How to Be Well

Photo by Lucas Pezeta on

Small, furry animals know how to be well even though they’re constantly doing stuff. Is that true? Who knows. I don’t have the experience to be able to comment. Yeah, so maybe we could skip this whole thing. I mean – what do we really know about small, furry animals and their state of being? Well, absolutely nothing. We can’t see inside their minds to be able to tell what they’re thinking about at any given moment. All we can do is extrapolate from our own experiences.

Say, for example, that you went for a swim in the river on a warm day and you found that it was enervating. You would say that the river swim was a positive experience, right? Say that you saw a dog taking that same swim on a warm day, you might think – ah, I had a nice experience and so the dog must be having one too, especially if the dog had its mouth open in one of those doggy smiles – you know the ones I mean.

What you’re doing, when you think like that, is there is anthropomorphising.

Anthropomorphising is what humans do when they see non-humans doing things that they have seen humans do (like pulling their faces into something that looks like a smile). They see the shape of a smile (for example) on a dog (for example) and they automatically think that the dog is thinking happy thoughts. Similarly, when they see a dog in a river on a warm day, they think that the dog is having a good time.

The thing is, the dog might be happy and having a good time, or it might not be – we just can’t tell. We can only guess. Which is a long-winded way of saying that we have no idea what a small, furry animal’s experience of the world is.

I tell you what would be really cool, though: the ability to read an animal’s mind. Then you’d be able to tell whether your pet really likes you, or if you just smell of dinner (pet food dinner that is (not like you as a carnivore’s dinner (if you know what I mean))). I guess that if we found out, when we read our pet’s mind, that they just saw us as a quick route to food then pet ownership would plummet. Or maybe not. Perhaps some people like to be thought of as caring and sharing and so providing dinner for a helpless animal is the closest that those people can get to being fulfilled. Who knows.

Okay, in that case, maybe it would be cooler if we could read other people’s minds. If we could see inside the mind of our partners then we’d see all sorts of nice things, right? It’d be a veritable smorgasbord of fine feeling and friendly fun, yes? Well, maybe. Or maybe not. It depends. I mean, maybe reading minds could be a quick way to get beyond the lies and into the truth of how other people think and feel, but it depends which way round the truth and lies are as to whether mind-reading would be a good thing. Like, if the external lies were sweet and the internal truth was sour then perhaps some people would be better off with the lies. Or, if the underlying truth was love but it was being masked by uncertainty and lies then it might be good to get at the truth by means of mind-reading. I suppose that if we could all read minds then we’d have no reason to lie anymore. Either that or we could all go to live in the wilderness – as far away from the thoughts of others as we could get. Any way around, we’d all have a lot of growing up to do.

If you could see my real inner being though, then I think you’d like it. Underneath all the lies that exist at the verbal level is a great deal of mess at the thought level. But underneath that is a non-verbal, non-judgemental, non-discriminatory layer that is sweet and pure. That layer is the essence of me. To be truly well, I need to live in that pure, sweet layer more often.

I suspect, but do not know, that small, furry animals spend more time in the under-layer more than humans do and this is why they are well.

So, that’s how to be well: just be at the heart of what you really are: pure and sweet.

Ciao for now.

How to Act Well

Photo by cottonbro on

Acting on stage is much the same as acting in life except that it’s a little more expressive because your audience is further away. In order to get your facial expressions, emotions and voice heard by those people out there you have to project them further. This essentially means that you have to exaggerate everything to almost clownish proportions. You have to talk louder, your emotions have to be turned up to ten and your face and body have to uber-express.

Acting for the screen is actually a lot more like life than acting on stage is. The key here is not to turn your expressions etc. up but to make them uber-clear. Clarity is the key. To be able to do clarity you have to be in touch with your inner being. You can’t expect to be able to give the camera your best anger-face until you know what your best anger-face looks like. And you can’t just use a mirror as a prop to find your emotions. You have to actually experience them on the inside before you can express them convincingly on the outside.

Consequently, there’s a lot of similarity between disciplines like mindfulness and meditation and the craft of acting. Both are routes to your inner being. And sure, they have different aims – one is to discover and the other is to express – but they are very compatible practices. It’s no accident that the home of the mecca of movies in the west (Hollywood) is in one of the more deeply spiritual place in the US of A (Los Angeles). Those guys are riding the synergy wave.

Acting classes will obviously do more than take you on a deep inner journey, but all the rest is peripheral and can be encapsulated in the phrase ‘look after yourself’. If you want to look good on screen then you need to moisturise, if you want your voice to last then you have to exercise your larynx and surrounding structures, and if you want to be loved then you have to stay young and beautiful because, let’s face it: everything after thirty is just charity.

So, yeah – hope you enjoyed. Tune in next time for more tips from someone (me, Sklugoo) who knows nothing at all about stuff. After all, I’m just a small, green meditating frog living the dream on a kitchen window ledge. And that was your disclaimer. Laters.