Wouldn’t you love a team (of employees, performers, or players) you could totally trust? If you had people who were responsible and motivated to do their part without you keeping an eye on them, then you could probably give them some space. Sorry, it doesn’t work that way.
My two favorite things are Improvisational Theatre and the study of our spiritual nature. When I put these two passions together the result is Spiritual Improv.
When I was living in Bar Harbor, Maine (2005-2008) I discovered ImprovAcadia the local improv theatre. I quickly fell in love with the art form. I ate it up, attended shows weekly, and started taking classes. Now I perform and train with ComedyCity Kansas City’s longest running improv troupe. From the beginning it has been more than a hobby or source of amusement. To me it was always something… spiritual.
My spiritual background is a blend of Eastern and New Thought traditions. I have found the basics of Improv go hand in hand with these teachings. The training activities for Improv acting (which consist largely of play!) work beautifully with the Buddhist principles of mindfulness and equanimity. The exercises quicken our innate gifts – or Unity’s 12 powers – Imagination, Will, Renunciation, and more.
Spiritual Improv is a mix of games, conversation, and introspection. It is a stress free compliment to your own spiritual practices without the pressure of performance or the formality of religion. The activities can be fitted to any individual or group situation. The emphasis is on creating a fun and safe place for participants.
Please let me share Spiritual Improv with your church or organization. I am available for guest speaking, team-building retreats, playshops, and fundraisers.
This is the covenant which I share with participants in my classes and playshops. I call it a “covenant” though no one is asked to make a promise or pledge. It is more of a launching-off platform for discussion. We relate these ideas with the games and activities of spiritual improv. We explore them as a group, how can they be utilized in your daily lives and relationships? Primarily I invite you to turn within and integrate these commitments with your own spiritual journey.
Spiritual Improv Covenant
1. LISTEN. I listen to everything. I observe and feel with my whole being. I keep a soft focus on myself and everything happening around me.
2. YES-AND. I validate what my partners offer and I make my own contributions. I accept their creations and add what is mine to add.
3. OUT OF MY MIND. I intentionally shift away from the analytical head-space to the intuitive heart-space.
4. ALLOW THE FLOW. When I get an idea I do not suppress it. I let creativity be expressed through me.
5. RELEASE ATTACHMENT. I let go of how I thought a scene was going to play out. I am not attached to what I thought was supposed to happen.
6. THERE ARE NO MISTAKES. When a “mistake” occurs it is immediately blended into the scene. It is nothing but a new twist in the game; one more part of the creative process.
7. NO ONE LEFT BEHIND. I do not abandon my teammates. When one of them is struggling I come to their side to support them. Likewise I expect them to do the same for me.
8. I DO NOT TRY TO BE FUNNY. I strive only to be sincere. True to the character, true to the scene, and true to life. Life is funny enough.
For participants in Spiritual Improv with Ned Kelley