Imagine a river flowing just above our heads. It's lush, and ever flowing. This is what I call The Creative Flow - the source of our imagination and creativity. We all experience moments when we are in the Creative Flow, but it can be elusive. When we are sourcing this flow, it is an incredible experience - ideas, energy, imagination, creativity - is in abundance. There is no struggle - we are full of curiosity, and willingness to explore the moment RIGHT NOW without judgement to discover what is on the other side of our ideas.
A couple of weeks ago I was invited by the San Francisco Digital Narrative Alliance (DNA) to speak at their Storytelling Summit about improvisational training as a powerful process to learn how to access and channel creativity more consistently, and build stories in team settings. We took people out of their seats and into our Improv Sandbox for 60 minutes! We witnessed total strangers creating playfully with each other, delighting in curiosity of the "what would happen if...?" without judgement, hesitation or premeditation. They committed to building upon whatever happened, building upon each other's ideas and stayed completely present in the moment. The energy in the room was magical - and it stayed with everyone throughout the rest of the day's activities.
This is the very space we hold for our coaching clients - whether we are coaching a C-Suite level leader, a creative or someone working on their personal vision. It is our job to help them access this Creative Flow, to be present in the moment with what is happening without judgement, and building upon whatever shows up. After creating, teaching, directing and performing in improvisational theatre for 30 years, I discovered that I wasn't just teaching improv techniques, I was coaching individuals to not only BE in the moment, but to ENJOY and CO-CREATE with others in the moment!
One thing I find we coaches and advisors are not always very good at (me too) is remembering to block out time to nurture the playful, creative side of ourselves. It is an essential element to what we bring to our clients - to stay curious, creative, connected and flexible. During the next few months, while the world is taking their summer vacation, I encourage all of us to give ourselves time to relax, enjoy being present and play!