The Shift

Preparing In The Green Room Of Life

– Posted in: The Shift Ezine

preparinginthegreenroomoflife No one knows for sure why it’s called the green room. There is a theory that in 1599, London’s Blackfriars Theatre included a room where actors waited to go on stage, and it was painted green.

I have waited in many green rooms. I have waited in theatre green rooms, pre-speech green rooms, and green rooms for TV shows. Once I waited in a green room for the Sally Jesse Raphael show. Yes, way back when.

A few years ago I wrote a book about waiting in green rooms. I didn’t know it at the time, but recently I realized the habit of waiting is all about green rooms.

It’s not necessarily a bad thing.

There is a reason actors wait in green rooms. They are preparation rooms. This is the place where you do what needs to be done to fulfill the purpose for being there. The purpose is not the green room. It’s the preparation room, not the reason.

If you never left the room, you would never have fulfilled your purpose for being there.

Like life.

We prepare in green rooms to step out into our lives, with new ideas, events, and happenings. Sooner or later, something or someone, often the still small voice, calls us to leave the green room and step out into the stage of life.

If we never step out, we have not fulfilled our purpose.

What if we don’t want to step out of the green room? In theatre, too bad. The show must go on. Sometimes a substitute can take your place, but the audience is always disappointed. They came to see you.

In life, we can refuse. Ideas are served by many people, and the ideas we are meant to fulfill will be taken up and played out by someone else.

But, it won’t be the same.

Each one of us brings our own interpretation to our role in life. Life is a tapestry filled with diverse colors and patterns. Remove the one called you, and there is a hole, or a missing color, where you were meant to be.

And for us, if we take the time and have the courage to feel what we have missed, it is far worse than the fear that kept us from stepping out and taking our place in the theatre of life.
Because, although fear takes many forms, it is always fear that suggests we are not good enough, or we don’t know enough, or no one cares enough, so why leave the room?

Fear is always present in one of its forms. Fear can propel us forward, and fear can hold us back. In the end, if we want to fulfill our purpose we have to make fear our friend.

As I prepare to record a podcast with someone, I feel the familiar tinge of fear. I would be worried if it was not there. It would mean that I have not stepped out onto the stage. I would have fooled myself into thinking I have left the green room.

Waiting in the green room of life is a pause.

It’s a pause to gather ourselves, learn what we need to learn, and wait for the signal to walk out the door. Waiting in the green room as a place to hide is not the same. We have all met people who won’t leave the green room.

If I could, I would wave a magic wand, and everyone would be released from their self-imposed prison of waiting for something to happen. Sometimes we wait for the calling to leave the room to go away. It won’t. But, it will get harder to hear, and one day we might find ourselves in a green room where the action we were preparing for went on without us.

There are many green rooms in life.

All of them are for pausing and preparation. No matter what stage you step out onto, small or big, it is your life that is waiting.

Listen, I bet you hear the call right now to set out onto some stage of your life. You are ready. You are prepared. And although fear may walk with you, the voice that called you has your best interest at heart and has already paved the way for you to succeed.

We are waiting. Can you hear us applauding your arrival? It’s you we want to see. Ready? Go!

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