July 14, 2020
The Art of Improvisation
By Amba Gale
I am aware, as we move through the passages of Covid, I am being taught the art of improvisation, the art of being able to say to the universe, “yes, and….” as an antidote to resisting what is. I learned from a friend how precious that key can be, the key to starting with acceptance of what is presented to us, versus resistance, avoidance, denial.
That’s what this tiny, wild, purple flower is doing, as it makes its appearance into the sunshine out of the hard, lichen-filled lava molten rock on the shores of Lake Superior. It is improvising. It is saying, “Yes, And” to the conditions in which it finds itself.
We are all living in the unknown. And, our ability to plan is ripped out from under us. Each moment is another moment of improvisation – none of us has ever been here before. Each day, each moment, can be another first time for us – and first times for anything bring with it confusion, worry, feelings of incompetence, and many other emotions as well. You should see me with just starting Zoom! Embarrassment, humiliation, confusion. Or finding my way through a website in new ways. Or approaching the possibiiy of entering into social media, which I have always been adverse to, in behalf of making my new book more visible in the world.
This is the time for giving ourselves a break. We are all operating in unknown territory. Time to develop compassion, INCLUDING FOR OURSELVES. It’s time to breathe, let ourselves be, to notice how our “having to be perfect” drives us crazy. Perhaps we don’t have to live in that conversation. Whose voice is that, anyway? Ours? Our parents’? Our expectations we have laid on ourselves over the years?
Time to allow ourselves to be the incompetent, bumbling fool that we secretly always thought we were but covered it up so well, to make sure that that expression of us that we were so ashamed of, or felt guilty about, wanted so badly to keep hidden, not EVER EVER EVER show itself in the light of day, and now, here we are, inventing as we go, as almost every moment is a “first time.” No way to escape now. Better get used to it, and embrace ourselves, and all those aspects of who we are that we never wanted to be seen in the light of day.
Time to let our beautiful, wondrous, generous, loving, compassionate light shine, warts and all, on ourselves and others, and embrace the whole of who we, and they, are. Time to step out into the light of day, with all our beauty, and all our wisdom, and all our flaws, and let our passion lead the way. Let’s tell the truth. The truth works.
Time to improvise, trusting, and eading from our hearts. Our hearts know the way.