Six years ago I began blogging. It was a point of my life when I had lost my job on the heels of welcoming my second child to the world. There was no 30 Days of YES in my life. There was no plan. Well, six years later, there is still no plan, but a whole lot of transformation in between. Looking back, it is inspiring to see how the YES was there all along, even before the form had manifested itself.
(Originally appeared on February 12th, 2006)
I hope my daughter doesn’t get the wrong idea reading this…I will probably amend this statement 10 years from now when she is really interested in boys
“Yes” is a concept that I talk about all the time. As an improviser, one of the first concepts you learn is the idea of agreeing with all of the information your scene partner gives you. Meaning, if your scene partners calls you “Jim,” well, than your name in that scene is Jim. If he/she tells you that there is a train coming, you accept that there is indeed a train coming. If you can find “agreement” with the ideas you and your scene partner share, there is a good chance you two will be on the same page, and the scene has the opportunity to grow.
The next thing you add on to the “Yes” concept is the “and.” We call it “yes and.” Trust me, this is universal, the main improvisation Web site is calledwww.yesand.com
Anyway, the “and” portion makes sure that you play an active role in the scene, instead of being passive. So, when my partner says something like. “That train is coming this way.” Not only do I need to say “yes” to the concept…I need to add an “and” such as, “It is, and it appears to be off its tracks!” See that, I agreed…and then added more information. I took my scene partner’s idea, accepted it, and built off of it…further progressing the story. Had I Just said, “Yes, it is,” and nothing more, it would then be up to my scene partner to further the scene again…without me really adding to it.
Okay…that is a key improv principle. What does it have to do with Spirit and work?
Well, once I lost my job last Spring…I told myself that I was going to stay open to any and every opportunity that comes my way. I didn’t know what they would be, but I knew that if I kept myself busy enough, concentrated of pursuing those things that I really enjoyed, and prayed to stay open to Spirit…the opportunities would come my way…and in abundance.
My concept of Spirit…or God…is a complete Spirit…a positive power that surrounds me at every moment allowing me to access everything I could possibly need. I know that I am never without, I just need to pray, work, and listen…and expect opportunity in abundance. I prepared myself to say “yes and” to Spirit.
It has almost been a year, and the opportunities have come. They have arrived in random and unexpected ways, such as connections with acquaintances that led to video work when I wasn’t even looking or promoting the fact that I could do video work. That in itself led to 8+ video projects.
It has come from efforts that I have been cultivating. The improv group has been a lot of work, but we are starting to see the fruits of our labor (can’t believe I used that phrase). We haven’t even heavily promoted our corporate or private shows…but people have sought us out…and booked us at a more consistent rate.
Lastly, Spirit has led people to me. Traci at WorldBlu didn’t know I was looking for work when she called me last summer and wanted me to help with her Forum. I said “yes” on the spot, and now that is growing into full-time work. Plus, I wasn’t looking to blog, but when old friends told me about SpiritontheJob.com, and wanted me to blog…how could I say no
So, do I always say “yes?” No. For me, it comes down to whether or not the opportunity is something that matches with my spiritual core. Is it something I will enjoy, could be passionate about, and will leave me feeling good about myself? If not, I pass on it. If me saying “no” seems to be based on fear or uncertainty in myself…then I try to reconnect with Spirit in a way that reassures me that I have all of the ability I need to be successful…and then hopefully I move forward. A friend of mine who has another Web site approached me last week about possibly doing some work with him. I am praying and actively listening for the opportunity to develop…and then decide from there. Either way…I feel at peace.
The “yes and” concept really spiritually resonates with me. Saying “yes” to opportunity from Spirit is the first part of the equation…but I also have the responsibility to add the “and” to the opportunities that come my way. It’s not passive…it’s extremely active…and it’s where the spiritual rubber meets the spiritual road.
So, are you prepared to say “yes and” to what is coming your way…or are you finding excuses to say “no.” Nothing happens when we say “no,” but, maybe you’re okay with that