The opposite of scarcity
The opposite of a scarcity mindset isn't abundance, it's enough. Do we have enough so that our needs are taken care of and we're not wanting? Everything else is gravy.
You've Done It Before
It's not about learning something new (how to transition, safely express emotions, practice healthy eating habits, center, have more flexibility, etc). You actually already know how to do these things because you did them at some point as a baby! You've already done it once, you just have to remember how to do it again. And it's A LOT easier to do something for the second time.
Sobriety is a billion dollar industry in the US. Alcohol, shopping, codependence, gambling, tobacco, the list is endless. Congress has hearings, government makes policy, religious institutions and companies provide support for their people, films celebrate overcoming it. Yet hardly anyone discusses the addiction so many suffer from....emotions. Us humans can hold onto anger, betrayal, shame, fear, abandonment, etc, for dear life. Deep down most of us know it's not good for us and yet we can't stop. That's the real addiction hiding in plain sight in America.
You are what you call yourself
I've done plenty of fitness programs and lifestyle eating programs that call for a rigid 6-day eating plan with the 7th a 'cheat day' where you can eat anything you want. The only thing more harmful for your longtime fitness goals than calling this a cheat day is calling it a, "you're a piece of shit day." You are what you call yourself. So if you call your plan (and by extension yourself) a cheat long enough, your system starts to believe it can only succeed by being dishonest. And then you cheat on your cheat day because your system thinks you're already dishonest so what's the harm? Your system literally self-sabotages your actions so they match what you say about yourself and eventually the wheels fall off the truck and you're shotgunning ice cream sandwiches while watching Wheel of Fortune reruns on a Wed.
You need that 7th day to give your willpower a chance to recharge. Call it a free day, me day, eat day, or Sunday. Anything but a cheat day, because it's not.
Tonite I dropped into a Facebook message thread discussing an improv article that basically said fidgeting and pacing in an improv scene is always wrong. First comment I saw was from a fellow improviser who said she naturally paces a lot and what should she do? And from that I've started a new blog feature, the Unintentional Mailbag! Where I accidentally stumble into a facebook post while searching for something else and write a way too long for facebook answer so I make it into a blog post at 1am on a random Wed morning because it's such an interesting topic. Now you're all caught up. So the answer is, Yes, And Yourself. Which is actually a short answer. So my explanation of the answer was the too long part. Now you're actually caught up.
Before we dig in, a key point is that no actions in improv (and most actions you'll make in life) are ever wrong. However, they can be poor choices that make the scene/life a lot harder. For example, fidgeting and mindless pacing are not wrong, and they do make a scene/life harder. The majority of people are distracted by shiny things; it's not our fault, we're mammals. Fidgeting and mindless pacing are distracting. A distracted audience is thus paying attention to your movement and not to the scene. You have to work that much harder to get them back. And now you're chasing points like when the Eagles go for 2 in the first quarter and miss. It sucks for everyone.
Yes, And Yourself
Yes, anding yourself is the most important yes, and there is. It means you practice self-care. If you have a physical ailment, you take care of yourself and make sure you're safe. It also means you accept all the urges, thoughts, emotions, and actions you have...without judgement. At least that's the goal we're moving towards. Trying to suppress a thought, urge, emotion or action does not work as a long-term strategy because it invites actual constriction, tightness, less blood flow in the body. How? Well, how do you suppress your body from physically moving? You tighten your muscles. Same thing happens if we try to suppress thought, urges or emotions. Suppression degrades the strength of the connection to relaxed/in the flow/zone, a connection that great improv requires. Instead of trying to stop judging yourself...can you spend one less second today judging yourself than yesterday? One more second without self-judgement on stage this time? One more second second in the zone? One more second allowing? One more second intentionally moving? You can totally do one more second a day of something!
For your particular question, some part of your body has an urge to move. So let the urge be there....and then choose to direct it, to move/not move in a way that works for you; that serves your life and the scene. Here's one way to do it.
Everything in life is a practice. No one learns how to drive or tie their shoes in one attempt. Remember it took Harry Potter 7 books to learn to use his wand well enough to defeat Vladimir Putin. It takes time and practice. I bet you can do it in 5 books, and zero pressure from me. The specific practice you're going to cultivate is the intentional movement muscle.
The goal is conscious intentional movement. Start small. Build up. When you can do each step 3x for 2 performances in a row, move to the next step. Start with step 1, then 1&2, 1&2&3, etc., until you are doing steps 1-5 each show. The more you practice, the easier and faster it gets.
1. Notice you have an urge to move while on stage
2. Say 'Yes, And' to that part of you that wants to move on stage. Accept and allow it to be there...without judgment. :)
3. Take a slightly deeper than regular breath, and briefly pause
4. Choose to move or not. (Just because the voice is saying 'move' doesn't mean you need to listen.)
5. If you choose to move, make it work for you and the scene. Decide on the reason you're moving; even if you don't speak it, it transmits to your movements and they are more natural.
Here's a secret the Dali Lama told me....you can practice this at home! Huh?!?! Because how we are on stage is how we are in life. I'm going to guess there's times in your day or week where you get an urge to move. Use those times to practice the steps. There's a whole industry of applied improv that teaches improv as a practice for life...who knew life could be practice for improv?!?!
For extra credit:
Sit in a quiet place with eyes closed and ask what part of you wants to move. Invite that part of you to sit with you and have lunch. Ask what they want to eat and serve that. See and imagine yourself sitting at lunch eating with that part of you. Cultivate a relationship with that part of you. Ask who that part is, what's it's name, what does it need, for what reason is it asking you to move. Let the conversation wander from there.
Good stories tell you what emotion you should have and when. They are commanding and prescriptive. Go buy this product. You'll feel happy when you read this book. March this way. That doesn't make them bad, and they are less memorable. Why? Because humans (whether they realize it or not) care about having their own emotions, that they think of, and this emotion was provided courtesy the U.S. Army, et. al.
Great stories compel you to have your own emotion that just happens to coincide with the emotion the storyteller intended you to have. These stories are inviting and generative. They invite us in and ask us to experience emotions of our own free will, that we then just have to share on the Internet or in-person or we'll explode. So why do we do that even though we have no financial interest in whatever we experienced? All humans (wether they realize it or not), have a need to be vulnerable. It's in our DNA. And telling stories is a way we get to share an emotion we had, which is being vulnerable btw, with someone in a way that's comfortable for us. We are so excited by the story that we literally cannot keep ourselves from sharing it with others. So, sorry to break it to you and that last time you talked to your buddies at the bar about how great the Spiderman movie was....you were being vulnerable. A couple of people figured this out 6000 years ago and now we have an entire advertising industry co-opting this premise.
Good leaders tell good stories. Great leaders tell great stories. Which stories are you practicing?
Starting From where You Left Off
If you're driving a car from Kansas City to Philadelphia and get tired while passing through Indianapolis, you pull over and find a place to sleep for the night. When you awaken in the morning, you're not magically sent back to Kansas, you're still in Indianapolis. The same principle applies when life knocks you down. When you get up, instead of thinking you're starting over or starting again (with the anxiety and judgement that often comes along in the back seat), see that you're actually starting from where you left off and with all your wisdom and life experiences to help guide you.
The horse you rode in on
Focus on how many times you got back on the horse of life, instead of how many times you got bucked off. That's resilience.
The number one problem with the military transition program is that it pathologizes normal human behaviors and marks Veterans as wrong, bad, or weak if they have a difficult transition to civilian life. In this model Veterans are viewed as 'broken' and in need of 'fixing'. This drives Veterans to ignore their own needs, pretend they are fine when they are not, and not seek help for fear of being judged or looking weak. The current transition process actually drives Veterans away from help. Who wants to voluntarily seek help if they know they're going to be painted as wrong or defective?
A more effective model is normalizing depression, anxiety, uncertainty, and stress as common responses that all humans may have during transitions. These responses are actually a signal that the human body is working exactly as its supposed to (and we can want it to be different). Normalizing reduces the stigma around assistance by letting Veterans know they are not wrong or broken; they're simply humans who haven't yet been trained on how to move through a transition. It says the Veteran is great just the way they are, AND they can learn practices and skills to have more ease during a transition.
I find that leadership skills and competencies are sometimes over-complexified by people trying to sell a product. The reality is that leadership comes down to one thing, practice. Within that practice are two distinctions regarding leadership competencies. First is that everyone is a leader, even if only of themselves. Second, that there are no leadership competencies, only life competencies that leaders use. Drawing a distinction between competency buckets solidifies the mistaken belief that humans make life easier by compartmentalizing work and personal, when it actually makes life harder.
Humans have only one brain, one body, one self. When a person tries to compartmentalize, they lose access to their wholeness or whole “ness.” Ness being essence, soul, or spirit. Compartmentalizing results in a decrease in possible actions in the moment because the actions can only be accessed from another compartment that is offline. Emotions in the workplace are a common example.
The Life Competencies I use with clients:
If you want to be a more effective leader, that's what you want to practice.
Mike Coe. Transition, Creativity, and Leadership Coach