How often do you think of sharks and consciousness in the same moment? It occurred to me today, how we have a choice whether or not to plug into OPD – other people’s dramas.
Nearly 10 years ago, I was cast to play the part of visiting friend in a BBC docudrama about a woman who went swimming one morning, only to be eaten by a tiger shark. I was not out to be an actress! But a friend and fellow member of my outrigger canoe paddling club signed me up at her talent agency, just for fun. It did lead to this acting role and a few commercials. It’s one of those “typical” stories of living in Hawaii in some ways:
We’re an island nation, so resources are limited.
That means, people fill in a lot and do more than one thing. In the case of my acting, it does sometimes lead to less than stellar quality even if it gets the job done.
We’re full of aloha.
That means, we share a lot and that includes leads on opportunities. There is more of a playful energy, than a strict “must do it perfectly” energy.
We’re a visual paradise.
Well duh, but that also means we have a lot of media productions that take place here, and per above, a limited number of people to fill the necessary roles. So we go with the flow and get it done!
The interesting thing is that like Marti, the woman in the film, I too swam in the ocean every morning with my dog for 9 years. (Only stopped when I moved to north shore Maui and got a pool.) We made this film at the very same beach where I often swam. For many people, the experience of the film might have given me pause. But for me, it did not. I am a water woman, through and through. Perhaps it is also because I was clearly “acting in a drama.” Even though it was based on a true story, it was not my story so I didn’t have to plug into the fear-based wiring of being eaten by a shark.
One of the down sides, in my opinion, of social media, is how some people plug into OPD’s (other people’s dramas) and then go downward emotionally, when there is no real connection. Instead, we can look at them simply as “other people’s dramas.” You can be an observer and maintain a personal distance. This neutrality actually allows you to contribute a clarity of thought, if desired, rather than being thrown off your own balance. It is not actually “heartless” to avoid piling on with the “Oh, how horrible!” comments. It can be conscious and compassionate.
Sometimes #ShitHappens beyond your control. But more of the time, you get to choose your own dramas. I ask myself today, what dramas do I choose or not choose for today? Speaking of drama, if you want to see my shark scream, scroll down for a 2-minute segment from the film, “Tiger Shark Attack: Beyond Fear.”