This Month in The School of Bravery - March 2020

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Featured Bravery Ingredient: Improvisation

East Nashville Tornado.jpg

I turn right at ^this light^ almost every day on my way to my hot yoga studio only blocks away from my house. That is/was my favorite mural in East Nashville.

But Monday night at 1am, I was huddled over my iPhone watching a live Twitter video stream of the local weather report. I was being directed to "go get a helmet, put on shoes, do not go outside, go to the basement, find shelter NOW. Do not wait. You have 30 seconds. This is not a drill!"

I didn't have a helmet and I didn't have a basement. I live on the 5th floor of an apartment building with no tornado shelter.

But I did have the covering of my grandmother's thick wool coat from Bloomingdale's. I draped it over my dog and I to protect us, even just a little, should shards of glass or worse go flying. I also had a bathtub in a bathroom with three walls made of concrete. That's something right?

Without going into how terrifying a EF-3 tornado only 5 blocks away is... I will say that it is clear that moments like Monday night (and I'm sure many more moments for my neighbors and I over the next coming weeks) will show us how valuable it is to know how to improvise.

Knowing how to do your best with the options given to you in the moment can be a life-or-death skill. Improvising can also be a thrive or survive skill too. If you've been struggling to find enjoyment and ease, it can make your life more fun, more playful, more spontaneous... 

This month in The School of Bravery, we're diving deep into our featured bravery ingredient of, you guessed it, IMPROVISATION

That said, here are 3 gifts from honing your improvisation skills:

  • spontaneity promotes presence - it pulls me into the present moment, so I can soak up what it's like to truly *be* with the people surrounding me.
  • impulsiveness nurtures empowerment - last minute, thrown together things remind me that I have personal agency and influence, even if it's just to gather some friends for pizza
  • quick reflexes sharpens creativity - doing sudden about-face or a turn-on-a-dime change will ask your creative skills to smooth out the bumps, and fast!
So yes, I am safe. But 5 blocks away from a tornado feels like stupid dumb luck. If there's one thing I know about being brave, it's that being brave with others makes it all a whole helluva lot easier. So today, I'll be helping the neighbors to clean up and improvise a beautiful resilience.

If any of this resonates with you, then you're invited to join us this month in The School of Bravery to discuss these and many other factors involved in IMPROVISATION (our featured bravery ingredient this month.) We'd love to see you at any/all of the following events!

You're also invited to help Nashville rebuild. My photographer friend Stacie Huckaba has created an Amazon Wishilist for the East Nashville homeless community. If you order something off this list, it'll get shipped directly to her house and get hand-delivered to the Southern Alliance for People & Animal Welfare or the folks at Sacred Sparks Ministry. Other donations can go to Hands on Nashville.


Masterclasses This Month:

How to Roll with the Punches - Group Coaching with Emily Ann Peterson
Tuesday, March 10th at 12noon Eastern / 11 am Central / 9 am Pacific
How could your improvisational skills within your bravery be used to make things feel easier? Are you ready to learn how to roll with the punches that may come your way? Come join us for a free-form group coaching session! Show up live (or submit your question in advance) and get some solid face-to-face time. We'll roll up our sleeves, build the system, write the thing, audit the page, or clear out the mess. Bring me what you got!

Using Current Events to Improvise with Your Marketing/Publicity/Social Media with Emily Ann Peterson
Sunday, March 22nd at 1 pm Eastern / 12 noon Central / 10 am Pacific
Whether you're required to use your improvisation due to days of national crisis or simply because you're at a loss of "what do I post today?" this masterclass will teach you how to harness your improvisational skills to make the best choices *in the moment* so it matters and is meaningful.

This is the stuff we'll be discussing and finding answers for in this masterclass. Submit your own questions and conundrums in advance and join your fellow students for some group coaching after!

Guest Faculty Events:

Work Party & Accountability Group (hosted by Erin Mae Lewis)
Wednesday, March 4th at 7pm Eastern / 6pm Central / 4pm Pacific
Join Erin Mae Lewis (performing artist, music educator, and guest faculty of The School Of Bravery) and your fellow students for a virtual video conference hang out to hold each other accountable to the current thing on your to-do list. Bring one task or project to work on for 1 hour. Show up ready to take action and help your fellow bravery students do the same!

Booking Extravaganza Work Party (hosted by David Hakan)
Wednesday, March 17th at 3pm Eastern / 2pm Central / 12pm Pacific
Join David Hakan (performing artist and guest faculty of The School Of Bravery) and your fellow students for a virtual video conference hang out to hold each other accountable to getting your bravery more exposure! Get yourself booked for that next gig, podcast interview, guest blog post, or whatever else you might have in mind! Bring one task or project to work on for 1 hour. Show up ready to take action and help your fellow bravery students do the same!

Creative Journaling Class (hosted by Janet Haney)
Wednesday, March 18th at 7 pm Eastern / 6 pm Central / 4 pm Pacific
This is not your typical "dear diary" writing class. To quote Janet herself, "I don't care what you had for lunch. I want to know what makes you, you!" Janet's expertise in navigating grief, life transitions, and creativity will guide you through each writing prompt of this hour-long class. All writing abilities welcome! This is a live online video conference class (held via the free Zoom app) so crack open your laptop, then show up with your favorite writing utensil of choice and some clean paper for a fresh start. Get ready to discover new depths of this month's bravery ingredient of CONTEXT!



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