finding a more authentic, playful life --- finding your story

Monday, September 30, 2013

Overnight Train to Prague or The Manifestation of "Jump"

I awaken to my friend Dena hitting me on the arm and yelling.

“Wake up, Kim! Wake up! We’re here! We must have overslept! Hurry!” We are apparently already in Prague. I barely remember falling asleep last night. I was so tired, but afraid to sleep. It’s our first morning out of the U.S. and we are on an overnight train to Prague, Czech. (although at the time there was a "slovakia" at the end, but I digress.)

“Kim! C’mon! The train is stopping! Get your stuff.”

I’m still half asleep. I’m wearing jammies. (Don’t ask. It seemed like a good idea last night.) My backpack is unzipped, I unpacked half of it last night when we settled in. (Again, don’t ask. First time on a train.) I stand up, throw on my boots, grab my bra and try to fit thru the door with my over-packed pack. Dena is in the hall.

“Come on, Kim!” She pulls me through the small compartment door.

We are now standing in front of a closed train door. Crap. I’m still half asleep. My pack is unzipped, my boots are unlaced and I’m wearing my shorty jammies and holding my bra.

“I’m gonna open it” Dena says as she manhandles the door open. The train lurches. Under her force, the door opens. A miracle! Then the train starts to move.

“I’m gonna jump!” Now I’m starting to wake up. My pack is unzipped, my boots are unlaced. I’m wearing shorty jammies and holding my bra and the only person I know on this continent is about to jump off a moving train. Aaaand she does. Well, now I’m awake.

And alone! I move to her vacated spot in the doorway. The train is, of course, moving faster. I see Dena, laying on the platform, looking up at me, getting smaller and smaller in the distance. And almost in seemingly slow motion, she shouts: “JUMP, Kim!!!”

Jump, Kim…This feels like a moment. Could I do it? Was I a jumper?

We all have these moments in our life (maybe just not on the edge of a train car) -- moments that define us, that make us who we are, that seperate the jumpers from the non-jumpers.

Sometimes jumping means just standing up for yourself or speaking your truth to someone or even jumping into a new job or a new relationship because you just felt you had to. Maybe it means jumping in and doing the right thing, protecting someone. But it always involves bravery and going somewhere you’re not entirely sure you are capable of going. We all have these moments when the universe calls on us to make a choice: jump or don’t jump. Which action do you usually take?

Turns out, I am a jumper. Yup, I jumped. Bloodied, battered and bruised, but successfully reunited with Dena! We look across the platform at each other, laying limbs askew, smiling. Ah, success!

(And sure, then there was something, I guess-- if you must know--about the train stopping and then the train reversing and then hundreds of heads popping out the windows to watch as the conductor came out of the train, standing on the platform, shaking his head and wagging his finger at us to tell us in his best broken English that we had jumped off at the employee station and that Prague was still 10 km down the tracks where apparently the doors open on their own, and they wait for you to walk off the train, creating no need to jump off...but whatever. I jumped.)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

As Seen on Twitter...

  IMPROV LIFE LESSONS seen on twitter @kimschultz1...

KSi Improv Life Lesson #1
Say YES.

KSi Improv Life Lesson #4
Play more.

KSi Improv Life Lesson #15
Speak your truth.

KSi Improv Life Lesson #33
Be more of who you are.

KSi Improv Life Lesson #51
Be brave! Success comes to you when you are willing to risk failure.

KSi Improv Life Lesson #59
Follow. Your. Gut.

KSi Improv Life Lesson #77
Just jump.

KSi Improv Life Lesson #101
Be the expert you already are.

KSi Improv Life Lesson #178
Commit. Commit. Commit.

KSi Improv Life Lesson #623
When people show you who they are, believe them.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Expectations of Paradise

Today's rainy day has me thinking about expectations and how often we live in them. For example, I am sitting in paradise, otherwise known as Akumal, Mexico during rainy season. And it is raining. A lot. I knew this was a possibility. I knew it would likely rain, but I mean, come on. How many tropical storms are gonna hover over us!?! It's raining a lot people! I came down here expecting sunshine. I want the beach! I didn't bring enough rain gear or warm clothes or books for this. Come on Mexico! I mean, really. Come on!

But this is the stuff of expectations. And unfulfilled expectations are what lead to disappointment. Expectations mean you are living in the future with hopes of something happening or not happening. Expectations are what create disappointment.

No expectations = no disappointment.

Improv teaches us to live in the moment, to accept what is. quote my friend Randy...and his t-shirt. This is the stuff of present moment living. Where are you living in your expectations? Where can you live in what actually is?

So I drink my coffee, feel the breeze, listen to the sound of rain, enjoy the respite from the heat and live in this moment -- which I know I'm lucky to have. And I'm grateful.

Also. I'm writing a new little book of improv with my friend Jim illustrating. More soon. But don't expect it. :)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I'm ready for my close-up, Ms. de Mille

"Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how … we guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark." 
~ Agnes de Mille 

I love this quote from Ms. de Mille. 

"Life is a form of not being sure." There are so many things I'm unsure about. Worrying or fretting or trying to be sure, seems to do me no good. So what if I just accepted the uncertainty -- even embraced it?! What could happen then? What might be possible? I love the idea of taking "leap after leap in the dark". Easy? Not always. Fun? Mostly, yes. For me, that's just kind of a Tuesday. Just keep leaping and see what nets appear to catch me. A cool act of daily bravery.

So here's your shot of daily bravery: Where can you leap in the dark? What might be possible when you do?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

So I ate cheese curds...

Last week I ate cheese curds, corn dogs and lots of other deep fried things on a stick with a dear bunch of friends at the Minnesota State Fair. We had come from all over---NY, Florida, Philly, LA, Texas---to "reunion" together for a wedding..and go to the fair.

Friends are important. Relationships we build can sustain us and do sustain us. Family comes in all forms. I am grateful for this form. Grateful for friends, efforts put in to maintain these friendships, laughter (so much laughter!) and, yes...cheese curds.

What are you grateful for?