Better thinking means better living.
“The All is Mind. The Universe is Mental.”— The Kybalion.
What a load for an intro amiright?
Welcome! I’m Mist3rdouglas and this is where we hang. I guess… Really I am starting this blog and associated content to have a continuing conversation about how we think, what we think about and what that thinking does to the rest of us throughout our days. I don’t know about you but I am fascinated with being human, this whole experience of being alive and being able to think things from out of nowhere, into my imagination. And sometimes, if I’m really attentive about it, or as it could turn out to be un-attentive about it, these thoughts in my imagination become things with associated feelings, experiences, stuff and stories in my seemingly, primary experience of life living.
I won’t lie to you and tell you my life is a magic carpet ride. My life is not a magic carpet ride. I initially wanted to be an actor, **please, in your mind pronounce it as AkTOR with as much sarcastic enthusiasm as you’d like to enjoy** and went pretty hard when it came to studying, working and exposing myself to the various exercises, methods, crafts and skill sets that various artists employed. *its totally cool if you skip down, this is a lot of personal history qualifying me to you. you’re wonderful for even getting this far* Stanislavski and “acting as if” and “finding motivation and objective”, Strasburg and sense memory, Meisner and “getting out of your head and into the moment”. To those familiar, the ancillary but no less important vocal and movement training was incredibly impactful. Awakening awareness of the body and mind connection that no other profession has privy to.
I started early, taking acting and theater courses at summer camps as a little kid. Then focussing in with high school sleep away acting camp in upstate New York, Cathy you’re awesome and always will be. Then taking it seriously and freaking out the parents by almost getting into the acting program at NIDA in Sydney, Australia, I auditioned down under and everything. I was accepted and decided to attend The Theater School at DePaul University in Chicago Illinois. There I learned and was exposed to so many experiences spanning the spectrum and I wouldn’t change a single one. This solidified my desire to entertain and enliven the masses and I doubled down by spending a summer in Europe and studying abroad in the BADA program in Oxford England. Post College both in Chicago and Los Angeles I was rabidly studying Improv and completed the core training course at UCB LA. All throughout my education, it was my fascination with the ability to interface with my mind and body with directed thought and intention to produce a desired outcome, effect or response consistently, on a stage or on camera, or elsewhere just about, every time, that kept me interested.
Eventually the interest grew and I began looking into psychology, astrology, Neuro Linguistic Programming or NLP, yoga, the chakras, the practice of mental alchemy and hermeticism, the tarot, chaos magick among other “off the main street” if you get my drift, if you’re picking up what I’m laying down, and if you’ve ever seen the movie The Shadow with Alec Baldwin “the sun is shining” “but the ice is slippery” type of subjects. the list goes on and continues to grow.
The ability to stir such multifaceted perspectives and projections of corresponding personalities through so many wonderful pathways and in such a way as to purposefully share with others in what you are experiencing or what you are portraying the experience as was deepening in ways I will forever be grateful for and continue to mine the depths of benefit from to this day.
TLDR; I studied, practiced lots and went to college for it. I received my Bachelors of Fine Arts in Acting. I know about acting stuff.
But I am not a successful, monetarily speaking, actor.
I worked in both Chicago and Los Angeles for a total of a decades worth of time. The way its set up and the way I’m set up it’s simply something I don’t want any longer the way I have seen it to be. I still employ everything I learned as an actor in life however and that is the round about way to getting to the point of this blog and my continuing work in interfacing with the mind.
The whole point of this blog and associated content: Better thinking. Better living.
The various skills, tools and practices I learned as an actor, run parallel to several visualization practices and meditations spoken about by the likes of Maxwell Maltz, Dr. Joe Dispenza, Jose Silva, Robert Monroe and Robert Bruce just to name a few. Not to mention how closely the work runs through more esoteric and magickal subjects such as hermeticism, ceremonial and chaos magick with invoking archetypes and inducing altered states of trance and suggestion through practice and repetition for expansion of perspective. Just to squeeze in one more association, NLP fits in with the reshaping of perspective via use of language and mental imagery. There are commonalities with Wilhelm Reich and his understanding of tension and build up of energy that actors employ to charge a scene and build chemistry between each other as well as the audience. All of these ideas, practices and modalities of thinking connect and have commonality. How best to better the process of thinking and thereby relating to the world of both your interior and exterior experiential reality. How can all of these tips and tricks that I found initially through actors training help build a better life inside and outside ourselves? Why am I even talking about this? Who am I?
Nobody special. I am a dude who learned how to play other dudes, and dudettes, in school, professionally as a craft. I’ve had the experience of working and relating the work to other subjects that have touched the human experience when wanting to be better at being human.
So who am I to talk about being a better human. there it is! And again nobody special! I have sustained more rejection in my 30 plus years of life both professionally and personally than most, simply because of my sustained attempt and acting professionally. And I would argue this for any actor/model/entertainer working on a gig by gig basis out there. Mad props yo! It’s built in to the lifestyle. You are getting rejected from projects and potential side jobs to pay the rent all of the time! You are rejected by potential employers, agents, rejected by casting directors and even other actors. All this rejection for a desire to share the process of baring your soul for a story.
To cope and even thrive in a life where your dreams are always on the horizon and always just out of reach, I began to employ and modify some of the tools and skills I learned as an actor, melding them with other avenues of mental massaging like affirmations, hypnotic sessions, guided meditations and visualizations to engage and manage my far from mainstream mind set wading through a very mainstream world. I have survived and am a very happy person. I am currently pursuing and enjoying work in the cannabis industry and am taking the time to coalesce all of this information, how its helped me and how it could help anyone who wanted to engage with it. It could help you.
As an example: When I was in high school my drama teacher Kathi G. explained to me while working on a monologue from Shakespeares’ Measure for Measure “what are you doing with your words when you say them to Isabel?” “I dunno I am sending them to her wanting them to affect her” “yes but how? that’s not descriptive or active at all. Why not use your words like tentacles and slowly wrap them around her, trapping her slowly and tightly” “use my words like tentacles to trap her. I like it.”
My teacher was way ahead of the game and had dropped some massive knowledge on a young mind. As it turns out there is a whole method of acting based on finding active, descriptive words to inform your lines and your character as you work. One of the many treasured tomes aiding with this practice is Actions The Actors’ Thesaurus By Marina Caldarone and Maggie Lloyd-Williams.
So as you can probably surmise by now, what happens when we can do this in daily life? Obviously I don’t mean wrapping mental tentacles around an unsuspecting victim, I suppose it depends on the circumstances, but I do mean actively using our minds when we interact with ourselves and each other like we would if we were characters pursuing an objective on stage and screen.
What would happen if the next time you spoke to someone, ordering your burger whether in person or through the drive through microphone you were specifically, continuously focussed on the thought of treasuring them, like literal gleaming treasure, or, while asking for that extra side of fries like I enjoy doing, your mind radiates the idea of enrichment and happy compliment, whatever that may mean to you, thats the fun of the acting exercise, you may find yourself imagining a shit eating grin, a pirates chest of doubloons and spewing gratitude to the drive through worker for being there, enjoying how the food smells, tastes and compliments the problem of your hunger like a familiar friend. Definitely a different mental pathway than hating the time it takes to sit in a car, running your gas out, waiting inconveniently for something that was supposed to be convenient.
So yeah. There it is. Welcome to the journey. It’s fun.
What can I do to think better, whatever that means for me, and in turn can I find results in better living, due to this more pointed, more engaged and active, this better thinking?
I think so. Otherwise I wouldn’t be writing about it. Let’s find out together.