Where the time has gone…

Hi there!

It’s been so long that I posted, that I can’t even remember where we left off. And that’s a good thing, because SO MUCH has happened in this wonderful year!

To start, I currently ‘work’ (as a dental student extern) at the most AMAZING community health center providing dental care. You can read about my experience in cultural barriers and cultural competence at Kevin MD.

CLICK HERE to read the article on KevinMD!

I adopted the sweetest morkie puppy, named Joey. 

And he is coming with me to Tucson to meet his big brother – another morkie – named Sammy! You can follow the fun of this little pup growing older on Instagram. In fact, most of the social media for this website has switched gears from Twitter to Instagram in the recent discovery of this website that everyone else seems to have been using for years :p joey photo.png

I also recently passed my dental licensing examination!!!

With the incredible help of classmates, colleagues, and patients, and the wonderful support of my family and faculty, my entire class passed our licensing credentials. There were some hiccups in the licensing exam day, and we really pulled together as a team to see everyone through. My patient later texted me in utmost gratitude, and I truly feel heartwarmed by the opportunity to provide my three patients with their care. As I told them on licensing day, this is the best FILLING/SIX-TOOTH-CLEANING you will EVER receive. We’re pulling out ALL the stops! #raisingthestandardofcare

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I began posting my ‘Grateful 5’ on facebook every day. 

This is a list of all the little moments and amazing people who made an impact in the past 24 hours. I love sharing this with friends, reflecting on these moments myself, and looking back at all the great days that fill a week! And I encourage each of you to start a gratitude practice of your own. Even if you prefer to keep your lists to yourselves, remember now and then to give that special thanks aloud to someone who impacted your day. Letting them know can truly bring joy to their days, too ♥

As an example, here’s a day when I posted a Grateful *you read that right* TEN!

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And if that weren’t enough …

I found my new apartment to start Pediatric Dental Residency in July, scheduled a graduation/birthday gift trip to Nashville (I turn 27 on May 27! The numerical pattern is oddly titillating), and GRADUATE from Comedy School at ImprovBoston on Monday. You Can Purchase Tickets HERE. 

2019 is a challenging, rewarding, and all-together amazing year.

Here’s to many more exciting moments! (And an attempt to get back to the blogging world :))

What moments have you been grateful for this year? Let’s celebrate them!

© 2019 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.

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Just LOLA [Laugh Out Loud Already!]

Improv comedy has nothing to do with being funny.  No joke!  In fact, if you try to be funny, chances are you’ll fail.  Really, improv is about welcoming the moment.  In this instant, in this context, how can we find humor?  In this scene, in this story, where can we spread joy?  If we are really listening, there is always joy.

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Improv is about noticing what is around us and choosing to see it in a way that lifts our spirits (and the spirits of our audience members).  And in no way is this philosophy limited to the stage!

Notice the world around you.  Take it in.  And now, as if out of nowhere, start laughing.  Hysterically!  Start chuckling and belly-jiggling.  Start smiling as though your favorite comedian took center-stage.  I’ll join in!

And observe.  Was there actual humor in the moment?  A joke that came to mind or a story you recalled?  Perhaps you were laughing at me telling you to laugh at nothing.  Maybe you found humor in the fact that you actually listened to this crazy advice, or you rejoiced in the juxtaposition of your laughter with absolute silence.

Whatever the reason, keep laughing.  Keep smiling.  And you will never see that room or that moment without joy again.

© 2017 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.

Here’s what really matters…

Comedy can be rather simple. Really! Because the key to success in almost any scene is to define a relationship. Who are you to the other person? How does the other person make you feel? How do you feel about him/her?

And how are you going to COMMUNICATE all of that so that your partner on stage and your audience in the crowd know what’s going through your head?

You could use body language, action, perhaps simply words. The choice is yours, and the choice lets the other person know that this moment really matters.

Just today, in fact, my partner in crime and I exchanged our excitement for working together by smashing the top-secret computers in our spy headquarters. We knew right then and there how much we each valued this precious moment. (Granted, this was all in an improvised world, and smashing computers isn’t exactly what I have in mind for the day-to-day, but you get the idea).

And the truth of this lesson doesn’t end on the comedy stage.

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Imagine if, passing your neighbor, you stopped and told that person how much it means to see her smile on the stairs. Imagine if, while sitting on the bus, the man whose name you can’t recall tells you how much he enjoys these 6 a.m. conversations over speed bumps. Imagine if we told the people who impact our lives just that: you make a difference in my day. Imagine if we reminded others why this moment with them is important.

It only takes a second to pause and reflect on the relationship. It only takes the truth to make an impact. It only takes you to make a difference on another person’s day.

For more improv comedy lessons, take your turn on stage with classes. Might I recommend ImprovBoston in Cambridge, MA? Or, if you live in Colorado, check out Voodoo Comedy and Grafenberg Productions. You’re in for a great time!

© 2017 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.

Say ‘YES’ to YOUR life

It’s much too easy

to say ‘yes,’ to live your life in the service of others. Nurses, teachers, and stay-at-home parents, construction workers and attorneys … all of us have an innate desire to be of service for others. We light up with the joy of helping another, and fall in humbled honor at the privilege to be part of another’s life. We gain from approval and aim to not disappoint. Most importantly, we aim, in saying ‘yes,’ to be kind.

But when we turn the question around, when we ask ourselves to go out and enjoy the night, take a break for some rest, or break out of our comfort zones to make changes in our lives, the easiest answer is always ‘no.’ I’m too busy, I’m too tired, I’m too full of excuses to make this change.

Somehow, we forget that the most important approval we could ever gain is from ourselves. We forget the joy of being there for ourselves when we are so wrapped up in the journey of always being there for others.

We lose ourselves in our lives.

And yet, we have not disappeared. By choosing ourselves, by saying ‘yes’ to our own inner requests and making choices that support the lives we want to lead, we can experience life more fully than ever before. We can come to life. 

And only then can we be of greatest service to others.

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So just try, for a day, to say yes to yourself. And don’t worry if you become hooked to ‘yes and-ing;’ just imagine how gloriously your life will change!

© 2017 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.

Take That Back: A simple game to refresh your life

I come to life

on a comedy stage, with a suggestion, and a promise of a good laugh. I come to life on a dance floor, with country music, and a group of new or old friends. I come to life at home, with a pen and a paper, and too many words to decide on just one to come next. I come to life in a clinic, with a child, a few stickers, and a toothbrush in hand.

But do I have to be in those specific situations to feel alive, to feel energized by life? Am I less alive through the rest of my days?

No way! 

Because it’s not the place or the situation that brings light to our eyes. It’s our own mindsets. It’s our willingness to free ourselves from restraints and to gift ourselves the joy of life in every moment. It’s the decision to let the worry, stress, and clutter of life pause so that we can just be, and just breathe.

And it’s the forgiveness we offer ourselves when we choose the wrong path and end up locked in a challenging moment.

There’s a game we play in improv comedy called ‘Take that back.’ Essentially, when you say a statement, the coach, at any moment, can demand that you ‘take that back.’ Say you just exclaimed your love for fried fish. Well, take back that love … so now you commit to a love of rolling chairs. Say you just whined about your character’s lost keys. Well, take back that emotion … and now you are overjoyed about your character’s lost keys. Standing in an objective position, the coach can see what helps and hurts the scene, and can guide you to success with just a touch of ‘take that back.’

And with practice, you can do the same in your own life!

Start noticing how you feel throughout the day. Check in with yourself when you wake up, when you are on the bus. Check in with yourself when you have work sitting before you. Pay attention to those moments when time just feels like it is dragging through mundane and tiresome tasks, or when time is lost to ‘spacing out’ of the moment. Pay attention to each moment.

After noticing for awhile, letting the awareness grow more natural, start to ‘take back’ your experience. Say you woke up with the thought, “It’s Monday morning. Ugh. The early alarm, the trudge through traffic, the full week of work ahead.” You feel tired and weary. You’re already counting down the days of the week. Sure, you could try to let that thought pass, but your body has already responded to the negativity. You’re already feeling weak.

Which is the perfect time to tell yourself, ‘Take that back!’

So you start again, opening your eyes, thinking, ‘It’s Monday morning! Yes! An early start, a productive day, and so much I can accomplish. This will be great!’

Already, you feel energized. Already, you feel hopeful. Already, you are wondering what great things will come of the week instead of reminiscing about the past weekend or anticipating the next. Already, you are more alive and free of your thoughts in the moment.

It’s not an easy exercise to use on yourself. (There’s a reason improv teams use a coach!) But it’s an exercise you can learn and build into your life, and, if you try it right now, just for kicks and giggles, I guarantee* you will experience a momentary transformation in the experience of your day.

*Restrictions apply. Must have your own capacity to set back time in order to complete the guarantee refund of reading this post. And if you have that capacity, YOU JUST INVENTED TIME TRAVEL. DO SHARE, PLEASE!

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© 2017 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.

Live Your Life Like a Comedy Routine

This just in on The Huffington Post: 7 Life Lessons from Improv Comedy!!!

I pulled up to the corner of 21st and Larimer, hoping to find an easy parking spot. The digital clock reflected the time — 6:01 p.m. — and the rain obscured the view through my rear view mirror.

Had I known the Rockies were playing a home game, I would have come sooner. Had I known there would be mostly parallel parking, being a suburban, Arizona girl, I probably would have walked.

6:02 p.m. The class was already starting. The time for a decision was now: do I pull one of my dozen excuses and go home… or do I commit, figure out how to parallel park in the moonlit rain, and arrive, however many minutes late, to improvise!

I could walk you from the anxious shivering of my legs to the cold prickle on my spine as I strolled past a dark Greyhound Bus Terminal, but I’ll jump straight to the cliff notes highlights: I chose improv. I made it about 15 minutes late, meekly shuffled onto the stage, and found my home.

And spoiler alert: the lessons you learn in improv are actually about life offstage.

Click here to read about 7 of those life lessons from improv comedy!!!