I’ve often felt acting is a valuable capacity to develop as a life-skill in support of self-growth. You act a role, a certain desirable attitude or behaviour, and then ask: who’s acting? I believe it becomes difficult to claim it’s not you. It’s seemingly a contradiction – I’m just pretending so it’s not me yet who’s pretending?
We discover through acting we have the ability to embody whatever trait we choose. And since whoever we present ourselves as is not inherently us, and yet is entirely a creative act stemming from our own intention, why not use that facility consciously as a medium through which to engage the experience of life.
Through the act-ive play of pretence, which children do all the time as an intrinsic part of their development, we learn and expand. What begins as pretence shapes us.
In a very real sense this is a leaning towards becoming unlimited. What power and what freedom to choose to be whatever or whoever I choose, in the way I feel and hold myself in the world in each moment!
I am on a constant lookout for character and behavioral traits of role models to enact. In situations where I feel stuck I image how the role model would be: how they would feel, carry themselves, what and how they would speak.
I am aware this is not necessarily the truth of their own experience but rather the truth of how I perceive or imagine them to be. In this way they become a mirror of the unconscious aspirations and potentiality of my higher self.
The shadow of this is envy and jealousy. From a perspective of inspiration it can be turned into gold.
How does shapeshifting fit in?
At the beginning of 2018 I posed:
Embrace greater joy and excitement, without having worked through all the ‘stuff’ – this does not mean the work stops but rather the division between what is our delight and our challenge become less exclusive, holding space for our highest and lowest expression at the same time.
Shapeshifting (the way I use it) is a ‘magical’ power we all possess to access a fluid morphing between different states of being – sometimes repeatedly, sometimes fleetingly – as and when needed. It’s an enhanced form of acting as applied to ‘real’ life, and an ability that forms in parallel with being able to hold both our greatest delight and deepest pain as coexisting in each moment.
It’s a reminder that we’re not stuck and things change so don’t get stuck on something that is inherently impermanent.
What I’ve found in my own exploration of this, where I actively choose between different states of being, is that I can be more authentic in BOTH. There’s more permission to be grumpy, angry, agitated etc because I know I don’t have to be stuck in it, and it no longer comes at the expense of my pleasure, joy or delight.