Please stop thinking.

In the winter of 2013, I had a thought.
Or, to be more precise, it had me.
It went like this.
If someone I loved was stuck in her story.
Suffering with a desperate, hopeless life.
And, by accident, she lost her memory (her story).
Would I step in and rewrite it?
In her mind.
Or, would I be honest and tell her “the truth?”
Her history.
More than two years later, that crazy idea is now a screenplay.
And I’m now a screenwriter.
Because I wrote a screenplay (pretty simple, huh?).
But it never would have happened.
If I had really thought about it.
Because thinking is reductive.
Thinking wants to simplify everything.
Including you!
Why are you writing a screenplay?
Who are you to write a screenplay?
Do you know how many people are writing screenplays?
But you’re not what you think.
You’re what you do.
You’re not simple.
You contain multitudes!
Thinking about whether or not to do something brings nothing but doubt.
If you really feel it, you should do it.
“Okay,” you’re probably thinking.
“But shouldn’t I think about how to do it.”
Sure, but not much.
Because, you’ll never figure out the how before you begin.
Knowing will never lead to doing.
Doing is what creates knowing.
And growth.
That was one of many discoveries while writing “I am Keats.”
So please stop thinking and grow!
You are not what you think.
You are what you uniquely feel.
And, especially, what you do with those feelings.
Right now, I am Keats!
Who are you?

You are a Kōan.

A kōan is a statement that seems like a riddle.
One the reasoning mind can’t solve.
So Zen Buddhists use them to blow people’s minds.
And open up a crack to intuitive enlightenment.
A sudden, greater truth about life.
“What‘s the sound of one hand clapping?”
People think that’s a kōan.
But I knew a guy in high school who solved it.
He raised one hand.
Relaxed his wrist and long fingers.
And then whipped the hell out of it.
Causing his flapping fingers to slap against his palm.
One hand clapping!
It was hilarious.
But that’s not the actual kōan.
Instead, Hakuin Ekaku Zenji said:
“We all know that when we bring our two hands together sharply, they create a loud sound.  What is the sound of one hand?”
With all due respect to Zen orthodoxy, it really doesn’t matter how it’s phrased.
What matters is the spirit the kōan evokes.
And so the guy with the limber wrist?
He didn’t know it, but he was enlightened.
He let his unique spirit emerge.
And everyone around him lightened up.
Here’s something I bet you didn’t know.
You are a kōan.
You sit and question who you are and what “it” is all about.
And your reasoning mind struggles.
Because it’s an insoluble puzzle.
It’s like pausing a movie before the end.
And trying to figure out what the protagonist is all about.
Who is this Dorothy Gale, really?
A lost, timid girl from Kansas?
What’s she all about?
You can’t tell.
Not until the end.
So what really matters is her spirit.
What she evokes!
In herself and in others she encounters.
Kierkegaard wrote, “Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.”
There you have it!
Life is a kōan.
And so are you.
So stop trying to solve it.
Crack open your hardened mind.
And let your unique spirit shine through.