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.

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Finding My Voice

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For me, writing is all about finding my voice and sharing it.  Often unfiltered.  Sometimes abridged.  So in moments when my voice seems too quiet, I pick up a pen, and there my voice is.

Where do you find your voice?  What brings that little nugget of wisdom out?  

Tell us in the comments!  We can’t wait to hear from you!

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

That Feeling When …

Originally published on The Huffington Post.  Click Here to read the original!

Mom and I stand side-by-side, taking in the majesty of Coast Guard Beach.  From the calendar date – April 1 – and the icy rain, we both know we are a little early for the beach season.

“But the beach is so empty today,” I acknowledge, spreading my arms over the vastness of the sand.

Bundled in her black, knee-length coat, Mom steps up to meet me on the pier.  From where we stand, the beach seems endless, footprints leaving indents in the sand where someone must have walked earlier in the day.

“It’s beautiful,” Mom exhales, handing over the cell phone camera and umbrella long enough to tie her hood a little tighter. 

“It’s beautiful,” I agree, taking in the silence of the winter sea.

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Often, no one emotion describes just how we feel.  Happy, peaceful, content, blessed.  Quite simply, no single combination of words grasps the depth of these poignant experiences that make up a life.

Sure, for simplicity, for necessity, we try to narrow down the playing field of options, instructing one another to pick an emotion from a list of standard emojis.  But nothing about April 1st on Coast Guard Beach was standard.  Nothing about the crisp breeze at the shoreline matched with a pre-existing emoji, at least on my downloaded app of yellow smiley faces.

So, in a world of technological convenience and in a life moving at speeds often too fast to process, let’s remember the beautiful complexity around us, the moments so precious and the tears so painful that they simply can’t condense into a predefined standard of emotion.  Because, in those moments, in your portrayal of those experiences, you will find your voice.

What are you waiting for?  Take out your pen and paper, or click on that little Word “W” on your screen, and start creating your very own list of moments so complexly powerful there just isn’t an emotion to describe them.  Use your voice, and add some of your favorites or most memorable to the comments below!

I’ll get the ball rolling with a list of eight of my own experiences that just don’t condense into a single emotion:

  1. The feeling of standing in the warm steam of a shower, watching the water pool into little circles on your arm and roll down your damp skin.
  2. That relieving burn in your calves as you stand and stretch for the first time after a five hour flight.
  3. The moment you pull a tray of chocolate chip cookies out of the oven, standing still as the sweet smell of baked dough embraces your arms like a full-body massage.
  4. The feeling of covering the burn of a chapped lip with the tingling sting of Burt’s Bees chapstick, anticipating the cool, crisp relief that will come.
  5. The final shovel of dirt placed atop your grandmother’s casket at her hillside funeral.
  6. The touch of a pen in your hand and a paper against your palm as you scribble out the thought that kept you from falling asleep.
  7. That sensation of pressing send on an important application after spending weeks preparing the materials, years readying yourself for that step, and only nanoseconds releasing the opportunity from your own control.
  8. The feeling of driving home from a long day at the lab, stuck in traffic on Tanque Verde Rd. and Sabino Canyon, wondering if the sunset really could contain so many different shades of pink, yellow, and orange.

So tell me, what are your 9 and 10?

© 2016 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.