Your Turn Challenge Day 6: Riding the River

There's a feeling you get when you're up on stage when things are really buzzing along; when you're so in sync with your fellow actors - or as a speaker when you're in sync with the audience - that it feels as if every word you utter comes off perfectly, that nothing could go wrong. It is creativity and performance at its finest and most magical. And as an audience member, not unlike other sorts of "art,"  you know it when you see it.  

Elizabeth Gilbert talks a bit about this in her amazing (truly, one of my all-time favorites) TED Talk about Creativity. Sometimes the genius is in the corner inspiring those magical moments; and sometimes she isn't. You can't control the genius; but you can show up and do the work. And awaiting the genius? - that magical flow? - you have to accept that chasing her down is part of the game.


I heard someone refer to it recently as "riding the river." The flow takes you to where you are going. It's moving you as much as you are moving yourself.


I saw it in an improv scene when four actors were so in tune with each other -  it seemed so easy. I was delighted.


I saw it watching an African drumming concert with my preschooler–the way the drummers look both at their drum AND at the drum next to theirs, keeping beat together, rhythmically, powerfully. That was joy.


I felt it giving a short talk about a mentor of mine - when the words tumbled out and, unwittingly, I made people laugh.


'Riding the river' is one of the great mysteries of our work. And it's one of the great privileges. photo credit: LightSweep via photopin cc