When I was in grad school, we had to do an interesting assignment. We were given a list of “ingredients” that needed to be included. (Your piece must be between 4 and 5 minutes and you must weave together moments of stillness with movement, you must support your body with your arms at least once, etc) It was our creative choice how to fit all of those ingredients in. Then we shared our creation with the class.
One bit of feedback has stuck with me ever since. A woman said, “I’m curious about what’s happening in the transitions … “ She didn’t say much more at the time, and yet the question sat with me until I realized, she’s asking because there isn’t anything happening in the transitions. I’m holding my breath as I move from one stopping point to the next.
Over the years I learned how to breathe through those transitions. What I had failed to do during my ingredients assignment, I taught myself to do – at first with focus and effort, and then eventually consistently and with ease. My acting became filled with more flow while being more dynamic at the same time. (Not to mention more fun!)
When I work with acting students I now see the same thing in them that she must’ve seen in me. When they hold or suppress their breathing in between words and actions, things fall flat. When they learn to breathe in the space between actions, breathing in/inhaling/receiving what the scene partner says and does, they become mesmerizing.
When my speaking clients learn to breathe in a fluid way, they too become vibrant and alive. The flow of breath evokes the flow state.
This past week I asked a client to stop and take a breath every time she transitioned between one space and the next. One room to another. Outside to inside. Open cubicle area at work into a conference room.
The shift she felt was profound.
What’s happening during the transitions in your life?
What would happen if you breathed through them?
With passion & love,