Saturday, June 13, 2009

saying yes to life... more than we do...

“I cannot do all the good that the world needs,
but the world needs all the good that I can do.”

-- Jana Stanfield
I had the opportunity this year to stumble upon an invaluable find toward creative connectivity, drawing on the principles of improvisational theater outlined by Patricia Madson in her book entitled, 'Improv". It involves approaching life with a willingness to pay attention to whatever life presents, and to say yes to life more than we normally do:

"Yes can be a really good answer more of the time than you might imagine. It can open up a possibility. It's easy to say no. No doesn't require us to act. Saying yes can get us into trouble, but it's just as likely to bring us great adventures."

Ms. Madson finds that when we throw out many of the self-inhibiting regulations (we thought we must live by) things that too often stifle our spontaneity and creativity, we'll find our lives are more authentic, more effective, and a lot more fun. We have adopted a malfunctional way called blocking we hardly question, so we not only block others, but ourselves in the process.

Madson’s Yes Principles:

“Cultivate all the ways you can imagine to express affirmation. Set your own preferences aside. Safety lies in knowing your partner will go along with whatever idea you present.
“Yes and” …we can say yes than we normally do.

Once you become aware you can, you will see how often we use the technique of blocking in personal relationships simply out of habit.

Support someone else’s dreams. Pick a person and for a week, agree with all of his or her ideas. Find something right about everything he or she does or says.

Look for every opportunity to find support.

As we practice the affirmative response to life, positive things can happen.

Exercising the yes muscle builds optimism. If you can’t get out of it, get into it.

Madson, Patricia Ryan Improv Wisdom
Bell Tower Publishing, New York 2005

1 comment:

Patricia Ryan Madson said...

Few things make a writer happier than to learn that their writing has "hit the mark". Thank you for your thoughtful comments and quotes and for seeing the heart of my message. Your own writing is clear and helpful. May you continue to find adventure and meaning in all you do. Thank you for sharing this and for being a fellow improviser on the path. I've just learned of another book on improv and Christianity:
YOu might enjoy my blog: