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Last month’s Impromptu workshop experience with Rob Cook was brilliantly inspiring and amazing.

It was also a disaster.

Let me tell you about the disaster first. Because what’s more fun than a dramatic story with a silver lining?

Rob came prepared (or so we thought) with music to use for our impromptu speeches and songs. 

But he couldn’t  get the music playing on zoom. Then the volume was too loud. After a few minutes of tweaking settings, Rob gave up. No music.

I lost my internet a few minutes in. Thankfully, I’d made Rob the co-host, so he continued while I struggled to connect with my phone.

When my internet finally came back, as I attempted to exit the meeting on my phone in order to rejoin on my laptop…

…I ended the zoom call for everyone by accident.

Yep. I killed my own workshop.

When your tech goes down, you lose internet, and kick everyone off zoom, I think you could call that a disaster.

And yet, somehow, it wasn’t.

These unexpected challenges and mistakes were actually perfect for what we were playing with.

#1 – It’s okay to not know what you’re doing, screw up, freeze, feel uncomfortable. You’ll be okay.

What was shocking is that I was actually more thrown by being asked to rap than kicking everyone off the call.

When Rob asked me to perform a hip hop song on the spot, I froze for what felt like an eternity. I had no idea what to do, and it was extremely uncomfortable.

(Then I launched into a god-awful “rap” version of Frère Jacques. Thank goodness I love laughing at myself!)

I would have thought I’d be more likely to panic when I couldn’t get into my own zoom workshop and certainly when I kicked everyone out. But I was cool as a cucumber! 

“Eh. These things happen. It is a workshop called, Impromptu, after all.”

#2 – We simply have no idea how we’re going to feel in a given situation until we’re in it.

Rob had us writing songs on the spot, and then singing them as a band called “The High Flyin’ Slimers.”

We told stories and made speeches. We laughed our asses off. Some of us were sweating and everyone (including Rob and me) was out of their comfort zone at some point.

There were moments of pure genius.

Rob asked us to imagine the ten of us were each giving a one-minute speech to a group of 50 prison inmates, half of whom were on life without parole, and the other half who would be released in the next 30 days.

The things that came out of our mouths were brilliant, inspiring, funny, heart-wrenching, profound. Somehow, our speeches wove a theme, we riffed off each other, and created something cohesive without planning it.

#3 – You can’t plan genius, and you don’t have to, because it’s always there for you.

Your business is no different from that workshop.

Shit is going to go wrong, and you won’t know how you’re going to feel. Sometimes you won’t know what to do.

But when you stay present, Genius has your back. Eventually, something will occur to you, and it will be just what you need.

#4 – You’ll surprise yourself by what emerges when you take your hands off the reins and go with the flow.

And no matter what happens, when you’re playing the game, fully engaged and alive, it’s always a win.

Yours in creative play,