The Arts Change Lives

I had an interesting experience this week; we were hosting nearly 700 kids from different schools to see a puppet show production of Alice in Wonderland. Everything was ready, the stage crew were primed, the actors were in the wings and it’s 2min to show time. I get a text message from the technical director that says ‘we have a problem, we’re over capacity with the schools.’ One of the schools on the list was supposed to be there at 11:30am but had shown up early.

They had already been seated and I had the unpleasant task of asking them (60 kids and 7 adults) to leave their seats.

It further turns out that they were there at the right time but I had inadvertently put them on the later time slot therefore throwing everyone and everything into a state of confusion.

They weren’t going to stay or come back for the next show because it interfered with their lunch time.

The idea of all those kids being disappointed- after looking forward to seeing the show for possibly weeks was too much to bear. I begged the teacher to get approval to stay and play in the park below and that I would run out an get lunch for them all.

Apparently trying to source lunch for 70 at 10:30am is not an easy task. I called three pizza places who all said it would take over an hour. I didn’t have an hour. I had to get them show ready in an hour, which meant I had 40min to get them food and eating so that they could be done by 11:30am in time for the next performance.

Luckily I called a Subway who couldn’t accommodate but was happy to help me find one that could. And within minutes I was on my way to 501 S Reino Road, Newbury Park, CA where the store manager and his one employee were furiously making and wrapping sandwiches for me. They gave me a box to put the chips together and before long they sent me on my way. It was already 11am when I left the store.

11:08am: I call my colleagues at work and ask their help to get the trolleys down to where would make the most sense to unload the boxes of cookies, chips and sandwiches.

11:11am: I pull up, my colleagues are just arriving with the trolleys – we unload, and quickly line the kids up to get their sandwiches, chips and cookie.

11:26am: technical director calls to get a status update. “We’ll be there in 4 min.” Now mind you these are 2nd graders we’re talking about – no way to move them at our pace. They have their own pace.

11:31am: we have to start moving I tell a teacher– she starts the process of corralling all the kids and counting them to ensure no kid has wandered off.

We start walking up the ramp and of course have to stop for bathroom and water. More counting.

11:35am: we’re now within yards of the stairs toward the theatre, I can see the light at the end of this tunnel but we still have to get there.

One of the teachers says that she has a student who’s having a bit of a melt down.

I try and talk to him, to see if he’s excited about the theatre–

NO!

Does he want to stay back with me and not go in?

NO!

Is he happy to be with his friends? NO!

I tell him I would be mad too if I had to be on time only to have to wait for nearly 2 hours before I can finally watch the show. I should say too that he refused to eat a sandwich or cookie. And I think only grudgingly ate a bag of chips.

11:40am Finally we’re moving down the stairs and into the theatre. I make my way backstage to do the welcome announcement and apologize to the waiting audience for the slight delay. The house lights go dim, and it’s show time.

The show is wonderful. The message is positive! It’s about recognizing that your thoughts have power and you you have the ability to rearrange what you think, feel and say which then can change the outcome of your life. So watch what you say to yourself.

After the show we stood waiting as the kids filed out of the theatre. I was particularly waiting for that young boy to see how he felt now.

I saw him come skipping down the hallway and break into a dance move as he went on by.

Did you enjoy the show? I asked.

Yes, it was awesome! He effervescently responded.

Do you want a picture with the actors? Alice was still in costume.

Oh, yes please he responded with a huge smile and quickly ran up to hug Alice and stand next to her.

Mission accomplished!

This is what it’s all about.

The arts change lives.

One experience, one exposure and the whole attitude can be shifted.

Exercise is Poetry of the Body

Exercise moves your physical body and occupies your human mind for you cannot exercise and think about anything other than what you are doing for fear of injury. Stay focused. Exercise helps you engage all parts of your body and mind and get them working in unison in a way that few other activities can do. Exercise is the execution of God-consciousness. It is poetry of the body just as meditation is poetry of the soul. 

The Storm before the Calm

You cannot plant seeds or plants into soil that hasn’t been stirred up or amended. You cannot stick seeds for new growth into existing soil beds that already have plants growing. There is no space or nutrients for this new growth. In the same way in order for you to have growth, in order to step into the next best thing, you too need to be stirred up, amended and woken up from your status quo so that you can Be, Do, Have the next best thing in your life. It feels like the storm before the calm for you because you’re being shaken out of your reverie. Human nature doesn’t like change. It is resisted. Hence change has to come in a way that makes it a necessary one, often one that is seemingly out of your control. However the more self aware you get, the more you will realize that you do get early warning signs about the change. You usually ignore or overlook them because they aren’t as painful or uncomfortable. Only once we get to that level of discomfort where it is untenable, then that is when you are willing to change. Your job is to get hyper aware and heed the early warning signs for yourself and then change will become second nature and you won’t resist it; rather you will welcome it. 

Pause

Music is formed not just with continuous notes. It is often the rest between notes that makes it more dramatic or memorable. Meditation is the pause between thoughts, sleep is the pause for your body, breathing is the pause that enables you to access creativity and information. You can access all that you need to access from within instead of relying on anything outside of yourself. Much like the cycle of the moon and waves has an ebb and flow- so too does your body have the need to retreat and recover- to restore, rejuvenate, regenerate and then reengage with the world. Human beings often try and go, go, go without regard to the natural rhythm of their lives and bodies. The human body can adapt to a lot, and has adapted to going constantly as well. 

However there is a natural threshold- which if you cross- will make your body slow down and force the pause. 

Simple ways to be mindful of this pause is to allow yourself 4×4 breathing (inhale to the count of 4, hold for 4, exhale for 4, hold for 4) 4-6 times a day. This simple yet effective exercise will build in pauses and additionally provide life-giving oxygen to your body making it stronger both mentally and physically. Go ahead and try this for 28 days and see if you have affected change in your life. 

I Am Divine

Wow this has been quite a year! God’s calling up a lot of angels. Lucky them. Yes it’s sad to lose someone we love and revere. I think this is an opportunity for us to pause and reflect why death impacts us the way it does? Why does death bring us together in a way that nothing else does? In these past many months there’s been so much angst, negativity, frustration, fear, hate spewed both on and off line. What if, just for one day, instead of the lower vibration emotions, we all engaged in higher vibration emotions? What if we were grateful to be alive? What if we wondered what we’re to learn about ourselves from the passing of someone we love and adore? What if we believed that they’re not gone? That they just outgrew their physical body and that their soul has a greater calling than this shell of a human body can contain? What if their death is here to show us that they, just like we are — human, and have huge human potential? That instead of revering them, we revered ourselves as the child of God, the extension of God, the perfection of God that we all are! What if we’re not meant to save the world, rather just to be a beacon of light and hope to show the world how to save itself! Because everyone of us, if we just took care of the square footage around our own two feet, if we just worried about how WE showed up in the world, if we just worried about how we behaved and are perceived – I have to believe that magic is possible! Regardless– it’s what I choose to believe! I’ll take care of me, my vibe, my emotions, my words, my thoughts, and how I show up in the world, and as a result, my corner of the world is better for it– not because I did anything TO or FOR anyone else- after all that’s not my job…my job is to be the best version of me, and the rest will magically fall into place. Because I’m an expression of God. I Am Joy. I Am Divine. I Am love.