life backstage

taking the theatre metaphor a bit further

This is a follow up to the recent post on preverbal data collection. Going forward my writing is going to focus more on the implications of fully accepting that all of the worlds a stage. This was begun in yesterdays post. If I become a bit much with the metaphor, let me know.

This next bit of writing I’m going to build upon some of the ideas from preverbal data collection and bring them under / into the theatre metaphor.

Before we get going too far with ideas of masks, roles, performance and anxiety, let’s get a room for this to take place. Let’s start with the theatre. The preverbal stuff that we spoke about - our sense of balance etc - that’s the stuff that’s going on backstage.

The audience / the others don’t see your brain making your diaphragm move for your lungs. We don’t consciously tell our intestines to digest that burrito and extract the goodness therein. And our heart? If we had to pay attention to each beat, we likely would never have evolved from the ocean.

Should any of this back stage stuff be messing with us? It can cause a huge interruption to the performance of living. Ideally, you don’t have constant, chronic pain screaming 2-4-7 at you. Disruptions to backstage functions like our sense of balance, sense of depth or knowledge that we are ‘full’ can have really ugly impacts on our well being.

Our nervous systems are complex. We are herd animals. We can notice and attune to the nervous systems of others. We can get some pretty strong cues of what’s going on in the field of experience from noticing our sensations in relation to others. These are the sensations we get in our guts. Our instinct and intuition? This might just be bits of the mobilization of energy to act in the world.

Its all data

Just pay attention. This work here isn’t to move beyond sensation and emotion and live rationally. That’s absurd. Nor is the work to attune to and listen explicitly to our emotions and instincts. Instead, we have an opportunity listen to the data that’s there and take some time to decide whether it’s helpful or not. For example, in the mornings, after my first coffee, I notice information from my nervous system and digestive tract that it’s time to go to the toilet. What do I choose?

In this case I listen to my body

So? If you need to take a shit and know that you need to take a shit in time to prepare yourself for the deluge? Write that down as a super simple thing to be grateful for. To merely be able to look after our most basic needs is not likely what many of you readers aspire to. And? Like in the theatre, its’ difficult to perform when there’s chaos backstage.

One Derful Thing

Take some time to appreciate the things happening backstage.

Notice your breath. Notice your body moves without you breathing. You’re brain’s doing that! It’s doing that without you paying attention to it at all.

Stop breathing. Notice what happens.

How long can you stop for?

It seems, that your conscious desire to not breath is less powerful that the part of your brain that makes you breath.

Ok. Relax. Breathe easy again for a bit.


Stop breathing again.

Do you notice your pulse?

Yay! You have a heart!

Can you make that muscle stop moving?

Can you slow down your heart?

See if you can, by paying attention to your pulse, see if you can slow down your heart.

What other things are going on backstage?

Feeling hungry?

How’s your sense of balance?

Going to fall down?

How’s your sense of needing to poo?

Ready to poo on the floor?

How’s your sense of humour?

Ready to fall down in poo on the floor?