It seems to take at least two days to relax. Regardless of the situation or surroundings, I find my brain gets so entrenched in work and 'must do' thought processes that it can't let go.
One thing that I have noticed is when I perform, it instantly relaxes me. It's like a session of meditation - my mind lets go of all else besides the moment I am in and I enter a state of readiness.
I also find the lasting effects of performing are widespread. For the next few days I am clear, I make decisions easier and I enjoy life more.
So - as vacation starts - it's time to find a sense of play first to let all else slip away.
For yourself - what is the one thing you LOVE to do that makes you the happiest. Can you replicate that item on day one of your vacation? Start out right - and enjoy every moment of the time you have.
That way - you can relax.
When was the last time you gave yourself a gift?
In improv, we are told to accept and build on the offers given. So many people stand around waiting for an offer, forgetting that they can give them to themselves.
The offer you give yourself is as important as the offer that someone else gives you.
This theme runs the same way in our everyday world. Do you listen to your own offers?
What offers do you give yourself?
What offers do you give yourself that make you crazy? Are they really offers, or blocks?
During any family get-together, I see people trying to 'make everyone happy.' Now, this is an impossible offer. All it does is make you miserable. And then who's fault is that? It is an offer you gave yourself - that blocked you instead of allowing you to move forward.
So listen to the offers you give yourself and see which are blocks and which are offers.
Accept and build - and know which offers are the ones to take and which can drive you over the cliff.
I have always admired the Serenity prayer for this idea.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
Give yourself a gift. You deserve it. And make it a good one.
I recently had a chance to watch my 14 year old nephew play goalie in a lacrosse game for his High School Junior Varsity team. Let me start by saying my nephew is am amazing athlete. He has natural talent and no fear - which makes him wonderful to watch. He is also fiercely competitive, so he plays to the top of his game when he is on the field.
One thing I learned from watching the game, in Lacrosse, you WILL get scored on. There is nothing you can do. It's a tiny baseball sized ball, moving at flaming speeds whipped out of the Lacrosse Stick. It is impossible to stop every shot - so you have to accept that you WILL get scored on.
Once you accept that, the game takes on a new meaning. The game becomes about how you bounce back from being scored on. That's what makes or breaks the game. It is how you deal with mistakes and set backs, and still strive to play the best you can.
In our everyday work - we all make mistakes, or have set-backs. It's a part of life. And we have a choice; we can beat ourselves up over these gaffs, or we can move forward learning something.
Think about a time when you last bounced back, and then moved forward. That is what makes the difference. There are will always be times when the other team gets a goal. How you deal with that, and if you give up or keep playing is the difference.
BTW - my nephew's team team won.
Veteran character actor Stephen Tobolowsky in his podcast "The Tobolowsky Files" had a comment that struck me to the core.
He said "acting most imitates life because it is the art of starting over again."
Many times I ask participants in my workshops if they are reacting to the item in the moment - the word being given to them for example - or are they reacting to something that happened a few minutes ago. The question is; how present are you, really? Are we really ready to start over again, and look at each situation as if it is brand new?
I found myself recently looking at a few downfalls, and lamenting the end result. I was angry at how I had gotten to where I was, or what I felt had been done to me (rather than what i did to myself). This method of hindsight where we judge the past isn't really seeing each moment as new. The moment we are in now is not the thing that happened last week, or last year. It is always new.
So remember - start over again. Take it back to the beginning every day. See what new thing arises that you would not have seen before.
And accept the new offer.
One of the biggest lessons that I teach to business clients is the lesson of accepting and building, the shorthand for which is ‘yes, and.’ Most clients say that saying ‘yes, and’ is impossible in their business. My reply is, “then you will never know what is under the van…”
What’s Under the Van?
At least twice a year someone will run into the office at my small non-profit theater, very excited with a new idea. They say “we should get an old van, and paint it yellow and put our company logo on the side! Then we can drive it around to a baseball game and hand out stuff!”
Now, when this happens, I have a choice; I can say “No, that’s a stupid idea“ (BTW – not a good response to say no matter what lesson you are trying to impart…) or “well, that’s an expensive idea…” or I can ‘yes, and‘ their offer. When I can ‘yes, and’ their offer by saying “wow, that’s a great idea… what do you think that would accomplish?” I can start to get to the root issue;
“well, it would get more people seeing our logo..”
“Right! Good idea – do you feel that people don’t see it enough now?”
“well, I think we could have more brand recognition…”
“Cool! Let’s see, how else could we get that same brand recognition…”
By accepting and building, I can get to the root of the issue that the person is bringing up – that we need to increase our public facing marketing. Once we have the root of the issue, or what’s under the van, we can that start to address that.
The van is a symptom of the issue. And a lot of offers that people find are just that – symptoms. They may have identified an issue, and a possible solution, and the solution is a manifestation of that. Sometimes, they are not even aware of the issue that caused the solution – they just have the manifestation of that issue that came to them. Or maybe they know the issue, but haven’t quite articulated it yet.
So next time you have the urge to shoot down and idea – ask yourself; “If I don’t accept and build on this offer, how can I find out what’s under the van?”
And if you don’t know what’s under the van, you can’t address the real issues happening on the floor at your company.