It starts with one word. Commit.
The two women stood in front of the improvisation class, presenting the drawing between them.
They hadn’t been allowed to talk to each other first. Their job was just to explain it to us.
The one on the left started yammering away and raised her eyebrows at her partner in the classic, “Help me out here!” Her partner stuttered, half-turned away from us, arms wrapped around her torso, shoulders sunken. I cringed because it was awkward to watch and awkward sometimes makes me anxious.
Suddenly, her body shifted. She turned to face us. She stopped stuttering and started speaking clearly. Calm. Straight on.
A split second decision changed her body language and her voice.
We were hooked.
COMMITMENT CREATES MAGIC AND PERPETUATES POSSIBILITY
I’m taking improv for therapists and social workers. Essentially, we do improv and then process all our feelings ad nauseum. I’m in heaven. We noticed that when we committed to the character or the scene, things seemed to unfold with ease and we had each other laughing. When we couldn’t commit (because it was weird, we were nervous, etc.), the scenes were awkward and they died pretty quickly.
Lesson: Commitment creates magic.
Things I do when I commit: I show up. I spend time. I nurture. I move in flow and with freedom even if the work is challenging. (Side note: don’t mistake flow for easy. Danielle LaPorte says things can happen with ease, even if they aren’t easy.) I stop judging what is and I stay open to what is possible.
When I’m not committed, I show up late. I whine. I experience breakdowns in time, money, and results.
Improv is reminding me that commitment is a moment by moment choice. The more we do it, the more it becomes habit. When we ingrain a practice, especially one like commitment, we find that we are able to more fully engage with life.
Here’s the thing: You can not always see what is possible before you commit. I know, I know. DANG IT! You want to see your ENTIRE LIFE PLAN laid out before you. No can do.
Commit for the hell of it and watch possibility expand.
COMMITTING BEFORE YOU TRUST
In improv, you have to trust that your teammates will step in, step up to help you out. You have to trust that they are in there with you in order to keep stepping out. You have to step out without knowing exactly what you’re going to say. You have to TRUST that creation is happening, as long as you commit.
The mystery is that you don’t have to HAVE trust prior to commitment. You can build both with each step that you take.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, because I’m blown away by what has been created in my business, my partnerships, my life when I commit and trust trust.
I’ve also been able to watch HUGE breakdowns when I wasn’t committed this past year. I’m not proud of them. Some lasted months before someone pointed out that I wasn’t committing.
BEING NON-COMMITTAL IS AN ENERGY DRAIN
I’m a 3-4 commitment person. I’ve tried more. I want to do more. I have a loving partner who does more than that and he does it well. I don’t, yet. When I’m committed to four things in my life, there’s a richness and a presence and a deep honoring in each. But more than that and I look at my to-do list at the end of the day and I feel shame, because I missed at least one of those things.
Honor yourself. Revere your commitments. How many commitments are in your sweet spot? Declare those right here!
DECLARE YOUR COMMITMENTS
Commit to writing your screenplay and then actually sit your beautiful behind down and write.
Commit to sitting outside in the morning with coffee and listening to yourself.
Commit to your partner without KNOWING the outcome. Then treat them like you are all in and watch what happens.
You must commit for the magic to unfold and this world, now more than ever, needs whatever the calling is in your heart. You can’t always know the entire plan, just like in improv, where we don’t know exactly what’s going to happen next. We have to commit and trust the next step to unfold.
Roll your shoulders back and whisper your commitments over and over and take action towards them. Delight in what unfolds.
WHAT ARE YOU COMMITTING TO, wild one?! Leave us a comment here or share with us in my virtual living room, SoulSpeak.
To the magic and the possible,
P.S. YEGADS! You can change your mind about what you’re committed to. Because you choose your work, your partner, and sometimes our commitments change. Choose what you are committed to.