Cut! Let's Do That Part Over

by Dan Doviddio

I’m walking up to a favorite store of mine. It’s on the street as opposed to a mall or shopping center. I open the door, the scent of new merchandise is reminder that I’ve been here before. I’m on a mission, I’m shopping for a new pillow. I walk the twenty feet inside and go up the four steps to the main store. I’ve been here many times and am more than familiar with its layout. The store consists of two long rooms side by side, separated by a common wall. I go through the first room, it’s the sundries room. Funny name sundries, but that’s what this room has. As I walk through I turn right to go into the second room that has the pillows in back where they always are. The door is closed. There seems to be a problem, but an employee soon gets it open. I survey the pillows. Nothing seems to fit what I’m looking for. I continue through to exit the store looking at the housewares in the second section.. Seems they are having a problem with another door. So I backtrack out to the street the way I came in.

Once back out on the street, I check out my surroundings. Everything is where it always is. A familiar street scene in my life. I notice a creek in the park across the street. Hmm, why haven’t I noticed that before? I guess I’m so focused, I sometimes miss things.

I’m on my way to see my mom. At mom’s house, she and I are sitting at the table across from each other. She’s made me fried chicken. My favorite dish ever. I’ve never been able to duplicate it. Mom says it’s the old electric skillet she uses. Personally I think she’s holding back on the recipe.

We are having a conversation.

Mom tells me how much I’ve changed. “You’re so peaceful “she says. “What a change in how you used to be” she emphasizes, while beaming a smile at me. “How’d you do it?” she asks.
I tell her “it’s the Course”.”
“Oh, the Course. Maybe you can show me” she says.

I smile back taking in her peaceful beauty. She looks so much younger than her years.

I go home. I’ve got a terrible cold. I have an important business meeting and I’m going no matter how sick I am. Christine has changed one of the rooms in our house. It looks great. But now I’m discombobulated and can’t find my keys. I stay cool, but where the heck are my keys?

The alarm rings that horrible noise it makes to get you up. Geez, time to wake up.
This cold I have is still there in full force. I’m flying out today for a meeting in New York the following day. I think I’d rather go back to my dream world.

Those dreams I had seemed so real. I’ve been in that store many times in my dream world. It’s modeled after a store in Des Moines when I was kid. It was called Claytons 5 and Dime. The street scenes are really familiar. Some of the streets are modeled on where I’ve lived in the past. Some of the streets I’ve never seen before. Except in my dream world.

Don’t dreams seem so real when you have them? The people, sights and sounds are all real. I mean it’s right there for you. But once the dream is done, its done.

But if our dreams seem real maybe our real life a dream too. I’ve learned to go in and change my dreams and make small decisions that change the outcome. I also do this in this seemingly real life. This ‘real’ dream life is as moldable as your sleeping dreams. You just need the awareness you can do that. Keep in mind, decision making is the only power you truly have.

It is beneficial if you can look at this life you have as a dream. Why you might ask. Because it is. Your life is moldable through your decisions
Based on what you perceive.

Personally, I don’t have a cold. But this body I think I’m in does. It’s a doozy too. I’m writing this in the airport I seem to be in. All part of my ‘real’ life dream.

My current body I seem to be in actually bought a new pillow last weekend.

I’m changing my role in this ‘real’ life dream. I look at it as a movie. I’m giving up some of the parts I play. I’m no longer the victim or winner for that matter. I’m the observer of the unfolding creation. Fewer acting parts are coming where I’m the victim, as I’ve eliminated them as they come up.

“Dan, the car that was going to pick you up this morning broke down” the car service dispatcher tells me. I relax. I am going to the airport, a car will appear. It does.

I am the observer.

Look I just made some people appear to sit across from me at the airport. All these characters that populate my life, my creation. I’m the star of my very own movie.

It can be difficult though if you don’t know your lines. So what most of us do is react to the movie as it unfolds.

There is this director in your life. This director demands your attention. This director has already coached you your lines. “Dammit” he says, “keep this show moving. You want to get killed, lose your money, lose your dignity? You already know your lines. It’s based on what we talked about a long time ago. Bottomline, the world is out to get you. React from that. Improvise your lines based on the world is out to get you. Now go!”

But there is another director in your life. This director sits behind the scenes and lovingly shakes his head. The director has a better script right in his hands. But the actor thinks he knows better and the movie has a worse than desired ending.

The thing is, you’re not only the actor, but the audience. You’re the critic. Geez, that didn’t turn out do well we might say. Damn you person out there that did that to me. This director smiles and says, “my friend, that’s your movie, you wrote your own lines. The other actors are only reacting to your direction”.

This quiet director advises gently, putting a light touch on your shoulder, “how about next time, take a moment and don’t directly react to the scene. Let me give you your next lines.”

But the first director is very loud and demands your attention. The key is to start being alert to the lines director number one is giving you. Director number one has you thinking all the props are real. Watch out for that careening car” he might say. You look and ask “what careening car”? “Just be careful, says this director, there are things out to get you?”

Being the observer can be difficult. Alertness is only the first part. The second part is to acknowledge that it is only a movie of your own making. Apologize to yourself for reacting to something that is of your own making and thinking it is real.

Pay attention and understand director number two already has a script for you. Your lines in this script are not needed. Everything you need is provided, you just stop and listen quietly. No need for a knee jerk reaction.

When a scene is playing out and you are not satisfied with your part, get quiet for a moment and ask director number two for a new interpretation of that scene. This way you will know what part to play that will be more satisfying.

And sometimes this director will appear in your dreams, playing the role of your mother and letting you know what good job your doing.

Thanks mom, I’m listening more and more.