I recently attended a workshop on “How to improvise your life”. Originally this type of workshop was catered towards actors, yet the trainer took it further, made participants look into improvising in the normal day-to-day life. I was intrigued by the title and content, so I tagged along, with no idea whatsoever on what to expect.
And I was surprised, because coming to think about it, not only actors improvise, no we all improvise on a daily basis, perhaps even more so when dealing with children. We just often do not put a name to it, or simply call it life, or challenge, or adventure or it-is-what-it-is. But bottom line is that we are all being asked to improvise daily, and some cope with it better than others.
Looking into the definition what to improvise means leads us to the following:
- to create and perform spontaneously or without preparation
- to produce or make something from whatever is available
The word improvise goes back to the latin word improvisus, meaning unforeseen.
I personally like this more, this unforeseen. Because that is what we have to do daily; react to unforeseen happenings, to other people’s behaviours, kids moods, world happenings, the weather, traffic, feelings and emotions, etc.
Coming to think of it; with all that we come across on a daily base we should be the masters of improvising – yet often it is precisely those situations that leave us rattled and off balance!
Because we want to be in control, we want to hold on!
We do not want to improvise, we want to be in charge!
But the more flexible and open we allow our mind to be the more easily and smoothly we can react.
During the workshop we had several group exercises and for one of them we were paired into twos. We got one pen, one paper. Then we were instructed to draw a face onto the paper, without any communication, having to change the pen back and forth after every single stroke. Now, we all set up with a different idea, different vision yet with every single stroke by the partner we had to rethink, readjust – to improvise – as it wasn`t the way we may wanted it to be. While this was with a pen and paper only, it does in fact represent the real life around us, because it is up to us individually how we chose to react.
Do we decide to do it my-way, to go with the flow and to be open,
to resent and get upset or to create something new and great together?
In terms of improvising and real life I wonder if we all cannot feel a bit more at ease if we allow ourselves more to letting go instead of desperately holding on?!
Have a lovely day,