ARTICLE: The Cinema Inside Your Head


“The world is what you think it is.” – Serge Kahili King

cinemaHumour me for a moment and just imagine that you’re in a cinema. Everything around you is dark apart from the screen that’s showing the latest blockbuster suspense thriller. You’re sat there wide-eyed, holding a piece of popcorn in front of your open mouth as if it’s frozen in time. It’s just getting to the really juicy bit – the girl is being followed, but by who? And what will be her fate when they catch her? She trips! The chilling music gets faster and louder; the camera zooms right in on the action. You hold your breath; your heart beats faster; you push back into your seat; the anticipation is almost too much to bear…..

And then all of a sudden, for no apparent reason, the music changes to the Benny Hill theme tune! The colour gets really bright and vivid, and the film speeds up to double time so that the characters start to move in a kind of comical fashion. Now, as you look up at that screen, no matter how hard you try, it’s impossible to continue the feeling of fear or anxiety about what is unfolding in front of you. It just seems ridiculous.

I’ve used this kind of cinematic example many times before with my clients and workshop attendees, because it’s a perfect metaphor for understanding how our experience of life is created purely through the projection of our thoughts. Now, replace the movie of the girl being followed with that other movie of how everyone will laugh at you if you fail. Or how about the one where you know you’d be rubbish at a particular task so it’s not worth even attempting it? Or the one about your boss firing you; or the one about how someone might somehow expose you as being a fraud; or how your parents never take you seriously; or what ever movie you like to run on a regular basis.

Notice how compelling and realistic you make it, and as you replay the scene over and over, pay attention to how you begin to feel in response.

But it’s just a movie; a thought.

If you knew that you were the Director of that movie what direction would you want to take it to make it more enjoyable to watch? Horror movies are great for entertainment, but when they are about your own life, that’s another story. Wouldn’t you rather be watching a ‘feel good’ classic?

One of the best explanations I’ve discovered for simplifying the whole subject of how our thoughts create our realities comes from the success coach, Michael Neill. He describes that there are three vital ingredients that must exist in order for us create a life-like experience of the world around us. They are Energy, Consciousness and Thought.

To understand the part that these three elements play let’s go back to that cinema, only this time I’ll meet you up in the projection booth. This is where the magic happens.


Consciousness is like the projector itself. It sheds lights onto whatever happens to be in front of it at the time, in this case a reel of film, and the result is the image that you see on the screen. It only ever shines the right amount of light to illuminate the area of that screen with everything remaining in darkness. To put it another way, if it’s not lit up, it’s unconscious.

Of course, nothing could be projected if the projector is not plugged in because it needs electricity. You provide the energy to your consciousness by simply being alive. Some would regard this energy as being your life-force, your essence, your soul or your spirit. You’re plugged in!!

Thought is the reel of film itself. We each have thousands of thoughts every day, most of which glide by harmlessly in the background of our awareness, but some make it to the front of the projector. They get illuminated and magnified larger than life onto that big screen, complete with panoramic and Technicolor qualities and dramatic score and sound effects. Before long you are gripped by the emotional impact of the compelling plot, this is real on-the-edge-of-your-seat kind of stuff.


But here’s the thing. What if you don’t like the movie? It’s no good going up to the screen and trying to get it to change from there. No amount of shouting at the characters or being frustrated with the storyline is going to alter the ending; that has already been decided. The world doesn’t care what thoughts you project out onto it, in the same way that a screen doesn’t care what images is cast onto it.

The only way to swap this movie for a better one – say a comedy or a romance or one where the good guy always wins – is to realise that that up there in the projection booth is a library of film to suit any taste. All you need to do is go up there, select the one you’d like to watch and put it in front of your projector.

When you own the cinema, you get to choose the movie, and the quality of the movie you choose determines the quality of your life. So wouldn’t it be a good idea to start getting really picky about what you want to watch?


Be a film critic this week. Plan to check-in with yourself at least a couple of times a day and review the kind of movies you are running in your head. Are they ones you’d pay good money to see, or would they win ‘Worst Picture’ at The Raspberry Awards. If they are more “boo-hiss” than “bravo”, change them for better ones. It’s that simple!

You might want to take it a step further and decide to play the leading part in the most wonderful adaptation of your life.