This year I started teaching training of facilitators of Improvisation. One woman asked me a question that made me long thinking about …
The question was: “What is the most difficulty in teaching people that just start to dance?”
Since the question surprised me, I answered immediately: cynicism and criticism are major inhibitors at the beginning of the process.
The question sent me to think about the other side,
What will support the most the agreement to dance and move to change through the dance?
By looking at people for years, I can definitely say that these not the person’s physical capabilities, not age, not professional background. These are not factors that affect the possibility for someone to agree diving to the new.
If so, what allows people to agree to go through the process?
The answer came to me in the recent days:
The agreement to be vulnerable.
Yes, the agreement to be expose, to walk without knowing where to, without having a promises about what the outcome will be, is what enables the process.
The answer got stronger from a lecture I heard from the researcher Brene ‘Brown, at my favorite site: TED.
Lecture called “The power of being vulnerable.”
Brown shares her fascinating research over several years that included tens of thousands of people. She was looking for a way to measure what allows people to be in relationships with people.
Brown distinguish between people who felt a sense of belonging and connection in their lives, compared to those who lived in a constant struggle to that feeling.
The group of those who felt worthy and capable to connections shared the following:
1. Courage – the Latin origin of the word is the courage to tell your story wholeheartedly.
2. Generous to yourself and then to others.
3. Agreement to change in favor of the relationship, release what I think for what is right for the connection.
4. Vulnerability and approximately – to agree and to understand that without consent to be vulnerable and exposed, there is no possibility to build the relationship.
The vulnerability allows us to touch uncertainty, shame and fear, and strengthens the opportunity to experience joy, creating a sense of belonging and love, and is therefore a component key.
Brown emphasizes the feeling of vulnerability especially as our society in the West, we usually refrain from feeling negative emotions, and when they arrive, most of us work hard for pacifying those feelings by various addictions like a lot of work, overeating, alcohol, drugs and more.
The rates of depression in the United States have never been so high as in previous years, and no wonder. When we close with force the opportunity to meet with the feelings that are less pleasant to us, such as embarrassment, shame, fear and sadness, we also close the opportunity to touch the positive emotions such as joy, creativity, passion and belonging.
All this according to Brown enable people to be on good relationships over the years.
The practice at the studio invites us to be in touch with ourselves and the people around us.
As we enter with an agreement to meet with ourselves and others with courage, generosity, with the consent to release what we think of ourselves, the way to a connection is possible more easily.
Back to the studio…
A few days ago at the beginners class, we danced a duet. One of the participants, stopped in the middle of the common dance.
When I approached him, he shared that he was embarrassed to dance when someone looks at him.
He stopped even though he really wanted to dance, and not just by himself. He stopped just because he did not know what to do when embarrassment appeared?
How often do we refrain from meeting emotions that are not favorable to us?
The convenience and the habits, don’t letting us experience the full range of emotions that are diverse, and so we block the uncomfortable feelings but at the same time also the happy feelings.
I suggested the student to continue to dance, to feel the embarrassment, and feel what is possible in the body.
First, it is better to recognize this quality, like all quality of emotion,
Second, there is a possibility that we have more than one feeling, you can feel embarrassed and at the same time feel more things that the dance can brings.
And in addition, that feeling of embarrassment can move and change completely during the dance.
Emotion is like a wave. It comes and present in the body, and unless you hold it, it changes, goes on passing ..
Agree to be vulnerable, is to agree to meet with the whole range of emotions. When we refrain from meeting at one edge of emotions, we deny ourselves the other edge as well, we create a kind of dam that reduces the range of our emotions, reduces the range of our options.
I often offer to my students to come to the studio even if they are tired, sad or really not at their best.
As a society, we got used to display ourselves out only at our best. Our models are beautiful people, young people without wrinkles, rich, and do not mistake. They are perfect models of beauty and success.
One of the revolutions that the improvisation offers, is the possibility to come to a common space where you can be exactly as you are, with our full range of emotions.
A lot of new possibilities can open from a meeting like this.
Remember, we are human, and as human beings we are also weak and vulnerable.
When we agree to be with what there is now and move with it, the movement may produce additional waves, fatigue can make room for a new wave of energy.
So next time you feel a moment of embarrassment, fear or discomfort, don’t hurry up to fill it with something else. Let the moment be, agree to meet with sorrow, pain, discomfort, so that you can meet with excitement, creativity, joy and passion.
And before the finish for today, a very familiar, but worth seeing it again. Simple, short, and excellent…
Bring yourselves such meetings, with yourself and with others, of courage, generosity and agreement to feel what you feel, from a belief that it is possible.