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Musings & Inspiration: Yes... and

It is true that I'm an extrovert to some degree, but you may never see me up on stage riffing with others in a beautifully orchestrated or improvisational piece. I have great respect for those in the theatre who practice the craft of memorizing and enacting lines with beauty and grace, or being able to play off their counterparts similar to equally talented jazz musicians.



However, I've come to realize, after all of my years to date, that improvisation is an integral part of my life that I prefer not to live without, albeit not on stage, as a performer of the art.



/imˌprävəˈzāSH(ə)n/ noun: The art or act of improvising, or of composing, uttering, executing, or arranging anything without previous preparation.

How does this play out in every day life? I believe from the time I was very young, maybe even before I could remember, improvisation played a huge role in molding my existence. My father was a jazz enthusiast, and also played a little for fun, so the music that surrounded me in every day life was mostly jazz and blues. I'm always impressed by the soulful and complex rhythms of those amazing musicians that have the framework of a piece down, but the beauty of it, and what makes it truly remarkable, is their ability to riff of of each other.


As a little girl in my family home, sitting on the wood floors of the living room, I'd say “Turn it up I want to feel it vibrate through my whole body!” They would laugh and turn it up, and the music moved me to the core, inside and out. Still true to this day, with beats vibrating through every fiber of my being while driving near or far.


This early experience with music and frequencies not only moved me, it shaped me through and through. I love to dance, and I love to play music, not exceptionally good at either, but never afraid to try and look foolish regardless. Music was somehow easier than dancing though, as I had the ability to take an instrument (many instruments) and extemporize, or basically figure out how to play what I heard. The fun came in my teenage years when I would obsess over a song and repeatedly listen and play until I had it down. Then in exchanges with friends who were getting lessons, we'd share knowledge and teach one another songs.


As my interests expanded during high school with boys, art, drafting, music... In retrospect, I was highly improvisational in other areas. I'd drop a subject that wasn't working, and catch up with the full load of work to get into a subject I really enjoyed. When I went on a date that was contemporary or structured, versus a more spontaneous adventure, guess which one made me feel more alive? Still true!


Fast forward to college, well that's been more of a lifelong learning adventure. I just didn't enjoy the structure, nor did I appreciate the reasoning that to get anywhere in life I had to obtain a piece of paper to credential me at a skill that I'd been refining all of my life, my creativity.


That creativity, and improvisation has kept me afloat throughout my life. Through love, marriage, divorce, death, friendships, hobbies and my career. I'm a self-proclaimed “financial survivalist” as I've been able to make it work, not in the most unequivocal way, and surely to the utter fright of any financial planner, but I've made it this far.


No disrespect to those mogul geniuses out there, because we are not all that dissimilar, we're just on a vastly different scale. As a believer in the power of intuition, I know that most successful entrepreneurs are also imaginative and intuitive, they may not tap into the core energy of a situation as I do, but these intangibles are definitely at play.


Ultimately, it is my belief that to be highly successful in all areas of life, one has to be a good improvisationalist. You start a business, it's not doing great, you make adjustments big or small, and it may succeed beyond your wildest dreams. You may also end up failing, but at least you tried, and learned.


A couple falls in love, they marry, they grow and change into the people they are meant to be. That may cause great turmoil in their relationship if both parties are growing in different directions. So be it, move along, be open to the possibilities life has to offer – it may be with someone new, with that long-term partner willing to grow with you, or all by yourself. If you're following your heart, and your path, you can't go wrong.


We're here to learn, love, and experience as much as life has to offer. How can we do this if we're unwilling to change, or at least be a little improvisational? If life were meant to be safe and routine, we would all be the same, there would be no great loves, no great explorations, no great discoveries.


So I challenge you to expand your mind to a new way of unlimited thinking, and instead of “No, but...” to “Yes, and...” to see what magic unfolds in your life. Not sure where to begin? Take an improv class! And to all of the scientists, mathematicians, musicians, thespians, and other creators of beauty and originality in any aspect of life, I could not live without you!


For further enjoyment, listen to this podcast "This is Your Brain on Improv, that explores the brains comedy improv actors, musicians and freestyle rappers to see how they process language (or sound) compared to lower-improvising brains. 

Are you ready to improve some area in your life with coaching? Call me to see if it’s a good fit… +1 971-319-0452 or email liz@goalreaper.com

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