The great bard, William Shakespeare, once wrote, "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances..." These words suggest that
we live in a world where the "script" and the "actors" in our lives are malleable. Through the use of imagination this turns out to be the case.
Walking into a government facility can be intimidating. First there's security to pass through. Pockets are emptied, purses overturned, and guards watch you as though you're on the FBI most wanted list. Once you're through that obstacle, then you're confronted by overworked, underpaid, clerks who would rather be anywhere else than waiting on you. When you finally get to the front of the line and your name is called by the clerk, the belligerence is palpable. They know the rules. They know what forms are required. And answering your questions is akin to pulling teeth.
Such was the situation on a recent visit to city hall. The clerk was not happy. Her answers were short, curt and at times antagonistic. She was going to make life as difficult as possible for everyone she encountered that day. A typical reaction reaction would be to respond in kind or to defuse the situation by being overly polite and smiling. With this clerk, it didn't matter. Her face remained passive with a touch of arrogance. When she dismissed us by saying "fill out the forms on the computer at the kiosk" which was conveniently far across the room from her, we knew any questions we had would not be answered without getting back into line. So we
Half-way through page one we could hear her angry comments in the background. As if on cue, years of spiritual training kicked in. We could change the atmosphere in the room as well as change the situation through the power of imagination. "We know what to do, so let's do this" we said to each other. "Let's change the stage and the situation."
We imagined the clerk in a peaceful bubble of pink light. We imagined her happy at home and at work. We imagined all her worries and anger dissolving. We imagined her with the word LOVE prominently written across her chest. We saw radiant pink light pouring from her as she greeted every new person who came to her window. We saw the mask of anger on her face dissipating and it being replaced with a smiling face. Then we continued filling out the forms.
We returned to the line to complete the paperwork. As we moved up to the front of the line
the clerk suddenly got up, closed her cubicle, and left the room. We looked at each other wondering what had just happened. Then, another window opened. A beautiful, smiling, face greeted us. The new clerk now waiting on us, said, "Ladies, good morning. You've come to the right window. I'm here to make your experience at City Hall perfect." The contrast between the first clerk and the second could not have been more pronounced. One actor exited and another had appeared on our little stage.
Then we realized what we'd done and what had just happened. Our training had worked a magical transformation. We had Re-Imagined the atmosphere around the clerks on the Stage of City Hall. We had rewritten the script. What we created with our imagination had been delivered by the second clerk. She was smiling. She was happy. She was pleasant. She loved her job. And she told us that since she was child, she always knew she had a special purpose in life. Eight years ago she discovered that purpose was to serve everyone with respect and LOVE.
So the next time you're presented with a situation that is less than desirable, re-imagine it. Re-write your script with the power of your mind. Perhaps the Bard was right, "All the world is a stage..." Be the playwright and the director of a life worth living.
Jo Mooy - March 2016