I’m going to try out this Improvisation for the Spirit book. As icked out as I was by the book jacket (WTF does a rubber chicken have to do with improv? Or my spirit, for that matter?), author Katie Goodman has a playful, authentic voice, and the philosophy is one I agree with but don’t do a particularly good job at living day to day.
As in The Artists Way, this book comes with a recommendation to take on a chapter a week and try to internalize the lessons in each one. Chapter 1: The Spontaneous Life, promises to “restore your creative self-confidence, discover your potential, and have fun doing it!” (Another barrier to enjoyment: Are there going to be exclams everywhere? Because…DUDE.)
SIDE NOTE: I’ve always been skittish about the potential of a blog turning into a diary—have not been interested in processing deeply personal stuff on line at all. I started it with two goals: To write enough to rediscover the kind of authentic voice I had when I wrote all the time, and to babble about improv here instead of inflicting it on friends and family.Anyway, each chapter contains exercises, questions and some journaling starters. I won’t be posting my results here (you’re welcome), but if something particularly helpful or surprising comes out of a chapter, I’ll probably talk about it a little. What the hell.
This week’slesson: Being in the moment.
Now as an improviser, I’m pretty sure I know what this means. But part of the work is to figure out an area of your life where you wish you were more spontaneous.
Turns out that since I can remember, I've been a worrier—to the point of getting stomach aches, even when I was in nursery school. I mostly outgrew it, but one place it sticks around is in relationships. I sometimes worry enough about what people think of me that I think more about what they might be thinking of me than I do about what’s happening in the moment.
It happens with friends, family, coworkers…when I go out, when I have people over…in classes, rehearsals and shows. Not all the time, but often enough. It’s probably connected to being 50% introvert and 100% Army brat, and that fabulous combination of being really uncomfortable in unfamiliar situations and always being the new kid. Two-fer!
So my “practice” for this week: Live in the moment, without self-judgment, with whoever I’m with.