Practical Improv: Spontaneous Play for Survival and Success

 Real Skills Workshop - Community Event

RS 2021-10-24 Improv-1200x630

Practical Improv: Spontaneous Play for Survival and Success

Real Skills Workshop: Clarity and Action

Hosts: Rick Wilkes (@Rick) and Cathy Vartuli (@Cathy)

:point_right: See workshop replay below


I think this is a deep concept!! Play embodies so many aspects of both genius and wisdom it seems to me…not to mention adaptation, humour, resilience, calm/confidence. I’m really looking forward to hearing what you’re cooking up!!


Yes, and… is the core energy of improv.

The Yes is the acceptance of what is…

The and is the flow that comes from your inner response expressing as actions and pauses.

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Institute of Child Psychology

Play is truly incredible… as play therapists we often say that “play is a child’s language.” When you truly engage in non-direct play with a child, they are able to express fears, build confidence, and move towards greater mastery. Play has been shown to literally light up the prefrontal cortex which is responsible for regulating, planning, perspective taking and problem solving.

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Fred Rogers was quite a man…I always think of this acceptance speech he gave.

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…Special Ones who have loved us into Being…

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I know!! What a beautiful concept…each time I hear him speak those words (and I do listen to this speech a couple or three times a year) it wallops me with the same intensity…that speech always makes me tear up and softens me in all the places I feel that I’ve hardened against the world. To my mind he exhibits a mastery of emotional thriving.

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Let’s Play! …for Survival and Success

The essence of improv is the “Yes! …and…”

The Yes is our acceptance of what is right NOW. The “…and…” is where our clarity and creativity is given expression.

We’re not in control. (tap tap tap)

We ARE able to influence and choose from a surprising palette of choices available to us.

  • Are we attracted or repulsed by what is?
  • Do we want to rise or slide, engage or depart?
  • Does our body want to lift this weight, or be lifted with the support of another?

Our next Real Skills Workshop explores the essences of improvisational living as an attitude and practice we can adopt for thriving and engaging. Cathy and I hope you’ll join us!

Please, if you CAN support the workshop with a payment of $7.11+ – it matters and Thank you!

If you can’t… by all means still join us for free, as our honored guest.

When we play in practical ways, there’s a quality of spontaneity and co-creation that is so… enlivening – so let’s play Together!

:point_right: See workshop replay below

But I want to be in control!! (and I’m not!)

I used to believe I could control situations. With “proper preparation and skill” bad things would not happen. Not only that, it would go my way!

If it didn’t go my way, I would feel out of control.

This lead to… Rampant Perfectionism!

Perfectionism and feeling out of control are, honestly, signs we’re in Primitive Brain Mode. We lose so much intelligence when we are. We expend enormous energy trying to be in control, to make life fit our vision of how it should be…

We’re left exhausted and devoid of play.

Practical Improvisation is a radically different. It activates flow and choice. Our creativity comes back online, We can even put out a lot of energy and end up even more refreshed than when we started!

Practical Improv includes skills like:

  • Grazing
  • Telescoping Awareness
  • The Gap
  • The Powerful Pause
  • Contrast
  • Convergence and Divergence = Attraction and Repulsion
  • …and more

When we play in practical ways, there’s a quality of spontaneity and co-creation that is so… enlivening – so let’s play Together!

:point_right: See workshop replay below

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Unknown and uncontrollable… does not mean we cannot influence, move with, pause, express, co-create, even fly with support and ease!

See y’all today!

Practical Improv: Spontaneous Play for Survival and Success - Workshop Recording

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Practical Improv: Spontaneous Play for Survival and Success

[00:00:00] Spontaneous play for survival and success. Isn’t it interesting to like put, play and survival in the same sentence? Hmm. Wonder what’s going to happen today. I’m driving now. I hear with Kathy Vartuli from the intimacy dojo and co-creator and play master, driving now to welcome Cathy. I’m glad to be here at the thing.
[00:00:30] This topic is really fundamental and I don’t see a lot of people talking about it. Um, I think we kind of where we’re taught so much in our society that we should be serious and sit still and do things right the first time. And I think this goes really well with our call. We have on Tuesday about what if I’m wrong?
[00:00:48] Because I think there’s a resonance between these because so many of us are trying to get things right. And we’re very rigid about it. And improv and play is about exploring and trying things and going well, that didn’t work. What did I learn from this? How can I do it different or better? And even these calls working out, we’re talking before we started, like, we really improv off each other.
[00:01:10] And off of you, like, this is a, like, we’re, co-creating these calls together. And we don’t have, we have some points we want to touch on, but we’re really creating it with, with everyone here. And I just love that flow and that the joint ease that comes through that.
[00:01:29] It was interesting. Like when you put out an energy and an invitation, sometimes you get back, oh yeah, I need this. Um, I got like one reply from two emails. Um, and I appreciate that, but mostly this idea of play an improv, just kind of like what, and when people don’t know what something is and they don’t know that they want it or need it, um, it can take many different repetitions, many different times.
[00:02:02] I believe that part of our improv. With thriving now and real skills workshops is that we are setting up this possibility for repetition over time. So we put out something like practical improv play, um, for survival, huh? Huh? Yeah. And down the road, someone’s going to hear something about improv and the yes.
[00:02:26] And approach to life. And they’re going to hear something about play and they’re going to hear something about the primitive brain and how it really takes away our play and takes away our capacity to be creative and narrows the field down to a fight, fight, fight, flight freeze. So, um, you know, thank you for being, if you’re watching this, um, on the replay.
[00:02:55] Thank you. And if you’re here, Thank you so much. Um, the chat is open. You’re welcome to add energy, ask questions, get feedback. Um, so I only have one contact in, so I will probably try to watch. Uh, the pat with the eye that can actually see it, but I may completely misread what is coming there, Kathy Kathy, to help.
[00:03:25] Um, we have, we have three things we’re going to touch on. We’re going to have a break at, um, somewhere before one hour is up for about seven minutes. We’ll continue for about 90. Please take care of yourself. Part of improv, I believe is that when you are struck by, uh, something that would be better for you to pause, to take a break, to turn off your video, to turn on your video, to, um, just please, uh, no.
[00:03:55] A big part of emotional freedom is the freedom to really feel the impulse and follow it. So our container here is not one where you knew to be here. You, you must stay in the container. Um, uh, we are, we are part of a community, a circle if you like. And it feels good to you to imagine that there are people that are present now, and there are people that will be showing up in time, traveling through a replay from all different corners of the world that are part of our community.
[00:04:27] Um, if that is pleasing to you to imagine that, um, there’s room in the circle for you. And there’s room in the circle for those that are drawn to this work. Um, we’d love to hold space that you’ll get what you most need to hear, whatever amount of time you are here with us. And I just, I love this whole concept.
[00:04:47] Someone shared that a school is so serious and I am someone who has pretty much lived my whole life serious and scheduled and in school going from thing I have to do to thing I have to do to think I’m almost late for, to this other thing. And during COVID the last I’ve been working from home more and I’ve been really trying to the last two days, I had nothing scheduled and I just really tried to give myself permission to go from what, what did my body want to do?
[00:05:15] What was internal and shoe for me versus what should I do? And it’s been really like, I don’t have good muscles for that yet. I’m getting better, but it’s like, Oh, I want to go sit outside, but I really should do work, but I want to go outside. I’m going to go outside and try to work those muscles a little bit and just let my life be a little more organic and natural and flowing for myself.
[00:05:38] And that’s, I think that’s a form of play to a meditative kind of living where what’s true for me right now. Do I have, can I give myself some space for that? All right. So I’m drawn to still start with a little exercise, um, and you’re welcome to play along. I’d like you to imagine that you have a rock, it’s your rock and it’s substantial and you’re moving it.
[00:06:12] And then it’s stuck and the things that you were doing to move it are not working. What’s the first notion that comes to you about what to do now, doc.
[00:06:34] And if you want to visualize or kind of feel like
[00:06:42] that’s the reality, right?
[00:06:49] And if you want to share something in the chat, that would be welcome. Your rock is stuck. What do you do? What’s the first thing impulse that comes to you. So we already have fears, fear, peers, and bad words. I get frustrated and want to force things I asked for help. I’ll sit on the rock. Here’s in bad words.
[00:07:13] Thank you. Um, like all of those, they’re part of our palette of possibilities and our primitive brain has a very narrow palette. So like getting frustrated. Now we can sit on the rock in a different state of being. So just to like a part of me, if I plopped down on the rock and I’m feeling despair, it’s a sort of freeze.
[00:07:41] It’s like, I’m done. I can’t do anything. Well, my rock I care forever.
[00:07:54] I could do that. I’ve done that around a project, um, technology, um, fixing a toilet, um, things that were my rocks at various points. So if your reaction has a fight like mine is I’m going to push it harder. And if pushing doesn’t work, I’m going to pull on it harder. Push, pull, push, pull. Guess what? I’ve noticed that in my life, if I hit something where it stuck, I will tend.
[00:08:30] The fall into that pattern, which is kind of an alternating between freeze and fight, right? Or I’ll just like, I’m outta here, right? Runaway. Like this isn’t gonna work. I’m, you know, stupid rock to begin with. I was working on a problem, a really big rock. A lot of people were relying on me and, um, it wasn’t working.
[00:09:00] I grabbed my Dell laptop and I threw it into the Creek behind my house. That’s sort of a flea bite block, whatever they
[00:09:20] had to pay for a new laptop, you know, that’s okay. I learned, and, and the next time that I ran into a rock with my laptop, I started tapping and we use EFT tapping. If you’re new to it, driving And my first impulse right now is to tap for whatever you’re feeling that may, may feel like, oh, that’s sort of a fight or flight response.
[00:09:50] Okay. Even the, when my rockets stock my rocket stack,
[00:10:01] I have this reaction. I have this react. Of course I do. Of course I do
[00:10:11] feel very playful. It does not feel very playful. Pardon me might want to fight it. Pardon me? He want to fight it said, pardon me, rain. We just want to blow it up. Part of me may want to just blow it up. I went away, throw it away, run away, run away, or give up or give up.
[00:10:38] I like to blame the rock too, because of course it is its fault. Stupid rock.
[00:10:49] I’m open to some more playful possibilities. I’m open to some more playful possibilities. You’ve got to be kidding. You got to be kidding. My rock is stuck. My rock is stuck. Again. This is serious. This is serious. My rock is stuck by rock is stuck. This is serious. This is serious. I can’t play here. I can’t play here.
[00:11:16] I’ve never been allowed to play in a situation like this. Never been allowed to play in a situation like this out of your gourd. You’re out of your gourd. It doesn’t matter that it’s almost Halloween. It doesn’t matter that you’re out of your chord. You’re out of your gourd. Okay. Take a breath now. And there’s no right or wrong, but you went to the rock again.
[00:11:47] It’s stuck.
[00:11:54] Do you feel at all more resourceful? Like. Possibilities are a little wider. Could we do a round or two on some of the internal stuff that’s going on? Those are external actions and I don’t want to interrupt your flow, but karate chop, even though I’m clearly not good enough to live this rock, even though I’m clearly not good enough to move this rock.
[00:12:20] And this is my lifelong shame, and this is my lifelong shame. It’s my fault. There’s even a rock here. It’s my fault. There’s even a rock stuck here. And they certainly my fault that it stuck really hard and it’s certainly my fault, but it stuck really hard. This is evidence that I’m a failure. This is evidence that I’m a failure and I feel deep, deep shame, and I feel deep, deep shame.
[00:12:44] Top of that. This rock is stuck. I bet it’s obviously a personal feeling. It’s obviously a personal failing and I refuse to look at it another way. So I have so much shame about the stuck rock. I have so much shame about the stuck rock under the eye. How can I possibly play when there’s evidence of my failing?
[00:13:08] How can I possibly play with this when there’s evidence of my failing under the nose and everyone is going to know, and everyone’s going to know, she didn’t believe me and blame me. I’m blaming me. Join the party, train me day under the arm. Everyone’s going to know everyone’s going to know top of the head and maybe it’s not as bad as I think it is.
[00:13:41] And Kathy says, maybe it’s not as bad as I think it is. Just take a deep breath and see what you’re noticing coming up. I think a lot of families use blame as a way to avoid feeling things. So one of my, I remember very clearly if I stubbed my toe when I was little, rather than getting any sympathy or like, oh, they’re there.
[00:14:03] My mom’s thing was if you would just worn slippers, like I told you to you, that wouldn’t happen. And my little brain’s like slippers or not, the slippers we had were really soft and. Let us still hurt our toes. Like, but there was a blamey like if you’d just done something differently or better, this wouldn’t have happened.
[00:14:22] And I think there’s a belief behind that, that if we were perfect, if we were good enough, we would never get hurt and no one would have to deal with our disappointment or a pain. So when we had the car was perfect enough, even if I was perfect, perfect enough, this would never happen. This would never happen.
[00:14:40] Oh man. Is that a trap, man? Is that a trap? I’m so tired of that trap. I am so tired of that trap. I was only perfect enough. It felt like it was only perfect enough rocks would never get stuck rocks and never get stuck. I was only perfect enough. That was only perfect enough. Rocks would always move easily, easily, even uphill, even a failed.
[00:15:10] They would defy gravity. They would decide gravity. They would defy reality. They would decide reality, perfectionism, defies, reality, or sexism defies reality. I’ve been trying to defy reality. I haven’t been trying to define reality is here to move a really big, really big rock.
[00:15:43] Yeah. I think if we let go of the sheds and the blame they start having, when we’re trying to, and I think we do, we’re taught to do, to try to distort reality, to make people around us be comfortable when the reality is the rock might be really stuck right now. And when we stop trying to pretend we have energy to actually look directly at what’s happening.
[00:16:03] And see the reality, and then we start seeing different solutions. So as long as I’m pretending and putting a lot of energy into distorting it and trying not to blame, trying to avoid the shame in term internally, I can’t see what’s there to try to change it or fix it. Or, you know, as, as Jean put, you know, get a Dolly, you know, like, what do I need to get?
[00:16:25] Maybe I need to sit on the rock for a while. That’s okay, too. So, um, I think just letting go of some of the shame and the blame can really help us see things differently. I appreciate you like going internal and, and this is a part of improv. Um, practical improv looks at the external and what our reaction is, and it looks at the internal and what our internal reaction is.
[00:16:52] It can also look at like, what’s the communal, like how are other people? And I believe that an over. UN over, um, an overview of this that’s helpful to me is who’s in their primitive brain here. So if I’m needing to be perfect and have this rock not be stuck, then I’m being a perfectionist and that’s primitive brain.
[00:17:18] I’ll just say it. That’s my assertion. I’m open to discussion on that at some point again, the center thriving, but perfectionism my experience of it with clients, myself, particularly very intimately was that it’s primitive brain oriented as to avoid that shame and pain and other things that are, um, that are really, you know, like a threat to my, my wellbeing.
[00:17:45] Um, other people like a lot of parents don’t realize that. But they need their children to be perfect emotionally, physically, or not to be in trouble at all, not have any rocks, not, not bang their knee on a rock. And when they don’t, they react with this attitude. It’s very primitive brain. It’s fighting reality or wanting someone to get away.
[00:18:13] So that the reality of a situation isn’t right here, improv, if anything says, okay, this is what’s here right now. We’ve, we’ve often seen improv in different contexts, but like here, the rock, what we were doing with the rock isn’t working anymore to move it. Well, we call it stuck with stuck. It’s still, it’s not moving.
[00:18:46] It’s like, oh, okay. So you notice how like just the tapping of it makes the word stuck, feel less like what’s happening. It’s like, Hmm. The rock is still, what can you do with a still rock? Well, Jean’s already sitting on my rock. I might as well join her.
[00:19:11] Brought snacks. Marine brought paint. Now we have a painted picnic rock. Doesn’t feel so stuck anymore. Painted picnic rock. All right. What else? It’s like was all talked to the rock. Hey rock. Are you doing.
[00:19:35] You’re looking pretty big.
[00:19:39] They’re not moving anymore. You’re not moving anyway. What’s that? What’s that.
[00:19:48] And then you can, you can listen. And like, I can fantasize about listening to the actual rock for some people they might listen to their intuition, like is the scene changing? The scene has changed. The rock is now still. It’s not moving. So if you see if you’ve seen comedy improv, there’s a certain kind of dynamic.
[00:20:13] If you’re taking like comedy improv, there’s also drama improv. Um, and one of those fundamentals is the yes. And the rock is still, and you’re saying yes to what is showing up. Now if a bear comes up and pees on the rock, the scene’s changed. Nobody wants to push on anymore.
[00:20:47] It’s no longer stuck. It’s it’s the bears rock,
[00:20:54] bear claim, the rock and nature has spoken. Right. Um, so there’s a yes. And, and, and we can, we’re using this rock, but there’s a, there’s a quality of. The practical practice of practical is if I am in my primitive brain, it is my role responsibility. If I want to be in playful, improv, creative, responsive, rather than reactive, it’s my job to kind of loosens things up so that my, my palette of possibilities is broader.
[00:21:30] And Kathy, you know, we have the internal external, there’s also something called telescoping awareness. So telescoping awareness says, let’s look at this thing more closely, oh, there’s this little tiny rock on the other side. If I grab the stick and move it on how the rock moves. So like bringing it in closer, you’re telescoping in, you can also tune telescope out, get a broader view.
[00:22:02] You step back from it and you look at it and go like, you know, dang, that rock looks good. There, all it needs. Now are some flowers it’s been half painted, but you know, in the rain, it could be our picnic rock, our painted picnic rock. It’s actually a good place for it’s not even blocking anything. So I’m not saying that when you step back that it’s going to be a positive view, it could be like, oh, there’s more to it here.
[00:22:27] We’re actually going up a very steep incline and it’s going to get more challenging as we keep. Like, there was a little bit of like that type of thing, telescoping awareness, the internal and external. These are qualities of improv that if we can play with that, change the scene. I think our society too, trains us to be so linear and logical and goes straight to.
[00:22:54] They have to be very efficient and pushed the rock straight ahead. Versus I’m danced. Frick does a lot of contact in prompt dance. And so, no, she just moved to the side and like maybe the rock and for my life, I’m like, no, I’m going this way. When really my life is asking me to take a deep. Like maybe the rock would be very easy to decide and then go, like it could move in a different way versus the way I’ve decided it has to go.
[00:23:19] Um, and so like when we can kind of get out of our survival brain are really active, like gotta make this happen. All of a sudden it may or may not look like we thought it looked, but it could move really powerfully. And there’s, uh, one of the reasons I love this topic is we’ve actually, they’ve actually found out that play is very good.
[00:23:39] This improv, this play is really good for survival. And one of the ways they did this is they had these, the study. And I have to try to find the link for it. It was really interesting to read. They took these two sets of rats once that had been traumatized. And once that had not been traumatized and there were, they put them in these environments with cat.
[00:23:59] And the ones that had been traumatized were very rigid. They did not play, they were just trying to stay safe, but because they’re very rigid, they kept very set routines. They followed and they wouldn’t explore anything. They would just do what they, they kind of figured out. And after a little while the cats figured out what they were doing and ate most of them.
[00:24:20] So it was not, even though they were trying to be safe, they were not safe. The ones in the improv, the ones that improv the ones that weren’t traumatized and were willing to explore and play and do things. A few of them did get eaten, but they’re willing to try different things. And the cats couldn’t find, figure out their pattern.
[00:24:37] So over time, the rats became very resilient in this environment. They knew lots of different ways to get from point a to B. They knew how to switch the times around. They would work. You know, there was just lots of different things they did. And I think I know that for myself, as I was trying to survive in the world as a very traumatized person, I was very rigid.
[00:24:57] And if anyone tried to change my patterns, I would get angry at them and blame them. I would, I wouldn’t hang out with them anymore. And as I’ve healed that and relaxed, and my survival brain realizes I can handle a lot of different things. I’m willing to explore. I’m meeting new people and learning new ways to do things.
[00:25:15] And I’m not in a rigid pattern. So I’m actually much safer in the world than I was before. Even though I’m not as focused on safety, I’m willing to test things and try things. It doesn’t mean I’m going to like meet someone I never know before and go off for a week with them in a car somewhere. Like I’m not stupid about it, but I might say, oh, you’re pretty fun.
[00:25:35] Why don’t you come, we’ll meet someplace and have coffee and talk, or a meet you with a friend. And we’ll, we’ll start meeting new people, learning new resources. So I just invite you to notice that this improv, it can be really awkward. Um, Judy shared earlier how excruciating plate doing improv was because a lot of us want to do things, right?
[00:25:56] We want to get things perfect. Like Rick was talking about earlier. Our Collin Tuesday is a lot about you getting it wrong. Uh, don’t want to do that when we’re improving. We don’t necessarily know, and it can be very awkward. We can make mistakes. We can look really stupid. Maybe we’re like, I’m going to try pushing the rock from the other side.
[00:26:15] And we slipped and fallen. We end up face first in the mud and we’re covered with mud and we’re like, oh, that didn’t work. If we can say, oh, well, that’s pretty funny. I am, I have a facial now. Like, I’m all good. Um, if we can let it be like playful and we’re exploring this versus, oh my God, I failed. This is yet more proof than I’m a horrible person.
[00:26:33] It’s like, oh, pushing it from this side with my hands is not working. What else can I try? What did I learn from this experience? And just kind of taking it from there. So it can really be a huge survival mechanism to learn, to play and to allow yourself to play and build those muscles for that. Each time I hear about this, uh, this is the third, third time that I’ve heard about it.
[00:26:58] And I have this such compassion for the Eaton rats. Um, because I, I remember so much of my life that I was very rigid. Um, Would you lead us in a tapping around like, Hey, there’s a reason for my rigidity. I’m open to moving my energy a little bit differently.
[00:27:22] Your self and your body as much as feels safe. If you want to take a nice, gentle breath down to the bottom of your lungs, feel your button, the chair, wiggle your toes, karate chop, even though I’ve really tried to see as safe as I could, even though I really tried to say as safe as I could.
[00:27:46] My, my poor survival brain is trying to keep me alive. Our poor survival brain is trying to keep me alive and it’s done that by being really rigid at times and has done that by being really rigid at times, trying to be perfect, trying to be perfect. And I’m just tired of that. And I’m tired of that effort, even though I’ve tried to be perfect my entire life, even though I’ve tried to be perfect my entire life so I can possibly feel a little safe or I could possibly feel a little safe.
[00:28:20] It’s not actually making me safer, not actually making me as safe as I could be. It’s just wearing me out. It definitely wears me out top of the head. What if there isn’t a perfect, what if there isn’t a perfect, what if there’s a lot of play? What if there’s a lot of potential for play side of the, I don’t know the best way to do this yet.
[00:28:46] I don’t know the best way to do this yet under the eye. And I shouldn’t already know the best way to do this. How could I possibly know the best way to do this under the nose? This is a new situation. This is a new situation. And what if I could be open to discovery? I could be open to discovery Callebaut and learning as I go forward and learning if I go forward and in the end, what if I try things I’ve never tried before?
[00:29:16] Things I’ve never tried before top of the head, that light introduced me to new resources that might introduce me to new resources and a whole lot more ease and a whole lot more ease, take a breath and notice what you’re feeling. Now. Some of us will have a REA attached often to that perfectionism. It became a goal and always moving goal that if we could hit it, then we would finally feel safe.
[00:29:43] But none of us have, I don’t imagine any of us have felt perfect for more than about 30 seconds before something came and wiped us really good. It’s always moving goalposts that doesn’t actually exist. And I think that there’s a lot more to be found in, okay, I’m here with me and I can handle what’s or get, I can get help for whatever comes up.
[00:30:03] I’m not alone facing this. Um, and I have some really good skills I’m taking care of whatever comes up. I can handle being wrong. I can handle being embarrassed. I can handle struggling, um, or falling face first in the mud. And I have people in support around me to help me get through it. That to me is much more resilient and alive than trying to get perfect for those few seconds.
[00:30:30] Yeah. Never wanting anyone. I, so Margaret shared, I’m attached to, if I do nothing, I can’t fill in there for no one can criticize me. I think we’re afraid of the criticism and we’ll probably tap on that a bit on a Tuesday in LA I’m afraid of being wrong call. So few, if that’s something that comes up for you, we invite you to join us.
[00:30:52] There’s also the, the idea of, uh, of a space. Um,
[00:31:00] so I’m a contact improv dancer. I haven’t done like improv comedy. Um, I’m aware of the technique and the technology there that they use to create, uh, a place where the possibility for, um, humorous and fun things come out. Um, you could tell, I have a little bit of that nature just by the way that we are being in this workshop.
[00:31:26] Um, in compra contact, improv dance we get together and the container is, this is, this is awkward because it’s not choreographed. You’re your partners. You start with gravity and the floor. Okay. Those are your first two partners. And there’s, there’s no music as a partner most of the time and contact improv.
[00:31:55] So what happens? You kind of graze around. Sometimes you make a short contact and sometimes you don’t. As energetic beings, we’re making contact. As we move closer to someone, we can feel like maybe there’s an attraction and energy bringing us together. Maybe as we move towards someone, they move away. And there’s sort of this, um, movement like this, maybe one is leading and the other one’s following, maybe one is chasing and the other one is playing.
[00:32:27] Keep away. Maybe there’s a repulsion. Like no, these energies are part of potentially a part of every situation. And in protect improv dance, we come together with, uh, an idea that there’s a dynamic happening and underscore that underneath whatever’s happening. There’s this underscore. And for, for me and thriving now the underscore is we’re building awareness of primitive brain.
[00:32:58] So if someone goes into primitive brain, there are lots of other people. That instead of just being reactive, some of us might notice, oh, there’s primitive brain that lit up and we might ground ourselves and let that energy spread. Maybe someone acts out in primitive brain and that’s okay. Maybe I’m the one next that gets impacted by it or triggered by it.
[00:33:25] And that’s what, there’s this idea underneath of it that, um, play for example, is it can be silly. I can be silly. I can be profane. I can be across a very wide palette. And so can you, I mean, that’s part of our, our palette. We do ask and, and, and create a container where if someone were to get on and start criticizing someone else, that is a participant, we will pause.
[00:34:02] I’ll mute them. I’ll ask them to pause. I’ll mute them. If they can’t pause. Criticism is not part of our underscore. Now everyone can have their own idea of whether they’re attracted to a particular person, what they just said in the chat. Oh, I really, oh, thank you so much. There’s an attraction. You can also be repulsed.
[00:34:26] You can feel like, oh, well I’m really coming into congruence with what Rick and Kathy are talking about, or like, you know, I’ve taken what I need here and I’m diverging out and I’m going to be, I’m going to be going my own way with this, take the nugget and the. The big pile of rock. So like all of those things are part of improvisation.
[00:34:49] They’re part of emotional freedom to me to be able to converge and diverse, to be able to have contrast without it being, um, violent. I believe that, um, we can’t get away from our primitive brain. That’s not a failing if, uh, we get triggered, um, our relationship ideas in our primitive brain are around.
[00:35:15] Fitting in judgment status, but those are primitive brain things. I’d like to create a space where there’s more freedom to be spontaneous, to offer, to share wisdom as, as you all are doing. Yeah. And I think it’s also important that we don’t have to take giant steps. So if you’ve never done contact improv, you don’t have to do lifts the first time with somebody like I, the first time I did it, we were just rolling arms, back and forth and.
[00:35:42] Swain our bodies a little bit to figure out what was safe when we’re learning to play. We don’t have to like dive in the deep end. If it’s scary, if it’s scary to you. Oh, kitty. Um, Elizabeth cat is joining us and cats are great at playing and doing what they think they want. Irrespective of anyone else’s desires.
[00:36:02] Um, I don’t know about where you’re at Rick, but I’d love to work with some people that if you have blocks or fears coming up around trying some of this, I’d love to love to start tapping with folks. Uh, the call is being recorded. It’s going to be out on publicly available on the center. Um, so if you’re, if you do raise your hand, there’s a couple of things.
[00:36:24] Um, you don’t have to turn your video on, we welcome getting a chance to see you, but it’s not a requirement. Um, you can also go into participants and change your name to a nickname if you want. Um, so raise your hand is under reactions on computers, click reactions, then at the bottom below the video, and there’s a raise hand, uh, on phones and pads.
[00:36:46] It’s dot. And if not, then, uh, you know, Kathy and I can continue to talk about this because there are some things that we both have that we’ve, we know. There you go. We have a couple of hands. Would you like to pick first? So I need to do asked on mute because I thought that,
[00:37:09] hi, how are you doing? Oh, well, um, okay. I, um,
[00:37:23] like I said, when, when you started that tapping, I realized by rock was this whole past five or six months enrichment this huge move and change in my life. And then having.
[00:37:52] Change even more once I got here.
[00:37:58] Yeah. I just want to be able to more easily,
[00:38:12] what do you think of all this, the move and everything that’s going on? What are you noticing in your body?
[00:38:24] Just a lot of tears.
[00:38:32] Welling of emotions.
[00:38:48] Okay, karate chop. I am just really tired.
[00:38:56] This was a huge move. This was a huge move and it got more complex as I went ahead and it got more complex as I move forward with it. No wonder I’m tired.
[00:39:20] No wonder I’m tired. And just try it on. You can tell me if it doesn’t work or change the words I’m telling myself. I shouldn’t be tired.
[00:39:34] I’m kind of telling myself I shouldn’t be tired. I’m telling myself I should have handled this.
[00:39:46] I’m telling myself I should have handled this better and I should have anticipated all these problems.
[00:39:58] And I, I should have anticipated all of these problems and complexities, and that feels heavy on my body.
[00:40:11] It does feel heavy on my body. Top of the head. The truth is I planned a lot. Oh boy. The truth is I, I planned and scheduled and I, I had a lot eyebrow. I thought I had done all my due diligence. I had done all of my due diligence. Side of the eye and the universe threw some curve balls here. I got some major curve balls under the eye.
[00:40:49] I’m worried it’s because I didn’t plan well enough
[00:40:58] worried. Cause it’s because I didn’t plan well enough under the nose. What if I can be with myself right here and now, well, I can be with myself right here. I chin and notice I’ve actually made it through so far. I notice I’ve actually made it through. So her collarbone I’ve been running a marathon. I’ve been running a marathon under the arm and I might just need some rest.
[00:41:37] Top of the head. I’ll integrate this as I’m able to. Sorry, I didn’t hear I’ll integrate this. As I, as I’m able to all integrate this as I’m able to eyebrow, it would probably make more sense in six months.
[00:41:57] I’m pretty sure it’ll make more sense in six months side of the eye. And I might see some big advantages that I don’t see right now.
[00:42:09] I’m actually, I’m already seeing some advantages. Beautiful under the eye. I’m doing a really good job of taking care of me and my cat. I’m taking, I’m doing a really good job taking care of me and my cat and speaking of Sasha.
[00:42:34] She came out of her closet last night and slept with me. It doesn’t know how was even my cat notices. Things are settling down. Even my cat notices, things settling down, and this was a time of immense change. This was a time of immense change and trauma collarbone during the middle of a pandemic during the middle of a pandemic I’m in there.
[00:43:07] What if I did so much better than I even realize
[00:43:14] what if I did so much better than I even realized top of the head, and now I can let myself relax and recover.
[00:43:27] And the, how I can let myself relax and recover before I have to go onto my next project.
[00:43:36] Before I have to go on to project, just take a breath and see what’s coming up. Sasha has come out of the closet. That’s a big thing. Oh, it was huge. Um, she’s been here with me in our new home for a month today, and
[00:44:08] I’ve been trying to be patient mostly with her, but I think I need to be more patient with myself. It’s a lifelong, he changed something from a house you’d been in forever. To a new Hawaii is beautiful, but it’s a very different place. Like for me, the culture was like, it was a culture shock. Every time we visited.
[00:44:33] Yeah, it is that too. So
[00:44:41] just allowing all these differences and
[00:44:52] I think our culture is really big on like finish one thing and dive into the next, there should be like maybe 30 seconds of at a girl. And then next thing, versus like, when we run a marathon, it’s okay to take a, a couple of weeks off or a month off to like let her, we don’t have to run another marathon the next weekend.
[00:45:10] And this was a month, many months, long marathon, emotionally, physically.
[00:45:19] And just having some patience for yourself. I notice for myself when I’m beating myself up about not getting better, faster, I don’t get better, faster versus if I’m like, oh, I’m beating myself up. But this was a big deal. It’s okay for me to have a little bit of time to relax. Actually, my resilience is more and that’s a muscle.
[00:45:38] It’s like a meditative, oh, I’m beating myself up now. Can I come back to gentle presence with myself? What is it I actually need right now? And just constantly like just, oh my my mind went back to beating. I’m not going to bring myself back up, back here. And that builds that muscle. Each time you do that,
[00:46:00] my body’s feeling
[00:46:07] relieved. I’m happy that I’m. Open to the idea being gently. Okay. Where it is, right? Yeah. Yeah. I think just, I get impatient with myself too, but it is okay. Like they talked about relationships. You should, like, if you spent six months in a relationship, it’s okay to take six months to recover before you start dating.
[00:46:40] So this has been at least six months. Could you, you’ve given yourself less than a month now and you give yourself like, give yourself a couple more weeks.
[00:46:56] Thank you very much. I appreciate you sharing that with us. Welcome. Thank you.
[00:47:06] Um, we’re going to take a break here in a couple of minutes, but I want to just reflect, I want to reflect on some of the things that we’re seeing. Um, and one of the things that strikes me is that the opposite of dance improv is choreographed. And, you know, if you talk to a musician that has a greatest hit, one of the things that you’ll hear from them is that they’re tired.
[00:47:28] That every time that they go up on stage, all the fans want them to deliver it to them exactly the way it was recorded and that when they, if they do it a little differently, they can feel this ripple of discontent, even booze, right. Um, famous bands that have been around for decades. Um, a lot of times they’re just exhausted by having to be in the rig risk choreograph.
[00:47:57] Um, I remember dancing with, uh, a ballet. Student in contact improv. And one of the things that, um, this person said afterwards was like, wow, dancing with you is so different because you know nothing about ballet and, and this person’s instructor said, and you’ll notice that he didn’t look in the mirror every 35, every three to five seconds either.
[00:48:31] Right? Because I was in contact improv mode, which is not choreographed. And I believe that. Um, one of our challenges is that we we’ve learned to, we’ve learned to pass a test we’ve we tend to view things as plannable, um, you know, what’s your, how, where do you see yourself in five years? Um, Mars. I, if I have just as much likelihood of being in Mars as, as some other things that I might come up with that seem more realistic.
[00:49:09] And so like we, we can plan resilience and freedom recognize that as soon as we take a step of any kind, now, something that has shown up has changed. It may be external. It may be internal from the moment that Kathy and I connected, um, pre-call this call was changing. It always does. If we try to choreograph it down to a next, we’re going to have somebody volunteer that has this particular thing.
[00:49:49] Right? Um, and so like, this is what makes it so practical is because it actually exists. You walk outside and the weather changes in minutes. It may be more to your, the way that you’re dressed. It may be less, as soon as you start driving anywhere. As soon as you start writing something down, your energy is changed with every word, every sentence.
[00:50:19] Um, there was a post on, on the, the center today and, um, it was even recognized in the post that. I, I wanted to write this down, not to me, like the improv of going into a memory of situation and writing it down and allowing it to go where it goes and then reaching a place where it’s like, okay, I’m going to pause here.
[00:50:44] And then who knows, what’s going to come in response, maybe nothing, maybe a response that I am attracted to maybe a response that’s absolutely contrast. And, but that contrast is what gives me an idea, an idea of what’s right for me internally. So we’re gonna take a quick seven minute break. I’m going to pause the recording.
[00:51:12] Yeah.
[00:51:17] I’ll come back. And, um, yeah, there was a comment about like, there are things in life that we get together and we do choreograph and we may even choreograph doing the same show over and over again, the same words, the same dialogue, the same movements, the same staging, the same props. And that is a particular way of being, and there are certain jobs like the industrial job of old was you, did you put that tire on exactly the same way, a hundred times a day.
[00:51:59] And that was part of the agreement. That was the exchange. One of the reasons I look at this as a real skill to be practiced in a practical way, is that. You know, a lot of the way that we’ve been motivated is through primitive brain. The fear of being fired, the fear of failing. Those are drivers. They’re the, I’m going to keep pushing myself as if I’ve got this yoke on an, I need to keep pushing, pushing, pushing, and I, to me, I want emotional freedom for all of us.
[00:52:37] And part of that is more improv and play to structure that to even like rejoice in it, where we can find it. It’s not going to be everywhere. Um, I don’t just weave in and out of the lanes, even on the blue Ridge Parkway, when nobody is around, I, if there’s an agreement, stay in your lane around the curves, travel at a certain speed.
[00:53:02] Um, but the improv, whether even if we’re doing a choreography or a scripted. Okay. I’m actually in more pain today than yesterday, and I’m going to do the same. I’m doing the same script. The same choreography
[00:53:19] push is different than acknowledging internally like, oh, whereas yesterday I was really ready to do this thing that I do every day today. My improv is, is what? And you know that you’re an improv. If your choices are not limited to things that could be flagged as fight flight or freeze, if the options there are that you’re looking at all could be labeled as fight flight or freeze you’re in primitive brain, nothing wrong with that.
[00:53:54] It’s just a very limited palette. If, if you could say, well, I could pause. I could take a break here. I could. I could ponder ponder is not a primitive brain word. Curious is not a primitive brain word. If you can be in that sort of state of being and start filling out the possibilities like we did with the rock, we came up with dozen or more possibilities.
[00:54:24] The partially painted picnic rock just really appeals to me right now. I have no desire to move it until it’s time. So that’s, that’s something I wanted to, to clarify then contrast a bit like improv is a way of moving out of primitive brain to be more in spont tenacity. It can be, it can be Ernest. It can be something that matters to you.
[00:54:48] It doesn’t have to be filled with laughter joking or silliness and still be an improv. You can rise internally to improv. Um,
[00:55:00] thank you.
[00:55:04] I should be able to unmute there. Great. Um, so I actually throw them both at you. One is what I wrote about in the center and the other is what I do when I’m not stressed out is like I came home last night and had like two meals. Cause I just go eat like when I’m that stressed out. So I dunno if you can apply improv to, oh, let me just go eat because I’m, I’m just going to go into primitive brain because that makes me feel better.
[00:55:34] And I don’t have to think about what just happened.
[00:55:40] Um, so improv would say I’m going to eat. Cause that’s what I do, but I wonder how I might eat a little differently. How can I create in the moment with the food rather than I’m going to set and go straight forward is my thought like I’m going to eat this thing of pasta versus can I eat each moment and be a little bit present and see what else I might do.
[00:56:03] I really want to eat another bite of pasta. I want something else. What does my body need in this moment? Well, that’s one thing, but you can also like, oh, well I usually grab my, my, my food stuff and go and sit. Where, where, where would you normally sit? Right. Right, right. Okay. So yeah. So like, that’s, that’s a common one for me too.
[00:56:29] If I’m an improv alum, I’m like, okay, I need this food right now. That’s not really negotiable if like I’m triggered, but the improv says, and I think I’ll go sit on the back porch rocking chair, or, you know, that was such a shitty situation. I’m just going to go in the bathroom and sit on the toilet and eat my chocolate.
[00:56:56] Yeah. It’s, it’s more like the I’m not even hungry anymore. I’m just eating. Cause I don’t want to deal with it. So our, can you fantasize that I am stressed and hunger is one of the options, you know, I’m not even hungry, I’m just going to eat because I need that’s my medicine. Is there anything else that comes up that might not be, um, because that’s a flee when you’re eating that way, you’re running, you’re running from the feelings.
[00:57:30] So what’s something else that might be a possibility. Anything, I mean, besides doing that? Yeah, probably even if I just walked around the couch once, just to kind of interrupt the interrupt, the automatic. Yeah. I have some automatics. I have 50 years worth of automatics. I have 50 years worth of automatics 50 years ago.
[00:58:02] Walked around the couch. Maybe if I walked around the couch, that would be neurologically interesting. That would be neurologically interesting. That would be different. That would be different. I even ate while walking around around the college and AOL walking around the like, if I close my eyes and ate like a blind woman
[00:58:36] eight with my other hand. Yeah, that would be really interesting if I, with my other hand. Wow. What a pair of mittens on.
[00:58:51] Again, we, we get Groos people have complex trauma in our background we’ve we get into grooves. And so once a person is triggered, chances are the groove is going to play out. So one of the things that we can do is way more. When we’re not as triggered or triggered at all, can I just, as someone who’s struggled with food a lot, um, Margo, one of the things I’ve tried to do is instead of blindly doing that pattern, I try to bring a little bit of, I let myself enjoy doing it.
[00:59:31] And I often find I step out of it faster. So one of my things is when I’m super triggered wonder bread. Cause when I was little, that was something I could get that actually it does change the serotonin level in my body. So wonder bread to me was something. But I would say every day after school in high school, I would need a whole.
[00:59:50] Very mindlessly. So now when I really get triggered, I’ll, I’ll let myself have it. And I don’t say how much I can have, but I try to just really enjoy doing the thing I’m doing. And often after a slicer too, I’m feel very complete because I’m not fighting it and tuning it out. So I just want to add that as someone who struggles with that kind of pattern, I’ll, I’ll eat my bowls of cereal slowly, just, and just letting myself enjoy the fact that rather than I’d be like, oh, I’m doing this again.
[01:00:18] I’m out of control that there’s a lot of noise at myself. I’d be like, oh, look, I’m comforting myself. I’m doing this thing that helps my body relax and enjoying the sensation of it. That seems to break the fight flight freeze for me much faster than trying to. To change something directly ahead of time.
[01:00:36] I’m sorry to stop on New York. I just wanted to I’m problem. Right. You know, part of improv is that something comes up and you feel for where things are going, Margo, what are you noticing? Uh, there was a comment in the chat and said, I effing love cereal. I was married. My husband said if you would eat cereal every single day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and toast.
[01:01:05] That’s my favorite. Um, yeah. And I felt so criticized and, and, and just attacked by that person yesterday. It was just like, it was, that was just such a major. I didn’t do any of these things you’re saying. And yet. Yeah.
[01:01:26] And in improv, damn. If I’ve just had a dance with someone who really like, they gave me more weight than I wanted. Um, they were more like flailing around in their own processing. What happens next after that? Um, first of all, I’m going to, I’m going to diverge from them and then I’m going to be dropping into like, what’s my dance right now.
[01:01:51] Oh, it’s the cereal dance. Okay. And I want my special bowl, you know, this qualifies to take the special bowl down from the altar, going to a really gonna fill it to the brim or do you see how there’s a act of life and that kind of thing happens, you know, you’re what you shared. Um, we run into people that have really.
[01:02:26] Anxious attachment and when their need isn’t met or when we violate something that we wouldn’t have even expected to be, uh, a thing, um, improv to me, the practical quality of improv is, um, I want to maintain my dance. I want to be able to be with the energy and it was really unpleasant and I’m needing to tend to my body.
[01:02:53] I don’t want to engage with anyone else. I want to dance with my cereal. How might I move with my cereal? I’m going to sit on my, sit on my partially painted picnic rock and buy cereal. Even if it’s just in my imagination, that would change it. Do you see how that starts changing the groove? It doesn’t take away the medicine and what’s right for you.
[01:03:22] My guess is that if you add some more complexity to it, because your brain likes intriguing things, right? Is that if you added more diverse neurodiversity to the experience, do you think that that would help, um, process that through in a way that would be more, more you? And if I added like the eating my cereal in a different place, while I’m walking around the county, Is that what you mean by like forming a new neural pathway instead of the old three-way right.
[01:04:02] Just adding a little flavor to the neural, but the tradition, if we’re trying to change a pattern that is ingrained in us, the baby step is, well, I’m going to take three laps around the sofa, or I’m going to take, I’m going to take a bite and do a lap around the sofa. And then I can just sit and enjoy it.
[01:04:27] Something that tells your brain that you have more choice here rather than I got triggered. And so I have to do this. That’s my only pathway. So anything I’ve noticed. Like, and it is, it is really hard. Like Cathy shared too, to give myself permission to enjoy the food. Um, but sometimes after you take a couple bites, there’s this little window where it’s like, oh, you know, I really liked Sera.
[01:05:01] This isn’t so bad. Oh, a little blue for cereal. And you just do something. That’s a little different. What comes up for you? I mean, resistance to that, maybe a little bit like, oh, but this is, what’s always kept me safe. I mean, that’s what I’ve always done. Like even when I was a little kid that’s L let me just go eat cereal.
[01:05:28] Let me just go eat cereal. I’m not taking away. My cereal. Don’t take away my cereal. I’m not even beginning to try to take away my cereal. I don’t even begin to try and take away my cereal. I just want to feel more what, I just want to feel more supported.
[01:05:51] What would it be supportive that I get add to my cereal? What would they be supportive that I could add to my sorrow, especially if I couldn’t do it when I was a cute, let’s see if I can do it. When I
[01:06:07] come to mind, I just, I just want someone else to help me.
[01:06:18] Originary friends are always available to me. Have you thought of that?
[01:06:30] You’ll be able to say to someone, Hey, would you get me a bowl of cereal? And that person will understand what you’re asking for. And that’ll be a breakthrough. Right. Yeah. And in the absence of that, we’re still in improv or could be the idea that like,
[01:06:52] I refuse to take away peanut butter cups from my world. Okay. Like they are so attached to the freedom of having enough money and some sweetness and flavor that I’ve looked at it. And yeah, I don’t want to binge on them to the point where I get sick, but I assure you that with supply chain issues, I have three small, four ounce bags of dark chocolate, peanut butter.
[01:07:28] Now the dark chocolate is not the same as the receipts cups. That was an adaptation, some improv, right? And, you know, so when I do them now, it’s like, Ooh, what do I want with this? If I’m in primitive brain, it’ll already, the first one will already be in my mouth. Second one will be in my hand and there’ll be like, oh, what do I want to do with this?
[01:07:59] Actually, I want to warm it up. So it’s a little bit, or I’ll drop it in my cappuccino. You see what I’m doing? I’m saying, yes, I have these things. And I w I want to feel more of my own. Like I’m with more than just the rock rolling down the hill. Not sure when it’s going to stop. I want to feel more like I’m in the dance with this thing and my feelings and my creativity.
[01:08:43] If it were easy, then a lot of people would be open to improv. I appreciate that. You’re even open to talking about cereal, your S your cereal and you know, how it fits in your world. And I think it’s really important not to go too fast. So if you felt, if I noticed a few things, Rick was suggesting like switching from regular milk chocolate to dark chocolate, I was like, no, like.
[01:09:10] If you’re feeling that reaction, you’re not there yet. And it’s okay. There’s nothing wrong. And I think we really, it is important to listen to what is actually comforting. We don’t want to take away the comfort that these things add without having really clear pathways. Yeah. Healing, the albums are giving us really clear anchored pathways that actually give comfort in other ways.
[01:09:32] It’s great to increase the ways we get comfort. We never want to take away something that actually works. So that’s what I like. I’m I think I’m a step behind Rick and that, and like my biggest thing was can I really let go of some of the shame and blame and enjoy the comfort I’m giving myself. And I really appreciate it.
[01:09:53] Sasha said she wanted a real person. Like, I think that’s what I interpreted. Like I want someone actually there comforting me and encouraging me with that. And there’s nothing wrong with finding that with someone like, Hey, listen, I’m having a really rough time. I would like, could someone come over right now and just sit with me and hand me my series.
[01:10:14] Or could you, could you stop at the store, pick up this brand of cereal, this type, like, I want 2% milk, none of that almond shit, none of that, you know, you know, I want 2% milk and I want rice Krispies, a cocoa ones, not, not the cocoa puffs. There’s hurt my teeth. I want bees. And I want the big box. Could you come over with those?
[01:10:37] These are the brands. Here’s photos of them. We just bring them over and I will show you what bowl I went. Could you nurture me for this? Just, you know, like for, can we, can we try this? And could you sit there with me while I tell you how much that sues me and help me be present with my body as I’m seated with that, maybe it’s steaming with someone while you do that during, you know, if people aren’t connecting, it’s really okay to take this as slow as you can.
[01:11:04] Don’t shame yourself. If you can help it for not being more advanced, I’m going, I have some stuff going on right now. I typically don’t have wonder bread in the house. I have a loaf of wonder bread sitting on the kitchen table in case I need it right now. It’s not great for my body, but it’s great for comfort.
[01:11:21] So it’s okay to own that.
[01:11:27] Yeah. Elizabeth, could you ask, could you nurture me? And I think that’s a lovely thing to trade with people. Like I would love to have an hour’s worth of nurturing and I will tell you exactly what it looks like, because I know myself well, can I give you and let’s, let’s play in times when we get to say, no, I’m too busy today, or I have too much up, but that, that could be a great way to get that from each other.
[01:11:49] Can I do? And I know that you need to move on to someone else. There’s no way in hell. I’m going to ask for that.
[01:11:56] I’m just curious. Could you do it during a coaching call? If you, if you had a coach to do that with you, could you like bring the cereal and just sit there and. Um, I’m just not, I’m not so good. Okay. That’s one thing that helped me a lot, because I had so much shame around some of the foods I turned to and amount I ate to comfort myself and having someone sit there and very non-judgemental kind of say, oh, okay, can you tell me what you’re noticing as you eat this?
[01:12:22] Like helping me slow down and process the feelings I got was really healing for me. It was deeply shameful at first, and it was really healing as I went forward. So just something to try on, even a mirror in front of yourself, as you could slow down at that, it’s one way some people find helpful may not be for you.
[01:12:41] Okay. Thank you.
[01:12:46] It is incredibly intimate desk to be nurtured. Yes. So
[01:12:54] yes, Elizabeth you’re. Okay. Oh, thank you. Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness. So, um, I’m in school and I’m sure that you’ve all been like, yeah, we know you’re in school. Every time you show up, you’re still in school and every time you show up, you’re like, that’s what you want to talk about. But it’s midterm season.
[01:13:20] And I had not realized just how affected I am by everything Rick was talking about about if only I could be perfect enough bad things wouldn’t happen, but I have literally literally cried in class. I’m the only one who does. So I’m in a classroom of 10 people trying to intentionally put sharp objects into my friends.
[01:13:47] I’m an acupuncture student.
[01:13:52] So I’m just going to put out like, oh, look, that’s a size three. And it’s the body could channel that it’s connected with. I’m like, oh, of course we start here as we named the problem, because that separates the turbine from the clear now generally, I mean, that’s there, like that goes emotionally and mentally as well as physically, but that’s small intestine where we take in what is right.
[01:14:13] And true. I’d love to, I love that you’re sharing, but I want to give too towards. Yeah. So I cry a lot. I’m not, I’m not getting stuff the way people have my HR. I feel deeply shamed by it. And, um, I would really like. I would really like to show up for my points, my needling practical exam, able to locate the points.
[01:14:41] Even though, even though the last time I tried it, my professor was like, can you get closer to the bone? The last time my professor came over, she was like, yeah, that’s barely inserted. You need that sucker to go three inches in the hip or the bone, the muscle you’re like in your glutes. I have a really hard time hurting people.
[01:15:02] And I have a hard time being wrong because not only am I wrong, I cost them physical pain. Nobody wants about a needle on the bone. Even though I have this story, even though I have this story of the other people in my class are getting this faster. They are that the other people in my class are getting this faster.
[01:15:21] At least I think they are at least I think they are. Some of them may be scared, but silent. Some of them may be scared, but. Some of them may get it faster than I do. Some of them make it faster than I at least some of the things, at least some of the things and it’s all okay. It’s all. Okay. I’m comparing myself to my story of other people, comparing myself to my story of other people.
[01:15:47] No wonder I’m crying, who wonder I’m crying because my story about other people is pretty perfect because my story about other people is pretty perfect. I think everyone else in the class has got all of this. I do think everyone else in the class has all of this and that is complete bullshit. Bullshit.
[01:16:07] They’re probably as scared as I am. They are probably as scared as I am. They’re just not brave enough to share it.
[01:16:16] Do I have to say brave? You can try it and then you try a different word if you want. They just don’t show it top of the head. I compare myself to my story. I compare myself to my sister. I wrote my story is everyone in the class gets at a hundred percent. My story is that everyone in the class gets it 100% side of the eye, and that is absolute bullshit.
[01:16:39] And that, and then the, I, nobody gets at a hundred percent. Nobody gets it 100%. That is true. Nobody gets it 100% under the nose. There may be many that are more confused than I am. There may be some who are more confused than I am, and I’m comparing the inside of my head. I’m comparing the inside of my head, how I run to the outside of their face to the outside of their face under the arm.
[01:17:10] And the inside of my head is always going to be messier. And inside of my head is always going to be top of the head. No wonder I cry, no wonder I cry. I brown telling myself, I should feel like they look telling myself, I should feel like. Side of the eye and that’s impossible and that’s impossible. Mean I am projecting all kinds of perfectionism on them.
[01:17:35] I’m projecting all kinds of perfectionism and, and that energy isn’t getting in the way of me actually learning what I need to learn. And that energy is actually getting in the way of me learning what I need to learn and what if I could send comfort to myself? What if I could send comfort to myself?
[01:17:52] Hello? There, there, sweetheart. Under the arm, this is tough stuff. This is tough stuff. Nobody gets it a hundred percent. Nobody gets it a hundred percent. I wrote and you really care and you don’t want to hurt anyone. I don’t want to hurt anyone under the ice. So you can take this a step at a time. So I can take it a step at a time under the nose.
[01:18:18] None of us get it a hundred percent, none of us get it. And I’m here trying to make a difference. I’m here trying to make a difference. Collarbone. Maybe I can focus more on being of service. Maybe I can focus more on being of service under the arm, then how I look to my classmates and my teachers and my teachers top of the head.
[01:18:41] And then I might be able to learn this a little more easily. And then I may put a, learn this a little more easily. Just take a deep breath and notice how that feels.
[01:18:56] As long as I focus on how I look to other people I get in my own way really badly, I will stumble and not find the right words. If I can focus on being of service. Like if I was trying to impress everyone here with look how dynamic Cathy is, and you can get always the right words and she’d make a big difference, I will get in my way.
[01:19:15] And I will not be able to do this at all. Instead if I can be here and just slap myself, Hey universe, please let me say words that help. And even if I stumble at that, be of service to someone here, that’s, that’s what it’s about. And with those needles, like, yes, it would hurt if you put it in someone’s bone, but you’re not going to kill them.
[01:19:38] Okay. Be an hour, but you’re not doing heart or brain surgery. That’s true. And people volunteering, they might learn from that process. Oh, that’s true. So if you can give yourself a little leeway around like even a little bit, 10% more flexibility around if I’m not perfect, no one’s going to die. Someone might have an ouch and they will heal.
[01:20:04] And I will know I will have a better muscle feel next time, what not to do. And I’m learning to be of service to people that really, really need this. That might, maybe that will help you get out of that hamster wheel of trying to live up to the story you tell about other people. Thank you. And this is a common, common thing that they do in scripts is focusing on being of service to others.
[01:20:34] But I would rather rather not be of service to others and teaching them just how much it hurts to have your knees needle. Okay. But I, and we don’t know what people need. So I, again, I say, Hey universe, and Rick and I do this before almost every call. Please let us be of service to those that show up and those that need it.
[01:20:55] And it’s like, sometimes that might be saying something really stupid. Like I’ve said things like, oh, I wish I hadn’t said it that way or whatever, but maybe someone needed to hear it that way. Maybe it would shock them out of it just quickly. One of the biggest experiences I had with that, I was going on a radio show with someone I super respected and I was terribly nervous.
[01:21:16] I was really agitated. Someone came up to me, we were at a big conference and they were doing the radio show from that this person who’d seen. Some of my videos ran up to me, right as I was about to walk in to do the radio show, gave me a hug and poured a hot cup of coffee down my back by accident. And this person was horrified, horrified.
[01:21:38] I don’t know what it was about it, but that grounded me. Like I have never seen, I blew that radio program away. She was like, this is your first radio program radio. Yeah, she was like, that was amazing. And this is not someone who, okay. We don’t know what’s going to serve other people that I still wish I could find that person to say, please do not beat your heels.
[01:21:58] He was like, so objectively horrified, I didn’t have time to change anything. And to walk in, it’s served me beautifully. We don’t know what will serve other people. So all we can do is say, Hey universe, I’m going to do my best. The rest is up to you. Hope that helps it. Does I just, and this is the term determines if I get to go into clinic, I’m not sure we all do.
[01:22:23] That’s the secret that nobody tells is that even if you don’t pass your written test in the first try, you get to take it again and you get into clinic. And even if you don’t interview perfectly, you get to get into clinic because we’ve all spent enough money that you get ticket into college. Hey universe, please guide me.
[01:22:40] So I know what I need out. People love. Thanks for bringing that forward. Thank you. Go ahead and meet you.
[01:22:52] Thank you. Thank you all for being here. Thank you, Kathy. For this dance, this engagement, this is a rich concept. The concept of what? How do I approach things when I’m not in my primitive brain, we continue to keep going back to the perimeter, Brandon, and we saw that with our volunteers, like the primitive brain interferes.
[01:23:15] We’re so afraid of hurting someone that, um, it blocks our broader capacity. Um, it brought it at blocks are calm confidence. We have a whole series of different workshops we’ve already done and they’ll continue around calming and conferencing ourselves so that we can be in practical, deep presence. Part of improv when done really in a rich way is to be in more presence.
[01:23:46] I think that that is where we say, ah, okay, I’m going to pause for a moment and I get a chance
[01:23:56] to drop in with what’s here and feel for what that evokes in me, what possibilities, and to take an action and then do the same thing. To be in the, in the flow, internal awareness, external awareness, internal awareness, external awareness feeling for the telescoping awareness of ourselves, like going in closer, really looking at something backing off and seeing it even where we’re above ourselves, seeing what’s happening.
[01:24:31] Um, yeah. Thank you. Copy. Yeah, I love it. I’m simple. Reminders can work. Great. If you want to put a note saying, please let me be of service on your computer, where you’ll see it, that cause sometimes I’ll get in my head about stuff and I’ll see the note and I’ll drop in. So just gentle reminders or something that says.
[01:24:51] Just can I play? How can I play with this little reminder can be really good. Um, and Rick, thanks so much for bringing up this topic. I think it’s so valuable and I love improving with you all the time in each of you that are here. Thank you all. Yeah. Thank you. Um, the conversation, the exploration continues thriving
[01:25:15] Um, you’re invited and we hope to hear from you. What if I’m wrong? Oh yeah, Tuesday evening, um, east coast time. What if I’m wrong? Another real skills workshop. I’m so afraid of being wrong. Yeah. Okay. Um, thanks everybody. Bye. For now.

We covered…

  1. How do we respond when our “rock” we want to move is STUCK?
  2. When we’re in Primitive Brain Mode we can only imagine options that fit Fight, Flight, or Freeze. That’s SO limiting!
  3. Perfectionism is of the primitive brain…
  4. Improv allows for creative choices – like the partially painted picnic rock, with dancing around it, too!
  5. Improv allows for adapting, which helps survival.
  6. Dance improv brings us some core techniques for tending to a situation: internal/external, telescoping awareness, grazing, attraction/repulsion, more!

Resources Mentioned

  1. Free EFT Tapping Guide

  2. Trauma and the Primitive Brain

  3. Thriving Now Emotional Freedom Circle

Great to have you on this journey with us!


I really like the part about not taking away what is comforting. That lets me see I can have a different relationship with it, while still allowing it to comfort me (and that being comforted is actually okay) instead of feeling ashamed and as if I failed yet again.


What a beautiful call :two_hearts: I got my first genuine laugh this week in the beginning and I sorely needed that.

Thank you everyone for your contributions, I felt you all. I’ve also added things to my shopping list I haven’t bought for years, maybe a decade.

I realized a week ago why “play” was always such a charged word in my ears and vocab, I really need to go back and tap on that some more. It was something you were told to do (by parents, teachers) almost on command, to get out of their way, and in the next breath yelled at. “Entertain yourself with something” until someone else’s wants that were always more important than your or your time, came along…


PUSH HARDER! (But it won’t move!)

Ahhh, that’s different! Practical Improv for success and thriving!


Between a rock and a …play place…

Rock on Rick!


This is called The Gap in contact improv. It is the place between, where what was is no longer and where what is to be next is not yet.

To find calm there, to feel curiosity rising without being pressured to “come up with something!!” – ahh yes, courage. Such worthy courage. Suck wealth producing courage.

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In my music I have always strived to embody the true spirit of an improvisor. For some reason it has just seemed to be my ‘nature’. In music I hold the ability to improvise as the highest ideal…the highest skill. I guess I’m aligned with that same spirit in my life in general as I think about it. And that certainly has consequences that aren’t always pleasant or useful I now recognize. Both in music and in life there are contexts that invite us to be rehearsed and ordered with prepared responses. A plan. This, I have to admit, has never interested me much and as such I have invited, as a result, various levels of mayhem and disorder into my world. I suppose though (thinking out loud here) having a preconceived plan doesn’t negate the need for improvising because as we all know our plans very seldom or ever play out as we’ve imagined them. So perhaps where I’m arriving at with this mental walkabout is that improvising is not antithetical to planning. They are both necessary components for Thriving.

Man plans. God laughs.

Obviously God understands the need for improvisational skills.


Does not mean it’s always easy, just that it is always possible.

Useful energy right now as I need more creative improv…

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