The Unexplainable Truth of Improv

The more I do improv the more I understand how simple and at same time also how complex it is.

There is something that just cannot be explained in it. Oh, I have tried (even in this blog) and so many others have tried, but there is always something missing I feel.

It's like with so many things in life: you can take it into pieces and explain these, but the Gestalt - the connection of all the parts - is not the same as adding up individual parts. 

The problem I face is similar to the one many LARP'ers (Live Action Role Players) have when they try to explain why it is good and fun. You can talk about collaboration, learning history, developing your crafting skills etc, but this is just taking the whole picture into pieces.
It is not just the summary of all these parts. It is so much more.
You, as a human are not just collection of your parts, are you?

At the same time, improv at its core is stupid simple. 
It's just like a kids play.

But why do we not play anymore as grownups? Fine, some of us do have new games (mind games, computer games, dating, politics, etc) but it is not the same as we had as kids, is it? 

While growing up we turn protective. We don't want to do things we are unsure of anymore. We say, it's not practical or important. We can't stand to feel lost, unsure, emotional or stupid. We act tough, but we are scared shitless.
Why so? Because at some point in the way we got hurt badly.
Our trust, freedom, love and vulnerability get stabbed and we build walls to protect ourselves - this is just how it is. Everyone has some walls, but not all of them are actually healthy nor needed.

“Of all the things trauma takes away from us, the worst is our willingness, or even our ability, to be vulnerable. There's a reclaiming that has to happen.” says Brené Brown in her book Rising Strong. 
I feel that improv is one of the ways we can use to reclaim this lost part.

True, there are some techniques that work better for it than others but all and all already 'yes, and', 'listening' and 'supporting your partner' can be big and important steps.

Improv is not just having fun. It's not just an amazing art form. It is not just a way of living. It is a shortcut to the heart. It is reclaiming of your lost parts and using them to connect with people.

I don't know how to better explain it. The connection you have with an improviser - with whom you have only shared an workshop or a show together - can often be greater and more authentic than with a family member or a long-term friend. It just happens like this and as it does, it is true.

I will just leave you with this quote from the same book.

"I believe that vulnerability - the willingness to show up and be seen with no guarantee of outcome - is the only path to more love, belonging and joy."

Lazy as Fuck

(Yes, that is how it is today. This post includes foul language. Sorry for that, but sometimes you just have to fuck it)

I'm a lazy bastard (well not bastard per se but double the lazy then) and I am sure it comes as no surprise to my friends, family, previous classmates and colleagues. I can recall so many moments from my childhood when I was called lazy by parents or teachers and here am I saying that they were and would still be right. Yes. I am lazy.
If I do not have any targets for myself, I can just spend all my time on nonsense. Not even doing noting (doing noting is meditation) but wasting it on watching some movies, playing games etc. I often feel guilty when that happens and with time I have also developed some tricks to handle the internal laziness. I do have a belief that I should do something, so if I don't do anything, it will bring down my self esteem, value, mood ... etc. 
Basically I am lazy, but it can fuck me up really bad.

Motivation, targets and do now

First of all, I need a reason to wake up in the morning. There must be something that I want to do. Like really want to. Because if there is none and I don't jump out from the bed as soon as the alarm goes off - the day is mostly wasted to get myself into shape. I could just stay in bed, but it is not something that I actually want to do. Therefore I prefer the alarms that my girlfriend calls "The morning heart attacks". I want to have passion. Something going on in my mind. Some Project or idea to work on, that is really making me curious like a small child. Easy to say but hard to do. Works time to time though.

Another trick is is having short term goals and giving yourself a challenging time limit (read: leaving everything to the last minute). You can do amazing things with short time. Packing for instance is something I like to do really on the last minute. If I do it before, it will take too much time and also can result on ineffective repacking and overthinking. 
One year in gymnasium I had to learn the whole years material of Art History with one day (as I had skipped most of the classes) - otherwise I would not have graduated. Challenge accepted! The next day I talked with the teacher about art as if I had been in the topic for years. All I needed was face-slap motivation and I cannot say that I would have learned the material better over the year. Most likely not. More than 10 years have passed, I have not used this knowledge meanwhile and I can still recall some parts of it.

Then there is the trick of: have an idea - do it now! There will be more stuff in the future and you might also be more lazy in the future. Just jump up and do it. Or mark it down at least, and if at it, also schedule a specific time slot for it in your calendar. 

Anger or scared as shit

Oh, this one sounds a bit strange, but being a bit pissed can be wonderful. Anger motivates and gives you clear direction. Well, you will understand later how much sense this "clear direction" had, but at that time you are filled with power and motivation and can railroad through continents. The "I know what I do and fuck the rest" attitude is empowering but also risky.
As I have a pocketful of sadness with me at all times, having anger makes life easier. Sadness does not motivate nor give you any energy.

Being scared or anxious helps aswell. (That is one more reason I love improv). The difficult part here is going with the feeling that is actually so unpleasant and sometimes difficult to carry.

So basically if I have the fight or flight situation I can just go to being angry or being anxious and go along with it. It does not work always. I had to do some work in therapy years ago so I would not just avoid all the situations that caused anxiety.

Long term goals

This is kind of a pain point I have. Anger is a short term motivation - it can burn you out - and generally I suck at motivation for things that take long time. There are a few exceptions but still. 
The best workaround I have found, but don't use as often as I should, is to cut the bigger plan into smaller pieces and have a set plan. This gives a better understanding of where all this is going and also a good way to have small accomplishments - so you are moving in certain direction. Just doing routine tasks for the fun of it is not fun.

So thats it for today. Just had an idea and had to write it down (there was a point about it)