Some of the joys of traveling are, getting to go to new places, see new things, meet new people, and for me, to have time to read something I might not have had time to. I was browsing through the Airline magazine in the back of the seat in front of me, I was stuck in the seat for the next few hours, so I leafed through the glossy pages, looking at fantastic restaurants in cities that I wasn’t going to, and sparkly jewelry that I could see myself wearing, when I came across a little snippet on the actor Forest Whitaker. Now, first I have to say that I have always like this actor, which is probably why I stopped upon seeing him on the page. But, as I read the article, I was impressed by the sort of person he sounded like he was. The quote from the article that most captured me was: “My work is a way to explore and connect and grow as a human being. Each new character is a new life; it’s a reincarnate moment over and over again, a chance to live a different lifetime and, hopefully, become more centered.”
I love that idea, creating the character of my life. And, wasn’t I sort of doing that superficially as I thought of myself in other places, wearing sparkly things as I looked through the magazine? Obviously, most of us don’t have the opportunity to be actors, taking on new roles and trying them on for size, and getting paid to do it. It does beg the question however, how can we take on the role of ourselves more fully? If you were playing the character of your life, what sort of responses and reactions would be important for you to grow as a human being? What goals would you want for this character? How might you look objectively at your characters past, and then how would you use this information to make your character stronger? These are rich ideas. And, maybe a little shift in perspective might help us to be better people, writing a story of our lives, one that we actually want to live.