First, simply acknowledge that you're frustrated (in your head, not by lobbing a shoe).
The whole thing of 'being in the moment' and 'accepting' forms the basis of improv.
I make it a rule to mention and reinforce this foundation in the workshops not just for the games, but I also contextualise it for the class relative to their own lives, be it in work or personal lives. From example, I've known friends after a breakup find it hard to deal with it because they overanalyse the whole failure of it and fight their emotions that they're feeling at that time. However, I've also had friends who have accepted their feelings of disappointment, anger, sadness and that it's over - they tend to move on a lot quicker.
Being in the 'mindfulness' mindset (from my improv training rather than a meditative knowledge) is how I manage to role play effectively when I'm hired for Leadership training sessions in both corporate and public sector as well - you need to be mindful and accept what is happening right in front of you. You need to acknowledge it, take it in, and then go with it.
So, that's your homework for today: accept something and go with it. You'll find that your life is a lot simpler.
Click on the following link for the full article at the Sydney Morning Herald HERE.
HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope you managed to get some time off work and spent it with family and/or friends with great laughs, stories and a full belly!
Over the break, I had some time to reminisce over what I did last year, and recalled back when I was contracted for a roleplaying part for Habourside Future Leaders for their NRMA Frontline Management training programme. One of the Facilitators mentioned the growing idea of "mindfulness" in the Human Resources and training realm. "Being in the present" was what she said, which is essentially one of the rules of improv (and what ImprovisAsian teaches).
Not having thought much more about it as often fads come and go, in the new year, I came across an article in the Telegraph (UK publication) which talks about "mindfulness" and how "...Google, Transport for London, PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Home Office..." and even the US Military and Harvard and Oxford universities are receiving/giving training in it to achieve "mental clarity" (the article can be found HERE). In the article, they even interviewed a "mindfulness training" specialist who said that,
"...We are living and working in times of constant change. Change is nothing new. What is new is that the pace of change is accelerating and mindfulness trains us to focus on the moment rather than allowing our attention to be hijacked by thoughts about the past or worries about the future...”
According to the article, the technique draws on the breathing exercises commonly used in meditation and yoga, but the aim is to become more aware of thoughts and feelings, in a non-judgmental way. On further research based on trusty Wikipedia though, it seems that the roots stem from Buddhism whereby one is supposed to reach enlightenment. However, as per many things in the commercial world, it gets rebranded into something more marketable.
However, let's get back to the essence of "mindfulness". Wikipedia provides a quote which defines "mindfulness" as:
"...The first component [of mindfulness] involves the self-regulation of attention so that it is maintained on immediate experience, thereby allowing for increased recognition of mental events in the present moment. The second component involves adopting a particular orientation toward one’s experiences in the present moment, an orientation that is characterized by curiosity, openness, and acceptance..."
Or to put it more plainly: BE IN THE "NOW" - which is what Improv is.
When I (and other teachers of corporate and educational improv) run a class or workshop, one of the main things taught is to "BE IN THE "NOW"" - don't plan ahead, don't think of the past, don't let your emotions outside of the scene affect you. You're in the scene with your partner right here, right now. You're not checking your phone or thinking what to have for dinner. If you're thinking of other things outside of the scene happening RIGHT NOW, then you won't notice the body language, inflections in language, hidden meanings, etc from your partner.
That's what Improv is: being in the moment and giving your partner (be it at work or love) your full attention.
So, if you rather not meditate or go through breathing exercises after breathing exercises, maybe it might be better to take up an improv workshop, and learn "mindfulness" in a fun environment. After all, don't we learn faster whilst having fun?
It's been a bumper year for ImprovisAsian with role-playing for the Leadership programs at AMP, NRMA, the Department of Justice and the Attorney General, the NSW Crown Solictor's Office and Harbour Future Leaders. Ivan also appeared in the Crown's DVD and online educational video as well as running improv workshops for adults and teens.
We've also sponsored the charity ball for Working Hearts and Hands in support to Guide Dogs Victoria, with Ivan being the Master of Ceremonies for the night, ultimately raising thousands of dollars and over 110 people attending (plus a few Guide Dogs!). Our team also provided entertainment services for the Young Australian Chinese Charity Foundation's yearly BBQ (this year in support for Dr Chris O'Brien's Lighthouse at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital).
So, thank you. Thank you for your help in making ImprovisAsian the upcoming leader in training, and we wish you a belly filling, joyous and safe holiday season, and may 2013 bring you even more exciting, creative and successful fun!
May your open hearts, minds and arms be rewarded!
I was talking to a friend today who had doubts to what they were doing, so I thought I would write them a short story. I am by no means a writer, but I hope the point gets across.
In a little town, stood an old and intimate, brightly coloured shop filled with giggles and laughter of children. The smell of freshly baked gingerbread men tickled the air as the full bloom flowers seemed to beckon in the gentle breeze. Although the shop wore no sign, it was obvious from the beaming smiles on the children's cherub faces, that happiness was made here. Through the window, above excited heads, stood an elderly couple with cheeks plump with kindness, and eyes shining with playfulness. Their clothes wore stains of colourful paint, glitter and stars, as their hands cradled a lump of special clay. The colour of the clay changed from different angles, with changing temperature to match, when a quiet child, with his head shyly lowered, poked it.
12/5/2012 0 Comments
Last Saturday (01 December 2012) the Working Hearts and Hands Charity Ball was held at the Centre Ivanhoe supporting Guide Dogs Victoria. With over 110 attendees and thousands of dollars of donated goods and services for the night and the silent auction, ImprovisAsian was one of the proud major sponsors for the inaugural event.
Besides being part of the executive committee of Working Hearts and Hands, Ivan Chew of ImprovisAsian attended the event and was the Master of Ceremonies for the night over the five hour duration. The event saw professionals dancers and bands, and early feedback from Guide Dogs Victoria, their client and trainers, and sponsors have been great!
As it gets closer to Christmas, ImprovisAsian also wishes you and your family a safe, loving stress-free and creative break!
Due to differing dates of when schools finish up for the year, the dates for the Beginner Improv for Teens (12 - 15 years old) has now been changed to 14 January 2013 to 18 January 2013.
Also, the cut-off date to RSVP and payment is now 30 December 2012, with a limited workshop size of 15 students only. So be quick and don't miss out!
A new Facebook event has been set up: https://www.facebook.com/events/308389005937372/