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The Benefit of Going with the Flow

An improv class sheds light on the thrill of not over-thinking.

How an improv class helped open up the wonders of going with the flow and not over-thinking.

Last year I started taking improv classes after a not-so-subtle suggestion from Guideposts’ Editor-in-Chief Edward Grinnan.  To my surprise, I ended up loving it. So much so that I continued taking classes and performing in live shows. In fact, I’ve just passed my one-year improv anniversary!

It’s funny how so many of improv’s rules also apply to “real life.” About two months ago, I took an improv class and the teacher kept stressing the importance of getting out of your head. “Don’t prepare things ahead of time,” he said. “Just react to the other performers and see what happens.”

See what happens?? Easier said than done. I’m kind of an over-planner/preparer/thinker. (Seriously, you should see my vacation itineraries!) Even though improv is all about performing on the spot, I often find myself thinking of backup ideas in my head right before a scene. You know, just in case.

Read More: How God Leads You to Unexpected Places

The teacher had the class do an exercise where you walk out on stage–by yourself–and react to what the teacher says. He didn’t explain the context of the scene or the rules of the game or what he was going to say. Nope. You just had to step into the unknown and embrace it. 

I’ll admit, at first it was super awkward. I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to be doing. But once I got the hang of it and stopped thinking so much, it was thrilling to perform without a backup plan.

The following week, at our class show in front of friends and family, I had to do that super-awkward exercise again. “Just go with the flow, see what happens,” I told myself. I did. And it was such fun. Freeing, really. In fact, the only part that didn’t go smoothly was when I got stuck in my head again!

Since then, I’ve been trying to go with the flow more. Does that mean I’m suddenly super relaxed and have bid adieu to all of my to-do-lists? No.

Read More: Cultivate Your Creativity

But every now and then I remind myself, “Just see what happens.” After all, you never know what wondrous things might unfold when you get out of your head.

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Walking in Grace 2023 Devotional

We wanted to let you know that we have changed the name of Daily Guideposts to Walking in Grace —(Don’t worry — we promise it is the ONLY change we’ve made!)

Walking in Grace 2023 is the perfect way to start or end each day, focusing on God’s love, and connecting you to a community of writers and readers. Each daily devotion will bless you with a short Scripture verse that draws you into His word, a true moving story about the joys and challenges of living a life of faith, hope, and optimism, a short personal prayer that helps you put the day’s message to work in your own life, and a unique “Digging Deeper” Scripture for further reflection.

In just a few minutes a day, Walking in Grace 2023 will help you find the spiritual richness you long for in your life.

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