Monday, January 19, 2009

Chapter one...why not?


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.


  1. That's fantasticly phrased. I have the same problem: self-judgment that limits my ability to live in the moment.

    If you find any exercises or activities helpful for learning to live more in the moment, please blog about them!

  2. Here's the freaky thing—what's working for me so far is just reminding myself that I should. Which, technically I guess, is stepping out of the moment...but only for a second.


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