"Yes, and..."

Am I creating the kind of life that fulfills me? Am I ready to take the next step on my path? Do I have what it takes to get better, to be better, to have better? Can I see how?

Did I wake up today feeling defeated, apathetic, or simply on auto-pilot? Can I see why?

As you’ve seen by now, I get a kick out of the kind of self-exploration that leads me through the maze of my mind and to the information that God programmed into the atoms of my being.

And when I quiet my mind and wait for an answer, no matter how I phrase the question, the best ones are some variation on, “Yes, and…”

“Yes, and…” is one of the primary tools of improvisational theater. It’s a phrase that engages and propels, that opens up possibilities, that invites your improv partner to play. “Yes, and…” is a key to a really good scene. When handed a situation, a skilled improv actor greets it with, “Yes, and…” 

On the other hand, “No, and…” shuts things down. There’s very little one can effectively say in the face of, “No, and…” Sure, there are responses to, “No, and…,” but they’re predominantly argumentative. “No, and…” is confrontational. It’s the hammer falling on the scene, it puts one partner on the defensive and divides their energy into competing forces. There are lots of phrases that do this, right? A couple more are, “Yes, but…”  and “No, because…,” and I bet you can come up with even more than that. 

When you’re conversing with your higher power, is there anything more engaging than, “Yes, and…?”

Can you think of life as one big improv? Can you allow an element of playfulness in the deathly serious task of living? Can you explore and receive guidance and define for yourself the things that really matter, and frame that information in terms of actions?

Start your answers to those questions with, “Yes, and…”

And notice what happens.