what we have. By doing so, we clarify what we have to give while building the strength and the skills to do so. (Brown, B 2012)
I see the “arena” that Brené speaks of as the “stage” of The Elements of New Life Scripts. Here there is an opportunity to work with vulnerability in a safe atmosphere. Here is a place to tell your “shame story” and be freed from it.
And what are the benefits of theatre for personal transformation work through The Elements of New Life Scripts?
They could include:
• Weight loss
• More pleasurable moments doing activities in movement, sports, nature
• Less disease
• Lifting of weight from the past; hurts, failures, and abuse
• More moments of joy about being alive
• Less worry, more faith
• Mental focus
• Career direction
• Financial stability and prosperity
• Learning to flow with emotions instead of being hijacked by them
• Seeing obstacles as opportunities for growth
• Connection to spirit
• Confidence to share your gifts
• Appreciation and gratitude for those who enrich your life
• A feeling of oneness --unity with all beings and the universe
• A sense of purpose
How is it possible to see these benefits? Through a devoted practice. We will practice noticing and listening to the “messages” of nature. We will use metaphors found in the natural elements of earth, the wind, fire and air to inspire a willingness to change, to trust and to grow. We will practice moving our bodies in beautiful and imaginative ways. We will practice using poetry and dialogue to express our feelings.
Acting is a big part of this journey. Acting is somatic. We will practice this art-form by loosening up the body, the voice, and the mind. We will give ourselves opportunities to be expressive, in small ways first, and then in larger, more expansive ways.
Just as in yoga, you begin where you are. You breathe into the poses and see if you can stretch, without forcing.
I remember my first acting role very clearly, maybe you remember yours too!
I was eight years old and I played the part of Amos from the Old Testament. I absolutely loved my costume-- burlap dress and goatskin bag. Shakespeare was famous for casting males in female roles, our pastor’s wife was famous for just the opposite.
Almost everyone remembers some stage experience from their early years. But, not everyone has had the opportunity to hone that skill to the point that they have real comfort on stage. The comfort comes from practice, practice, and more practice. Again, as in yoga, one can learn to love the practice. The joy is in the moment of expression—in the union of body, mind, and spirit.
But, in case you think acting might be out of your realm, do keep this in mind--the real truth is-- acting is actually “natural.” As Shakespeare said,” 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...”
We all know that we must “act” many parts as we live our lives. Acting is not an uncommon human activity but it is uncommon in the animal kingdom. Your pet doesn’t “act” like a pug when he is really a Pomeranian. But, humans “act” all the time. They walk, or talk in different ways for different purposes.
I believe we all act because we are actually spiritual beings having a human experience. And, we actually do not know how to use this expressive body, we must learn. And, we can learn to expand its capacity.
As a theatre major, I learned many things about how to release and reveal myself as the character that I would portray onstage. This is what you will find in this book as you develop your “acting practice.”
There are great strategies and methods about how to use the voice and body as the beautiful instrument that it is.[_ In the Elements of New Life Scripts,_] we will learn some of these techniques so that you have a variety of useful tools for expression at your disposal.
You may also discover that by practicing acting, you will be doing a great “act’ of self-care. You will be paying attention to how your being reacts to stimulus, and what potential you have to express emotions in a variety of ways that actually “feel” good.
One of the things that feels so good, physically and emotionally, is the act of playing! Probably the most important lesson in acting is how to “play” just like a child. How to enjoy being in the moment and pretending in a way that is “real.”
It’s not as easy as it looks. You may struggle with the release and abandonment of your adult persona. Many people do. After all, they have cultivated it to perfection! They find it humiliating, to act like a child. We have learned the lesson early, “put away childish things.” We have been told to grow up! We have been told to “get serious.”
And, it is a paradox. We do have to grow up! We have learned to protect ourselves. How many of us have felt “dismissed” because someone older than us thought we were too young to know anything! No wonder we “act” sophisticated! It hurts to be discounted.
But, to be an artist, one must always retain the soul of the child—one must remain open, free, enthusiastic, curious, and creative. Who doesn’t want to do this? In order to act, you must concentrate. You have to concentrate and “give yourself,” to the “new mind and heart” that you have created for the part. Everyone has this capacity.
Because you are human, you have this capacity. I encourage this pursuit because it is fun, exciting and freeing at the same time. The more you do it, the more you can “give yourself” to the process, and the better will be your portrayal. And, finally the more beautiful gift you will give to the audience.
Yes, there are forms of entertainment—film, theatre, TV that call for “professional” actors. But, I believe there is a call for actors in every community, from Curwensville PA, to Portland ME. There is a call for any of us to use the art of acting as a vehicle for personal growth and in order to evolve as a species. Theatre’s origins have always been as a sacred art.
Acting Lesson 101
It’s fun to pretend, remember? So, do a little pretending right now. Pretend you are holding a watermelon—a whole, great big watermelon! Feel the weight in both hands. OK, put it down and take a knife and cut through the melon. Do it with a Thwack! It breaks into two pieces. Cut it again. Now you are ready to pick this piece up and take a bite. Remember what it feels like to eat a cold, juicy watermelon. The piece is big in your mouth at first until you smoosh it down with your teeth and your tongue. It can get sloppy. Juice can run down your mouth. And, of course, the seeds. Roll them around in your mouth and get them ready for “the spit.” Spit! How far can you send those seeds!
Now that you have the sequence -- do this whole pantomime again. Only this time, imagine you are at a picnic and a fly keeps landing on your nose, or your knife while you are working. Two flies!
Now start from the beginning, only make a few decisions before you start:
• Where are you? And, how will you show it?
• Who are you? How old? And how will you show it?
Lastly, do all of this without saying a word. Use only your body, gestures and facial expressions.
From this little pantomime, you can see that a whole story can develop. You become the playwright. Plays, even one-minute ones, usually have a beginning, middle and end. In the beginning, the audience needs to know who you are and where you are, in the middle, something interesting needs to happen-- usually, a problem pops up. In the end, the problem is solved or not.
Do this with the watermelon story. Create a beginning, middle and end. Try adding emotion. What could make it sad? What could make it funny? What could make it terrifying? Do you need to add another character? Who? What happens in the middle? What is the “problem?” How does it get resolved?
If you write out the watermelon story, just the bare bones, in narrative form, you create a “scenario.” If you write precisely what the characters say, you are writing a script. For The Elements of New Life Scripts, we will most often write scenarios and then improvise the dialogue—that is, make it up as we go along. On other occasions, though, we will write a script.
What did you learn about acting in this short lesson? Lots!!
Going Solo or in a Group
Theatre is a “communal” activity. Actors are usually part of an ensemble. That’s the set-up. And, for good reason. You have a lot more versatility with a group. You can have a “cast of thousands” with different genders, ages, etc. represented. The show has a transformational potential for both actors and audience members.
The audience is also important. They help to shape the performance is so many ways. But, there is a risk for the actors. They could “make a fool of themselves” somehow, by forgetting their lines, or tripping, or having a costume malfunction. This risk is mitigated by rehearsal.
And also, it is tempered by the fact that actors are deliberately making an “offering” of themselves to the audience. They are allowing the audience to be entertained. To be entertained means to be fully engaged in an observable event. One can be entertained by comedy or tragedy. The idea is that the audience feels something and feeling it, feels good. Being entertained transports an audience out of time and space, and that really feels good. Like meditating.
When you perform, you are doing good.
My recommendation for The Elements of New Life Scripts is to do it with a group or a class, for all of the reasons above. However, if you must go solo, do that. Because you will benefit from the reflective writing prompts, from the acting exercises, and from all the side trips involving the contemplative and creative arts and nature activities suggested in this book. If you do go solo, someday, somehow, find an audience for your work and see what a wonderful thing that can be too!
Thank you for opening yourself to the many opportunities of self-guided retreat.
This guide serves as a free preview of the full version of my Retreat-In-A-Box offered at NewLifeScripts.com If you would like to experience 3 times the self-guided retreat facilitation through a workbook and fun objects for activities and healing, go to NewLifeScripts.com
I created my website as an opportunity for people to discover, transform, and connect with nature through healing and artistic practices. I offer coaching, destination retreats, workshops, online classes, and various media at NewLifeScripts.com
Brown, B. 2012. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead. New York, NY: 2012, Gotham.
Charles, E. The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible. n.p: n.p., n.d. Print.
Risa, K. 2012. Awakening Somatic Intelligence: The Art and Practice of Embodied Mindfulness: Transform Pain, Stress, Trauma, and Aging. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic, 2012. Print.
Gordon, M. 2016. “Life Transformation Secrets.” n.p., n.d. Web. 12 Sept. 2016.
This book is a Retreat Guide. It serves as a free preview of the full version of my Retreat-In-A-Box offered at NewLifeScripts.com It is filled with ideas for quiet moments, guided meditations, lifestyle assessments, healthy habit considerations, nature studies, art projects, yoga asanas and opportunities for spiritual and inspirational awakenings! All the things you would do on a retreat. Take NLS on weekend excursions to the mountains, beach, or lake. Or go to your local park, even your backyard--anywhere to connect with nature. Go solo, or better yet, get a group together. Theatre is a community activity. And retreats are often most effective with other like-minded people who support your belief and your vision for transformation.