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YES! Assignment, July 27, 2015

Denied yourself this weekend, did you? This week, say YES! to food, fun and frivolous consumption. Eat a cupcake like you used to…. smashing frosting all over your face without worrying about the mess. Let your dog clean up the remainder and then run him around the block a few more times tonight.

It’s worth it!

Enjoy,

Kerstin

Connect To Now

Oh wait, what was that? Is your hard drive humming a little too loudly or was it the whir of a fluttering humming bird? Jump up and check. Stop what you’re doing for a sec and appreciate the wonders around you. Take a deep breath, stretch and give thanks for life.

You’re doing great!

Love,
Kerstin

 

YES! Assignment, July 20, 2015

This week’s YES! Assignment from The YES! Lab:

Notice yourself holding back from doing that thing you really want to do right now? What keeps you from jumping in and doing it already? As long as that spontaneous thing within your heart doesn’t hurt you or anyone else, go for it! Imagine all of the joy you could be missing out on once you give it a whirl.

It’s hot, it’s sticky and you might just want to rip off your clothes and run through the sprinkler.  Say YES! to being cool. Depending on your ‘hood mates and prying eyes, you may want to wear a swimsuit.

Enjoy!

Game-Changer

Everything in life is a game.

  • Making a sandwich
  • Filling the car with gas
  • Doing laundry
  • Inflicting your inner frustration on another person

Obviously, some games are far more fun than others.

There are mundane tasks we all get through without being present because of their nature. We must complete them for our own survival. We all need to eat, get to work and have clean clothes. How do you infuse play within such games? By making them more playful, they become no big deal.

There are also behaviors at the root of our humanity that appear when we feel hurt. We play these games as behavioral defense mechanisms when fight or flight is present within our bodies. Although we cannot entirely avoid such games, every human has the ability to choose how to engage in them. By making the choice to alter how we play these games, we are changing the rules of the game. Rather than making our next move be a continuation of passing frustration from person to person, we change the game. We give space for people to feel hurt- we stand patiently before them in love while supporting them through their suffering. Neither one may know how to proceed within this new game, but what makes it fun is figuring it out as we go–together.

In the end, all games come from the heart. I invite you to change how you play your games by playing from the heart.

I’ll be teaching most every Tuesday and Thursday this summer. Join me and remind yourself how to find play with new rules that lead toward freedom.

Now if you’ll excuse me, Mama has some laundry to play.

 

Love,

Kerstin

In Joy

At the end of tonight’s workshop, one of the participants said the most beautiful thing about her time here. She said, “I enjoyed this so much that now I feel like I am… I really am in joy.”

So am I.

Be present and be in joy today.

 

Enjoy,

Kerstin

In Mysterious Ways

It’s so difficult to pull yourself together to find motivation to do things. I’ve found that this space lies between funk and the doorway to depression- the doorway that opens when we actively engage in the feeling of the funk long enough to be stuck inside it’s vortex with no escape. It’s within this space of funk that our mind tricks us into believing the worst about ourselves and our situations. After all, like David Razowsky says,  “Your brain is an asshole and a liar.”

Then, in the blink of an eye, your entire perspective can shift.  You end up in a conversation with someone who is otherwise a complete stranger who sees you- really sees what it is you are trying to put out into the world, and they want the same for themselves and for you. Your interaction with them reintroduces you to your value and brings you back to the beauty of life.

As you slide on your way toward the doorway of depression, take the time to remember it can all change in an instant. Say YES! and engage in conversations that might seem trivial with someone you don’t even know. The energy of connection to other, to self, to life is what makes us feel complete and that we matter. It is within these connections that we feel the mysterious way we are rejuvenated and whole again.

How are you communicating with yourself? If you’re feeling low, the message you’re sending yourself is most likely not very pleasant. That message is then shared with all you encounter. Do your best to find the root of that communication with self, and find the truth that lies beneath. You are worthy. You do matter. You are amazing.

One of the main things we do as improvisers is learn to refine our communication. We only have so much time on stage, so we had better get to the point and do it quickly so that the rest of the show can fall into place. I encourage you to take the time to come practice this communication with self and other in a workshop this week.. If you would like more depth in terms of your communication with self and other, I highly recommend taking a workshop in Compassionate Communication. A woman by the name of Kathy Ziola who is a Certified Trainer with the Center for Nonviolent Communication has a wonderful workshop called Foundations of Compassionate Communication coming up at the end of this month that I would highly recommend. By engaging in the practice of getting to the heart of what it is you really want to say in a safe, non-judgmental environment, you are building a foundation of confidence from which you are able to be more authentically you. Who doesn’t want some of that?

Now get out there and be the damned genius you and I both know you are!

 

In Love,
Kerstin

A Wonderful Reward

Today’s Play workshop was incredible. It was amazing watching each student unravel their fears after giving them permission to let their inner child come to the surface.

Why is it that we can call our inner child to the surface so well in improv, but in the rest of life it is so difficult to give ourselves permission to play? I’m working to change that for myself and invite you to do the same. Baby steps. I think the outcome will be a wonderful reward.

 

With Love,

Kerstin

Celebration

There is something sacred in allowing yourself to be seen authentically. By trusting someone to lead you in a series of games, barriers are broken. Patterns of behavior that once served and comforted you now fall away.

When these folks came to Self Awareness tonight, they said YES! to the unknown. They allowed me to lead them to some of their patterns without any of us knowing what they would find. Together we shed light on their authenticity and they found freedom in being in scenes together.

My favorite quote from a student this evening was from Nick Trotter. In realizing the simplicity of using your current emotional space to ground yourself and start a scene he said, “Maybe it’s just a celebration of the emotional state you’ve been carrying all day.” My second favorite quote from tonight came from Dave Schultz when he said, “what’s cool about this exercise is that it’s sincere.” Finally, my third favorite quote came from Heather Curran when coming back from break she said, “I don’t fucking give a shit! I’ll eat as many Munchies as I want and I’ll still fucking eat dinner later.”

Del was right. Improvisation is theater of the heart. Let’s break this bastard open.

 

Honoring your inner authenticity,

Kerstin

 

The Unknown

“Body-mind intuition. That’s what we’re after.” ~Viola Spolin

Childhood Inspiration

I’ve had friends on Facebook posting this video for a week or two and haven’t looked at it until today. As I’m watching it for the fist time, I am compelled to share it here with you.

As a child, I would watch Mr. Rogers regularly. I’m not exactly sure what drew me to him, other than the fact that he looked like my next door neighbor and seemed friendly. Clearly he inspired the person who created this video enough to remind myself and others in my generation the pure intention of Mr. Roger’s message. While listening to this, I know why my heart was drawn to him. I believe his message even more now than what I probably understood as a child.

 

Did you ever grow anything in the garden of YOUR mind?

 All you have to do is think and they’ll grow!

It’s good to be curious about many things.