Whenever I get an inkling or an idea that evokes a strong image, I give it a nudge just to see what happens with a bit of energy behind it. It’s a tryout of sorts and even the smallest of gestures; a check- list or a rough draft can wake up a fleeting thought and move it forward.
Everybody has their own way; and I’ve learned the more I invest in my ideas and the more I listen to the stories that surface, the bolder the notions and the more specific and remarkable the feedback.
BUT LISTENING IS HARD. IT TAKES PRACTICE. AND IT REQUIRES THAT WE STAY PRESENT.
Sanford Meisner the legendary acting teacher understood this and developed a rigorous repetition exercise used to intensify the actors ability to listen.
You look awesome.
I look awesome?
Yes, you look awesome.
I look awesome?
YES! You look awesome.
It starts off mundane and awkward but the rigor of the repetition tethers the actor to the present making the work alive, interesting and truthful.
For the actor, the present has everything they’ll ever need. And the instant they loose sight of it, is the moment they falter.
Buddhist and ordained nun Pema Chodron, writes, ” Be there for what’s happening. Sit with what you have. It’s a very rich place to be-it’s not about later.”
And it’s not just for a select few or the powerful 1%.
Listening will supply and empower anyone willing to lend an ear with more depth, more width, and more height.
This business of listening and living in the present is fair game-and anyone keen enough can start where they are.