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how we stop our own story [or how about we build a swing instead?]


In improv class, we don’t get to use the words “don’t” or “no” and rarely get to ask questions when we are playing games. This is because it stops the story from moving forward.

This has, of course, got me thinking about how I stop my own story. I see how many times I’ve let the stories in my head stop me from an abundance of love, intimacy and other forms of goodness.

Here are some things I’ve seen myself or my friends do:

Say why we can’t do something creative before we even start or try. “I don’t have time.” “That’s not the right fit.” “I had to say no. It just wasn’t a good gig or enough money.” Did you ask for more money? “No.” hmmmmmm… (Sure you’ve explored every possibility? Keep going!)

Or how about this one: “I went out with someone last night.” Oh yeah? How’d it go? “He was great but he wasn’t/didn’t/isn’t…it won’t work because….” hmmmmm…. (Sure you’re not afraid of getting hurt? Thought so.)

“Love never works for me. I’m just not the type people want to keep around.” (Come on! Everyone is lovable but maybe you’re afraid you might have to upset your tidy little life, eh?)

“I don’t have enough time for my creativity.” hmmmm…. (Yeah? Sure you can’t put down the remote or get your ass off the computer?)

And so it goes. I can’t, I won’t, I didn’t, NO…so many ways of blocking our stories and our own good.

I’m currently looking at everything I just ADORE and letting that be enough. We can be discerning. We can have preferences but we can also find ways to work WITH what’s coming at us and take a big bite out of life by MOVING towards what we love rather than putting a big NO block in front of our desires.

“I don’t know.” or “I don’t care.” are so annoying and weak.

What about staking a claim for what is just fantastic?

Some reframing can be so affirming and helps us focus on what we want more of. Here are a few suggestions:

Instead of “Don’t touch me there,” say “mmm…touch me THERE. I love that. mmmm….more…”
Instead of “My ex was crazy. Such a tight ass,” say “I have learned what I like. I love a guy who can flow with life. Yum.”
Instead of “I don’t want to go there,” try “You know what I love? I love______!”
Instead of “Why don’t you ever____?” try “I love it when you______.”
Instead of “Why doesn’t he/she call me?” TRY CALLING THEM.

You (whoever you are) might be reading this but ultimately, this blog is all about me so here’s a list of 25 things I know I love right now:

Satay Seattle
Fuel Coffee
Hearing the words, “When can I see you again?”
Being gentle and kind with myself and others.
Natasha Bedingfield’s “Unwritten” album.
Pandora Radio
Nag Champa Incense
Walking in the rain
Feeling the wind kiss my bare legs.
Long fingernails grazing my flesh.
Amber eyes with long lashes looking down at me.
Persian trance music.
Unexpected kisses.
My back petted often.
Robert Downey, Jr. (rawr)
Having blond(ish) hair.
Playing improv games with my kids.
Supporting my friends and allowing my friends to support me (new for me).
Dark chocolate.
Red wine.
Dancing often.
Being vulnerable.
The poetry of Hafiz. Speaking of which, this is a great way to end this post.

To Build a Swing
You carry
All the ingredients
To turn your life into a nightmare–
Don’t mix them!
You have all the genius
To build a swing in your backyard
For God.
That sounds
Like a hell of a lot more fun.
Let’s start laughing, drawing blueprints,
Gathering our talented friends.
I will help you
With my divine lyre and drum.
Will sing a thousand words
You can take into your hands,
Like golden saws,
Silver hammers,
Polished teakwood,
Strong silk rope.
You carry all the ingredients
To turn your existence into joy.
Mix them! Mix them!

I’ve used all this with my kids lately and it works like a charm. I told my daughter today, “When you tell me what you don’t like in your lunch, it makes it hard for me to accommodate you and I want you to have what you want! Tell me what you want and I’ll give you more of that.”

It is my deeply held belief that the Universe is exactly the kind of Mom I am. I believe the Universe wants us to have what we want but we gotta know what that is. So ask already! I am!

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