Authentic Performance Art
Life is a song. Life is a dance. Life is a canvas to be painted. Life is a space for authentic performance art.
We all have hats to wear, roles to play, things to do, but I'm finding the real joy comes in how we inhabit that space, showing up with full aliveness and engagement to enjoy what is and create something beautiful.
In the piece I wrote yesterday, I said,
"Life is an Interpretive Dance.
You don't have to have all the answers. You don't need to have it all figured out. You don't even need to be understood by others. But we must dance.
Dance on, my friends!"
.. but how do we take that dance into our specific environments? How do we take that posture of openness and that spark within and ignite it with a tribe that matter to us? How do we pick a role to play that is authentic to who we are?
In thinking about this question, there are three overlapping metrics:
- Call of Conscience: Does this align with my values, is it true to my heart and what I believe? Am I doing what matters to me?
- Authentic Expression: What elements of my person come out in this space? Am I being true to myself and to others? How do I allow for the goodness of others to flourish as well?
- Challenge Accepted: What demands does this opportunity place on my person? How does it help me to raise the bar, extend beyond my comfort zone, and hone my craft? Is there space to thrive and express, are you doing what matters, and is there space to grow? If so, it sounds like you're in a good space.
With any great art, these elements are present. Expression, Ethos, and Expansion. To roll with the theater metaphor, this is true whether you are onstage or backstage, a lead or a member of an ensemble. Whether or not you see yourself as a performer (and not all of us do), we will still have to "show up" to others and to ourselves. In our jobs (and in our art), we show up as professionals. In our circles of friends and family, as listeners, lovers and learners. Even when we are alone, whatever we are doing, we have different modes of expression and interaction.
In theater, our ability to compartmentalize can be to our advantage, knowing when we are in our character or offstage. In our lives, the show is always on in some sense. This does not mean we need to be fake, quite the opposite, it is an opportunity to play our full and highest selves in every moment. When we are out of alignment with our authentic self, we begin to disintegrate, disengage, and become disingenuous. Even though our lives are art, even though they are a performance, we cannot live outside ourselves for too long before things go awry.
Have you ever thought about your life as authentic performance art? In looking at the roles you inhabit and the crafts you choose, how do these express and develop who you are and who you are striving to be?
I'm thankful for the roles of Husband, Father, Chiropractic Assistant, Writer, Runner and many others that express who I am and connect me with others. These are all crafts that draw out who I am, develop who I desire to be, and make meaning for others to enjoy as well. :)
Life is your stage! Play the role of YOU with gusto!!
With joy, courage, and awe-thenticity,