One thing I have noticed these past two weeks is the emotional toll the global quarantine and panic has had on the human psyche.
I have had the honor of virtually connecting, playing and facilitating for a few hundred souls during this time frame. Leading teams and small to medium-sized groups through fun and transformative experiences is something I obviously do on a regular basis, but I have noticed a big change in the way people show up.
When I usually welcome a new group in, I am greeted with a mixture of excitement, maybe a little trepidation, and sometimes fear of the unknown.
And always a lot of energy!
This is normal (and powerful to see how they transmute this fear into a relaxed state of joy, playful connection, trust. and bonding with their teammates by the end of the session).
But these past two weeks... WOW!
Many enter our online portal looking exhausted, depressed, their vibrancy is lacking. Their voices are low. Their postures are droopy. They look and sound like they are just going through the motions. Some even speak with hopeless despair. The toll of the past two weeks has been harsh on their bodies, their minds, their emotions, their psyche. Their spirit. Not to mention their wallets and their immune systems.
I share this because it has been an absolute honor and a privilege to be of service for my global community during this time.
My fellow humans have been so devoid of connection, real social interaction and play (let alone laughter and fun) since the virus scare spread across the globe. These elements are soooooo vital for our well being.
When I see a group enter my PLAYshops and trainings with extremely low energy and morale and then an hour later (give or take) leave recharged, reinvigorated and rejuvenated, I know my work, as a Facilitator, has been done.
I know I have positively impacted that person's mental health.
I know I have helped catalyze a powerful change in that person's life... and in the lives of those they interact with.
And they will carry this upgrade and boost with them into their next encounter, task and/or project.
Right now, we all need that uplift. We can all use extra connection and joy.
If you, or your team, can use a boost of connection, playfulness, and/or powerful mindset shift, message me. I can help you make this a reality.
Adam Rudder is the Founder and CEO of Improv4Companies. They specialize in helping teams improve their employee experience and adapt to a rapidly changing virtual workplace. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org . www.Improv4Companies.com
These are unusual and unprecedented times of historic proportion. These past two weeks have felt surreal at times, almost like we have been living through the backstory to Zombieland or I Am Legend. With it, across the board, have come heaviness, challenges and obstacles for many.
And at the same time, I have also been discovering new and insightful things about myself.
I have been noticing all the opportunities being presented to me to reinvent myself.
To look at situations that come up in a new light.
To connect with others (and myself) differently.
To look deeper within and shift my mindset on circumstances and open doors that I previously would not accept, let alone look at.
To surrender to new ways of looking at something (instead of repeatedly trying to force something unsuccessfully).
I have been asking myself how I can be of further service to others? How can I innovate? How can I look at situations and old blocks in new ways? How can I approach life and obstacles in a new light?
What can I learn about myself now that I am surrounded by myself in such a deep and intimate way with a scarcity of distractions.
In future posts I will likely share more. But I just wanted to share this self reflection, as while this has not been an easy time, I have been seeing lots of beauty and opportunity where I once saw despair and loss. I'm seeing new ways to connect where I once saw distance. New ways to look, where
I once closed my eyes.
Until then, if there is a way I can support you during these times, please feel free to reach out to me. I am happy to help.
There is an old zen adage,"You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day. Unless you're too busy, then you should sit for an hour."
It may go against logic, but the same thing goes for "Play".
We live busy lives in a fast-paced, hectic world. Sometimes it can feel like it is hard to keep up with it all and prioritize ourselves. Let alone find time for play.
But play is vital for our well-being. It is our natural state, where creativity, innovation and imagination are born.
And this is exactly why we need PLAY so badly.
Lets have fun and reboot that old zen adage... "You should play for 20 minutes a day. Unless you're too busy, then you should play for an hour."
In our 6th video of the series, Erica talks about "adulting" and how vitally important PLAY is for keeping her sane during her hectic schedule!
We have all been there before. In some form or fashion.
Have you ever been so scared or nervous about something, that your hands sweat profusely, your heart skipped a beat, you fell short of breath, and maybe even felt a little dizzy?
The mere thought of improv whips up trepidation for some. The connotation of "improv" conjures up images of being on stage and performing in front of a big, giant, audience, where you are expected to be funny. This can scare even the bravest among us.
How many times have you heard someone say. "Improv? No way. I cant do that!"
But the truth is, we are improvising all day. Every day. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Non-stop. In fact, I'm improvising right now as I write this. And YOU... you're improvising right now, as you read this. Neither of us has a script in front of us. We are making this up as we go.
Life is an improv. Improv is life. We are constantly improvising. It is our natural state. But when someone says the words "lets do improv," some people suddenly freeze up. Why is this? Why is something that we do so intuitively and so innately suddenly become something that feels so impossible and so scary.
In our 5th video of the series, John shares how he mustered up the courage to venture to his first Improv Playground workshop.
In our 4th video of the series, Samantha discusses life as an introvert and how transformative improv has been for her personal and professional endeavors.
In the third video of our series, Claire discusses the importance of play and shares what she feels like after taking an Improv Playground PLAYshop... and how it raises her energy level and spirit.
I wholeheartedly believe that the things we are most scared about are generally the things we most need to confront and face in our lives.
In our second video of the series, John and Serena talk about their FEARS and share how petrified they were about improv leading up to their first Improv Playground series.
In fact, one of them almost turned their car around and drove home on the way to their first workshop. Watch the video to find out who this was and how they overcame this!
As a Teacher, Facilitator and Coach, I want to make sure that what I do has real life, tangible, impact. More Specifically, I want to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my students, who come to my trainings, workshops, and events, benefit from what is being taught.
So, I decided to ask some of them directly.
What came from this is a series of brief video testimonials and vulnerable shares. In these, we hear about their fears, their preconceptions, and their challenges (in some instances, how they ALMOST let their fear of the unknown dominate them to the point of ALMOST not even showing up at all), and how they overcame these through the Improv Playground Program. We also hear about the fun and the laughter, their victories, and most importantly, how they have taken what they have learned and carried it over into their REAL, every day lives, careers, and relationships.
Below is the first of our series of videos. In it, Victoria, a Home Mortgage Consultant, shares how improv and the Improv Playground trainings, dramatically improved her ability to interact with customers, referral partners and close sales.
Adam had the honor of being a guest on "Life Inspired with Shannon Parsons." They discuss a wide array of personal growth and improvisation related topics, ranging from mindfulness, and spirituality, to failing at life, and YES-ANDing.
If you have ever wanted to get a deeper sense of who Adam is and hear more of the philosophies that go into The Improv Playground Program, this is the video interview for you ;)
PLAY is more than just fun and games. It is vital to our well-being. In fact, it is critical to the healthy growth and development of kids. As children, playing and pretending improves cognitive development, strengthens problem solving skills, and helps us become better at thinking about various possibilities.* According to a clinical report by the American Academy of Pediatrics, play is essential to our development because it contributes to cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being.” Thru play we learn how to share, resolve conflicts, make decisions, be assertive, and work in groups. **
But as we grow into adults and become increasingly weighed down by life’s countless responsibilities, stresses, and societal pressures, many of us lose touch with play. We lose connection with the child within us. We forget about the magic, joy, & limitless creativity that was once second nature to us as younglings. As adults, it is essential that we reconnect with play.
Improv Playground exists to help individuals reconnect with their inner child. We do so by utilizing the phenomenal and proven techniques of improvisation.
Our mission is to foster play, teamwork, and personal growth thru improvisational practices.
*(UC Davis Cancer Center 12/06 )