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Be Grateful. Don't miss a thing.

Change is inevitable. I'm not writing anything new here. The only constant in life is change and the only way I know to honor that constant is to change too. I see no profit spiritually, physically, mentally or otherwise to be made by sticking to any one principle forever. The universe is expanding. Every breath I take leads my body to it’s destiny. For some people this sounds depressing. Here is why this idea can be an empowering one.

I don’t like to say “I miss you”. To say I miss you implies to me that in the moment I don’ t have everything I need. I don’t really believe that. I believe that I am exactly where I am supposed to be in every moment and in that moment I have all that I need to be successful if I am going to be successful. To say “I miss you” contradicts my belief. I try not to say “I miss..”. Moments are special. They are all one of a kind. A photograph, although worth a thousand words is no substitute for a real moment; and still not as good as the story I can tell you from my own experience of that moment. To expound, I can tell you an even better story the more present I was in that moment.

I know that “ I miss you “ is a term of endearment. I do like the idea of being missed. My son Aden tells me over the phone sometimes that he misses me. I feel so weird trying not to say it back to him. When someone tells me they miss me what I really want to say to them is “Don’t miss your moment missing me.” I would hate to be the reason Aden missed a great moment in his life because he was missing me. What I do say to him and to others is: “I'm excited to see you”, or a simple “I love you” gets the point across too.

I cannot travel back in time so I will never get any of those moments back no matter how hard I try. This makes me feel like I have to show a never ending cycle of gratitude for every moment. For me finding gratitude is grounding. In fact it keeps me present. It’s a tool to stay present. I use this tool in my everyday life. I learn to practice this tool while improvising.

Before improv I think I probably averaged about 1-2 uncomfortable moments per week. After I started improvising that number quadrupled. Every time I am on stage I am faced with an uncomfortable moment. The audience would be disappointed if I wasn’t exposed and vulnerable. I’m getting sweaty just writing about. Improvising has been so useful in uncovering how to deal with discomfort. Discomfort is the reason we evolved as a species. I am just as susceptible to being uncomfortable as everyone else. As an improviser I learned to use gratitude for the discomfort for the sake of the performance. I routinely “Yes, And..” the discomfort and in that process I am usually able to find a solution. On stage the solution looks like a fulfilled scene where the characters evolve and off stage it looks like harmony or happiness.

For example In an improvised scene when there is an obvious uncomfortable moment there are multiple ways I can react to it. I can close the scene and start a new one (if it’s not a mono scene) this feels like the equivalent of walking out of the room when someone I care about approaches me with a difficult issue. Or I can listen more intently. I can find something in the scene to be grateful for and focus on that. Gratitude leads to presence and presence leads to evolving characters. Off stage gratitude essentially leads to the same thing, which is people in difficult situations collaborating positively. I think that’s a good thing.

I hope you enjoy episode #2 of Swirled: A podcast. This time Sonya and I examine how we deal with change. I think it is a great conversation. We can get a little off topic at times but I personally enjoy our banter. At this point we are still figuring out the podcast world and we don’t really have a format yet, however I can hear our shows potential and that is exciting. While we are on this journey I am filled with gratitude and I’m trying not to miss a thing.

Take care of yourself.

We are all in this together.


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