More Riffs on Improvisation

Last night, after reading and writing about improvisation, Quester and I listened to a public radio program called On Being, with guest Bobby McFerrin (you can listen here if you wish). He spoke about improvisation too, and connected free-form singing with being connected to your spirit. I think any form of creativity applies here, not just music. And in fact, I was pondering this morning that when we improvise in our daily lives, that’s when we’re most connected with our spirits.

Think about it: it’s when we are most rigid and wanting to be “in control” that we are the least happy. Is this true for you? I’ve seen this in my own life and with several of my friends’ experiences. I mean, there’s no way we can fully micro-manage what happens in our lives. That’s not what it means to “create your own reality.” Actually, it’s when we hold tight to things going a certain way that our high expectations aren’t met, and we get disappointed, angry, or depressed. Especially when we believe that we can direct our own lives.

I think that’s a big misconception about the Law of Attraction and creating what we want. The saying goes: “Ask, Believe, Receive.” So you start by asking: putting your intention out there and focusing on what you want. Then comes the hard part: having faith that it will happen, even when you don’t know how. When you don’t have that trust or belief, that’s when the things you desire get blocked. Your resistance, fear, or doubt are what you are attracting, instead of the things you began with.

And finally, there’s the part where you are open to receive what you’ve asked for. Which may not sound difficult, but again, if you’re trying to actively control everything in your life, you’re not really being open and going with the flow of what is actually happening. You’re not noticing the opportunities that are being presented to you all the time, because you’re too busy trying to steer the ship all by yourself.

Instead, you can learn to surf the waves of life: events, thoughts, emotions, ideas, and actions. There is a great post on the blog zenhabits about doing things just for fun. The author is a proponent of not having goals at all, which I admit as a Virgo seemed a bit far-fetched (and scary) to me when I first encountered the concept. Yet when I think about what has worked best for me recently, focusing on intentions and passions and then relaxing into what happens seems to be the way to go. Kind of like the idea of magick – you do a spell for something important to you, start the energy flowing, and then release your attachment and let the magick do its work.

I’m still very much in the process of figuring this out. It’s a whole new layer of wisdom that is weaving itself into my life. Your feedback is welcome. I’m sure I’ll have more to say on this topic in the near future…

P.S. Here are a couple more links on the “no goals” thing if it intrigues you: 100 Days and A Journey Without a Goal.

Tell me what you think!