Friday, 17 July 2015

July 17, 2015 Chautauqua

Beth's Ponderings

   Have you ever watched a really good improvisation sketch, or participated in an improv class?

   The basic rule of improv is to say “yes” to everything that the other participants come up with.  As soon as one person refuses, the whole sketch falls apart.

   Pretty much anything and everything is allowed, no matter how zany or bizarre or off-topic it originally seems.  Even if the participants have an idea of how they want the sketch to progress, it can end up in a totally different direction or go around in crazy circles.

   Sounds like life, doesn’t it?

   As we plan and try to figure out what direction we want our lives to go, things happen and we have a choice - do we say “yes” and move forward, or do we say “no” and stall out?

   We are all faced with countless options and choices in any given moment or day.  Some seem familiar, some seem repugnant, some seem just plain bizarre, some are intriguing, some are routine, some seem to come completely out of left field, some seem like they’d be a good match for someone else, and some seem like they are too good to be true.

   In true improv style, we have no idea where each of those choices will lead, or what the next choice will require of us.  Some choices appear to have clear consequences, while others don’t.  We can use our imagination to come up with possible reactions to our choices, however in the end, it is all a mystery till we actually make the choice and say “yes” to whatever is before us.  People rarely respond how we think they will - for example, they say “no” at lot less than we think they will, it is just our fear that holds us back from asking.

   Too many of us say “no” to life’s opportunities before we even think to say “yes.”  Fear is our default setting and holds us back.  We may think we are keeping ourselves safe, yet all we are doing is adding more stress to our lives, and limiting our chance to move forward and grow.

   You never know till you say “yes” what you are capable of doing and being, so long as it doesn’t hurt anyone and isn’t illegal, why not start saying  “yes” to what life puts in your path.  


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