Comments Off on Laughter

Reader’s Digest was a staple in my home growing up.  I remember it mainly for two reasons.  The first was the regular section entitled “It Pays To Enrich Your Word Power”.  I loved getting each new edition and trying my best to answer each word correctly.  What’s surprising is how many of those words are now a part of my full-time vocabulary.  It was in Reader’s Digest I learned words like ambivalent, boisterous, callous, and lackadaisical.  But it was also Reader’s Digest where I read some of my first comedy.  “Laughter Is The Best Medicine” was another popular, regular feature and I remember it fondly.  And although I can recall any of the funny banter I read so many years ago I am convinced the title of the column is as true as the day is long.  

I’m currently playing the part of Sargent Porterhouse in the Ray Cooney farce “Run For Your Wife”.  In the script, there is a line about, you guessed it, Reader’s Digest.  That set my mind back recalling some of the wonderful things I remember about the magazine.  “Laughter” was one important memory.  I’ve performed in comedies before but this particular play just seems to bring so much joy to those who experience it!  But it’s not only the audience that’s affected, it’s me too!  It’s such a symbiotic relationship between me and the audience.  I love performing in this show because of the pure joy it can give the patrons.  It is my sincere hope they can feel the joy I have inside me just performing.  They in turn express their joy but applauding and laughing!  And for me, that is why I do what I do.  When I feel their energy expressed by laughter, it makes me even more joyful!  And the cycle continues…  

I’m pretty sure any audience member who has seen our show will say the their laughter made them feel great!  I can tell you personally that hearing their laughter fills my soul with such delight!  Make someone laugh today.  Laugh with someone today.  It feels so good.  Perhaps Reader’s Digest has it right after all…”Laughter is the best medicine”.  I sure am feeling jocular at the moment.  Yep, another Word Power word.  It’s a good one though, don’t you think?


Comments Off on SoulCenter

Did you ever find yourself staring at something beautiful in Nature and when you finally realize what you’ve been doing a significant amount of time has passed?  I think we all have at some point.  Perhaps you spent a vacation lazing on the white sands of a tropical beach and lost yourself in the pictures the white clouds created overhead.  Maybe you are a kitchen sink leaner and you spent some time looking at the robin sitting in your backyard while you sipped your morning coffee.  It just might be a song or two on your ipod that whisked you away from your mundane thoughts and transported you to a place of peace and tranquility.  These are the moments.  This is when we are free.

I’m reminded of a famous saying that goes something like, “cloudy water only becomes clear when we allow the sediment to settle.”  We all have this nagging mind that is always telling us to do this or do that.  It’s always reminding us of our plight, our desperate situation, and our apparent need for more security, more money and more stuff.  But the more we flail about our life seeking whatever our mind decides we need, the murkier our pool of consciousness gets.  Sometimes, no most of the time, we need to stop and let the muddy water clear before we can access the soul.

I’m fortunate, really fortunate, to earn a living staring at mountains, birds and lying on the beach enjoying the cloud safari.  Not literally of course, but I’m an actor.  And that is my inspiration.  For me, it’s being on stage that transports me to a place of peace and tranquility.  When I’m there, no other thoughts can penetrate.  Nothing else matters.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a crazy bird watcher too!  I can spend hours watching our aviary friends!  And I take the time to do just that whenever I can.  But I try desperately not to do is think too often.  Therein lies the rub for me and so many others.

Our minds don’t like having nothing to do.  When we’re happy too long and we’re living in the present moment, it always likes to remind us it’s there.  Messages of things we “should” be doing, “could” be doing, or should “not” be doing are tweeted to our consciousness quicker than we realize.  And if that doesn’t work, the mind throws us past experiences, usually negative, to deter us from trying anything new.  (“Remember the last time you did that Paul? Are you sure you want to risk that?”)  I’m sure you know the type.  The mind loves to distract us from living in the present moment.  Because after all, if it hasn’t happened already, the mind knows nothing about it!  That’s where we can come out on top!

My soul is my hero.  It’s my compass.  And the more I quietly tell my mind to stop bringing up the past as a way to deter me from living in the present moment the more my mind listens.  My soul never lied to me.  It never told me not to do something because of X, Y, or Z. It’s there, always creating, always willing to guide me in each moment.  And I connect to it by never disconnecting to it in the first place.  Emerson called it our Soul Center.  When we pay attention to those moments when we lose ourselves in anything good, it’s speaking to us.  When we act upon those moments and quiet our naysaying minds good things happen.  And the more we do that, the less our mind brings up the negative past.  Instead a wonderful thing happens, your mind starts working with your soul.  Recalling wonderful past experiences that give us joy and relevance to what is happening in the present moment.  That union I feel is true enlightenment.

Lose yourself in something beautiful today!  Say yes to something you know would give you immense joy!  And quietly tell your mind, your always loving soul is in control.