2/9/16

February OPEN challenge: Don't Prepare

As you know if you have been following along here, my word this year is OPEN, and to help me stay connected to my word throughout the year, I've decided to use the book, Improv Wisdom by Patricia Ryan Madson, as inspiration for an OPEN Challenge each month. 


FEBRUARY'S OPEN CHALLENGE

Don't Prepare.


What does "Don't Prepare mean and why it is helpful? In the author's own words, my favorite quotes from the "Don't Prepare" chapter:
“We often substitute planning, ruminating, or list-making for actually doing something about our dreams... The habit of excessive planning impedes our ability to see what is actually in front of us. The mind that is occupied is missing the present.”
“Substitute attention for preparation. Then you will be working in real time. Focusing attention on the present puts you in touch with a kind of natural wisdom. When you enter the moment with heightened awareness, what you need to do becomes obvious.”
“While we can't control what we find inside the box, we can always control our response to it. Discover what is right, what is interesting, what is useful about the gift that appears to you. Avoid expressing disapproval. Be a gracious receiver.”

How “Don't Prepare” relates to Open  

Don't Prepare opens the mind and heart to what is in the present moment.

Preparation can sometimes be born from a need to control an outcome, which is fundamentally a closed process. Don't prepare is more open ended, and brings forth greater trust and is more open-minded.

Don't Prepare leaves me open to fear (of not being prepared) and the opportunity to practice living in that place and learning that everything will be okay.

Reflections

I'm a planner. Anybody who reads this blog or knows me probably knows this. So, this month's OPEN Challenge is a huge stretch for me. Perhaps I'll start with one day, or even one part of a day, and work up from there. It should be interesting! 

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