Therapeutic Storytelling

I specialize in storytelling. My clients tell me stories about who they are and the life they are leading; stories about health, life, courage, confusion and so much more. They cast themselves in a specific role that reflects and shapes their psyche and their story about themselves.

Listening to a person’s story tells me about their hopes, their fears, their insecurities and their strengths. And hidden in amongst the folds of every story told are little whispers of wisdom that grow wings with which to fly when they are unearthed from our depths and the light of positive attention is shone upon them. The same light can make fears and insecurities dissolve as though they were merely the remnants of a bad dream shaken off with the dawning of new realisations and insight.

In clinic, I use many different story-telling techniques to bring my clients face to face with their own stories. The telling of past live stories and fairy-tales for example, can re-present our stories to us in exaggerated,  metaphor-rich glory; stage-dressed in ribbons and tatters, delivered dramatically or humourously, with a classic plot line and characters who mirror us back to ourselves. Why do we tell the stories we tell, in the way that we tell them, and why do we keep repeating the same experience over and over again, attracting, or being attracted to, the same catalysts, characters and plot lines?

I love helping people find new ways to tell old stories: flipping through alternative possibilities and choices in perspective can make us feel as though we discovering and having the courage to wander down half hidden side-streets that lead to new delights and new life….  instead of walking the same tired old paths over and over again.

Who could you become? What do you aspire to? What kind of person would you like to be? These are the questions we are exploring when fleshing out the character of a spirit guide, another form of story-telling I love to use in clinic. You could think of your spirit guides as being your higher self playing dress-up, because in the broader scheme and things, we are all connected as one anyway; connected by universal story-lines (plot lines) and archetypal lessons.

 

Four-Directions Medicine-Wheel Spell

screen-shot-2016-09-29-at-12-34-37-amI’m having a happy moment..

…not just because my daughter is standing beside me quoting Missy Higgins and linking it in with her own inspired writing and a discussion that has been unfolding between us about the Idealistic Pink aura colour….

…not just because we all went to see the Embrace documentary created by Taryn and it makes my heart so happy to see and hear beautiful women talking about liberating themselves from the trappings of cultural ‘rules’ about beauty and image…

…I’m happy because I’ve created the third part of my four-direction medicine-wheel spell, under the guidance of my new spirit guide, a herbal wiccan teacher.

Here’s a little preview:

A Medicine Wheel Spell : Boundary Strengthening for Empaths

In your magic spell kit you should have an Aura Spray and a Medicine Bundle designed to help empaths (clairsentients) clear their space and restore and strengthen their boundaries.

Your aura is you, in energy form. The aura of an empath has fuzzy or blurry boundary edges, making it less clearly defined where they end and they rest of the world begins. Their aura can easily flow into and merge with (empathise with) the world around them. They are often very caring people who make excellent healers and counselors. The empathic aura instinctively empathises with the pain of others and transmutes or releases it on the other person’s behalf.

When an empath becomes unbalanced, the aura boundaries that usually define and protect them from the outer world (however vaguely!) collapse altogether and the outside world comes flooding in. They lose their sense of self and their personal space, and it can feel as though everything is in their face and getting under their skin. They become infected by the emotions and stresses of others and start to feel responsible for everything and everyone. This congests and stresses their aura, resulting in physical illness and a loss of emotional stability and calm.

This spell is a four-directions medicine-wheel spell, taught to Omanisa by one of her spirit guides and designed for those living in the southern hemisphere. It consists of four ceremonies supported by an aura spray containing colour, gem and flower essences that clear the aura and strengthen boundaries. The spell is most powerful when it can be done within a 24-hour period, but for those with busy lives it’s fine to stretch the ceremonies out over a period of weeks or months.

Each ceremony requires at least 30 minutes of your time. The first ceremony is done when the sun sets. The second is done at night-time before bed. The third is done with the dawning of the sun. The fourth at midday. Before doing each ceremony, read through it to familiarize yourself with both the process and the tools that will be needed.

Om is an Australian naturopath, spiritual healer, rainbow shaman, and colour therapist. 

New spirit guide, new clinic space

Anyone who has visited the clinic recently will have noticed the latest redesign with the clinic space. One of my children has moved out and I simply couldn’t resist giving him our lounge, which then meant I needed to steal the lounge setting from the clinic. Which, in a way, quite suited my on-going need for transformation.

lounge

I had a new spirit guide show up earlier this year. She blew in like Mary Poppins, setting up her space in my inner world, complete with a gorgeous desk and dried herbs hanging all in a row above her head. I knew I had seen this image before in one of the tarot decks that do the rounds between my mother, my sister and I. I absolutely love this deck. It really speaks to my soul because it honours many cultures from around the world.

Jyoti and David McKie are an English couple who immigrated to western Australia during the process of writing this book. The project itself was primarily Jyoti’s but it could not really have been done without David’s support, and this is often exactly how I feel about my husband and his role in my life. Jyoti is a woman after my own heart: not only has she written the text (with support from David), she is the artist behind the art in these cards. “The earth heals us,” says Jyoti, and her tarot features earth-based spiritual traditions from all around the world.

Have a look at the following cards and you will see what I mean: so many different cultures are represented, and they are cultures I have a spiritual connection with. My spiritual training has come from Aboriginal, Hawaiian, American Indian, Asian, African, Celtic, Egyptian, European and so many more cultures.

cards

This is the Healing Earth deck, most likely out of print now…I just had a search. Here’s a link!

And the image from this deck that I saw when my new spirit guide came to me was the 9 of Pipes, “the return of magical healing”; the image of a wise, gypsy woman, sitting with her tarot cards “ready to give council.” Always above her I see four bunches of dried herbs and every time I visit her the herbs are different. She teaches me about the spirit uses of these herbs, and in healing sessions I rub these herbs on my hands, and rub them through the aura. Today for example, I covered my hands in a mixture of horsetail herb and indigo flower essence and was guided to draw a variation on a rune symbol over my client’s shoulder. The effect was dramatic: both my client and I felt the shift.

In between clients I’m taking a break from book editing and working on the spell I started creating a few months ago. My new spirit guide is “herbal wicca” and she is teaching me the fine art of creating 4-direction medicine-wheel ceremonies. Here is the image I see when I visit my guide, an image borrowed by my psyche from Jyoti’s beautiful “Healing Earth” tarot artwork along with the Medicine Wheel card, to honour the teachings from this new guide:

 

desk

So… when I gave my son my lounge I created space to embody the image I  was seeing in my imagination, bringing it to life in my life:

desk-again

With the wall of liquid herbs to the left of me, all this scene really needs is some dried herbs hanging above me, but I’ll settle for the lead-light crystals hanging in front of the window over the sink.

While we are playing with Jyoti’s Cards, these are some of my favourites:

guide

 

 

Soul Loss, Retrieval, Soul Return : Aura Card Demo

“Soul Retrieval” is the reclaiming of stolen/forgotten/repressed energies or parts of ourselves that were lost during, or as a result of, past trauma (Soul Loss). Soul Retrieval is like marching into your past, standing up to your demons and saying “I’ll have that part of myself back, thank you very much!”

“Soul Return” is the process of giving back crappy stuff that has been projected onto you, or that you have taken onto yourself, during past trauma. In other words, it’s about giving back stuff that isn’t yours, and never was. There is absolutely no point carrying and attempting to own or process ‘stuff’ that isn’t yours; it’s always best to give it back and let the original owner take care of it. Continue reading

Aura Spray – Crown Chakra (purple label)

The Chakra Collection features 7 blends designed to balance, nourish and strengthen the chakras. Each blend is made from Omanisa’s own hand-made remedies and includes 2 remedies each from Om’s Aura Colour series, her Central Australian flower essence range and her collection of gem elixirs. Om has over 30 years experience applying colour therapy in her own life and has been working as an Aura Colour practitioner since 1998. Please use the contact page to place orders. 

IMG_6505IMG_6497ABOUT THE CROWN CHAKRA BLEND

The Crown Chakra blend strengthens our connection with Spirit, your higher self, angels, ascended masters, spirit guides, deceased loved ones and God/Goddess/All That Is.

It also helps us have faith, to “let go and let God”, so to speak. It helps us surrender our ego to divine will and align ourselves with the heart of our higher self.

The Crown Chakra blend is excellent for improving the quality of our meditation and spiritual practise.

 

WHEN TO USE

*Before meditating or doing any spiritual practise (e.g. forgiveness work)

*When feeling anxious/fearful and lacking faith (in self, others, spirit, life etc)

*In general, to improve your spiritual connection.

*When you want to feel safe, connected and protected.

CONTENTS

AURA COLOURS

Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 5.19.27 PMScreen Shot 2016-08-09 at 5.19.51 PMSynchronicity & Surrender 

While the crown chakra is usually depicted as white, violet or purple, these beautiful magenta-pink and purple-pink tones represent the heart of the crown chakra (or higher self).

Synchronicity helps restore magic and faith to our lives, helping us to believe that we’re always in the right place at the right time, having the perfect experience for us. Surrender helps us go with the flow, rather than trying to push or resist the river of life. The pragmatism of accepting what’s happening, and finding a positive way to look at your situation and work with what you’ve got (while believing that in spite of everything you are loved and supported by the universe), can be a very effective remedy for anxiety.

FLOWER ESSENCES

Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 8.30.58 PMAncestral Flower and Convolvulus

The Ancestral Flower is one of Central Australia’s many native tomato bushes. This amazing flower essence helps us tap into the higher wisdom in our ancestral line. The higher wisdom in your ancestral line is the higher wisdom of your ancestors, which this remedy helps you access. For example, the first time I worked with Ancestral Flower, it helped me tap into my grandmother’s gift for being non-judgemental and unconditionally loving, just Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 8.30.38 PMwhen I needed it the most!

The white Convolvulus flower is a spiritual initiation remedy. It open doors into spiritual journeys that help us grow, as well as connecting us with with our spirit guides and helpers. It’s also a spiritual rebirth remedy that helps us shed our old skin for renewal.

 

GEM ELIXIRS

Kunzite and Petalite*

These beautiful white crystals are two of my favourites for the crown chakra. Kunzite, like the Aura Colour remedies in this blend, is linked with the ‘heart of the higher self’. It’s an excellent meditation device, and provides some psychic protection to the aura by rising our frequency and super-charging our boundaries. It also treats anxiety, depression and loss of faith. Petalite is very similar but has the added benefit of being very calming by helping you to rise above turbulent energies and emotions and see things from a broader perspective.

 

(*google the net for images)

 

 

 

Intuition Purple : position meanings

FullSizeRender-5Intuition Purple

COLOUR POSITIONS

 

Above Head – Your spiritual guidance is helping you strengthen your intuition about events, situations and people in the future, past or present moment. Intuition comes in all shapes and sizes. Clarivoyance will give you intuitive mental images. Clairaudience will give you intuitive mental thoughts, words, songs or phrases. Clairsentience will give you empathetic feelings, sensations and emotions. Claircognisance will give you a sudden, deep sense of knowing and clairgustience will guide you via taste and smell.

 

Head – Your third eye is being stimulated. This will strengthen intuition in general, but it is especially handy for strengthening clairvoyance (intuitive mental images). An active third eye helps you visualise which can improve both your imagination and your ability to think in a visually symbolic or metaphorical manner. This ability to think abstractly can enhance your problem solving skills, and give you deep insights into people and situations.

 

Throat – Your intuition is shining through in the things you say. Perhaps you have been passing spiritual messages through to others. People who wear Intuition Purple around the throat sometimes have a knack for knowing exactly what to say, when to say it and how to say it. Others feel as though they are channelling verbal or written guidance through from spirit. Intuition Purple in this position strengthens clairaudience which is intuition arising as mental thoughts, words, songs or phrases.

 

Arms – Trust your intuitive feelings and listen to your heart! You are probably highly attuned to other people and your surroundings, especially on an emotional level. You may have an empathic ability to read others, or a gift for counselling people and helping them with relationship issues. You are good at sensing the emotional atmosphere in a room, and can be sensitive to psychic residue left on objects or in environments.

 

Hands – You are probably focused on issues to do with your work or career future. Keep exploring various possible pathways and listen to your intuition as you do so. One particular option will seem to call you or tug on you. Or perhaps you work as a psychic, or use your intuition to help you do your job better.

 

Hips – Listen to your intuition because it is trying to communicate with you. If you practice trusting your intuition, it will get stronger. Part of trust your intuition is about trusting yourself. Do you trust yourself? If not, how could you build a more trusting relationship with yourself?

 

Legs – Your intuition is about to become stronger. Intuition comes in all shapes and sizes. Clarivoyance will give you intuitive mental images. Clairaudience will give you intuitive mental thoughts, words, songs or phrases. Clairsentience will give you empathetic feelings, sensations and emotions. Claircognisance will give you a sudden, deep sense of knowing and clairgustience will guide you via taste and smell.

Red Colours in your Aura

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPerceiving aura colours with psychic perception is a inner experience, like seeing an image in your mind, or feelings in your body. When I ‘see’ a red frequency like Strength Red I feel strong and powerful in my body, my base chakra tingles, my legs feel strong and I feel warm, energised, relaxed and confident. I might have visual images flash through my mind that accompany these feelings, but even if I don’t, I’m still going to know this is Strength Red, because I recognise the feeling. With empathy (clairsentience) as my primary psychic strength, I ‘see’ aura colours with my feelings and my body.

Strength Red is but one of many red colours I might see/feel while reading and healing the aura, and each different shade tells me a story about how a person feels, how they think, their habitual or current emotional state, their physical health and the things they might be experiencing in their lives. As a healer and spiritual counsellor, I’m teaching my clients how to recognise imbalances in their colours (chakras) and how to restore and maintain balance.

Even without psychic perception, it’s possible to recognise when a particular chakra or aura colour can become unbalanced. (note: I will occasionally refer to red energy as ‘fire energy’ or fire throughout this blog!)

TOO MUCH RED

When there is too much red in the aura, this can be because the base chakra is overdeveloped at the expense of other chakras and ‘hogging all the light’ so to speak. In a way, you could say the person is over-focused on base chakra issues, or base chakra issues are consuming their attention.For example, you might be overly fixated on winning and being competitive at that expensive of other values like friendship, or you might be so concerned about material wealth and image that you are neglecting or betraying other parts of yourself, such as your creativity or spirituality. Fixations of being right or having more and more power, sex, and independence are other examples of red in overdrive. Hyperactivity is another. Treatment can be a combination of learning how to be still and content with what you have (e.g. meditation, minimalism), nourishing and tending to other parts of you (e.g. heart, spirit) and learning how to focus and channel all that fire and passion into constructive projects that enhance your life and the lives of those around you in beautiful ways.

Excess red can also occur when we are having trouble processing, storing, expressing and /or discharging red energy, feelings, thoughts and experiences. For example, you might have trouble coping with anger within yourself and other people, tending to shy away from conflict and honest expression of feelings and opinions. You might have mixed feelings about sex, or perhaps you have trouble owning and expressing your personal power because you don’t feel to attract attention and come across as a threat to others. Just because the red energy isn’t being expressed doesn’t mean it isn’t there. When red energy isn’t expressed, discharged or stored in healthy ways, it can build up, creating tension, frustration and stress. In these instances, the red energy might leak out (e.g. passive anger), explode (sudden temper tantrums), or congeal like clotted blood (resentment). Learning how to be comfortable with fire energy by befriending it instead of making it bad/wrong can help. Martial arts is an example of a therapy that can teach you safe discharge and storage techniques (eh gathering chi and storing it in power centres), while assertiveness and/or conflict resolution classes can teach effective ways to process and express our fire in balanced ways.

NOT ENOUGH RED

If you repress your red energy for long enough, it can diminish. Like a fire that has been smothered, your inner flames die out and you are left with grey ashes. Grey is the main colour I often find in the aura when there is a lack of red. A lack of red energy can also be indicated when there is an excess of cool colours in the aura like greens and blues, but these usually represent a less extreme deadening of our inner fire. Grey in the aura gives us a classic insight into a lack of red energy, and the feeling of being oppressed, depressed, trapped, uninspired, bored, hopeless, powerless, and so on. With no red energy igniting our chakra system from below, like a flame of fuel snaking its way upwards from our base chakra, we lack drive, passion, direction and determination. To reignite our inner fire we may need to grieve our losses, acknowledging where, when and how we gave our power away, and work on reclaiming it. We might need to actively get more physical, heal our sexual selves, learn how to speak up or be real with ourselves about what we really want.

Some people have personalities that are naturally a little quieter and more reserved, and these people may have less fire and passion, less red energy, but this usually only becomes a problem if the imbalance becomes extreme. We all have unique aura’s and personalities after all! Some of us are naturally more red and simply need to find health ways to engage and channel this energy, while others can be perfectly content and balanced with the odd sparkle or flash of red passion and fire, here and there, from time to time. It helps to accept and honour who you are while also looking for opportunities to stretch yourself out of comfort zones and grow, and in the case of red energy, this might simply mean taking the odd risk here and there, being more physically active or asking yourself what you passions are and pursuing them more actively.

 

 

 

The Playground of Possibilities

My father died when I was 15 years old and the upside to the funeral was discovering uncles and aunties I didn’t know I had. We lost contact for a while afterwards, but in the last few years they have been popping back up in my life again and we are about to have our first family reunion since the funeral. I’ve been having visions of medicine wheels a lot in the past week and this visit seems like a medicine wheel in and of itself, with my father’s four siblings each coming from a different direction: one from southern Australia, one from Western Australia, one from eastern Australia and one from Hong Kong.

It’s been amazing to discover the parallels in our lives; the mutual interests and skills in particular. I’m sure I’ll discover more about them and myself during the reunion but in the meantime I would like to introduce you to my Aunty Kay who lives in Hong Kong. Aunty Kay loves words and writing just like me, and she is passionate about using creativity and storytelling in healing, just like me!

While she’s here in Darwin, Kay will be running a public workshop called “Life is a  Playground of Possibilities” (May 9th), so I thought I would interview her about this event and turn it a blog. If you are here in Darwin, you might like to come along. Kay also has one running in Hong Kong on April 23rd. 


KayRoss framed high-res

Kay Ross

ABOUT KAY

First, let me tell you a little more about Kay.

Kay is a marketing consultant, editor, copywriter, healer and performer with over 30 years experience in these fields. She is also the Head Tour Guide in The Playground of Possibilities. The common thread that links all three of her passions (marketing, performing and healing) is: Storytelling – the stories that people tell themselves and the world, about themselves and the world. So Kay helps people to find, craft and tell juicier, more resourceful stories about their past, present and future.


THE INTERVIEW

So Kay! Tell me a story! I would love to hear how the idea of the “Life is a Playground of Possibilities” workshop came into being. Have you run this workshop before, or is the session on April 23rd in Hong Kong the first one?

I’ve run it three times. Before I went to the conference of the International Applied Improvisation Network in Montreal last September, I did a beta-test version of the workshop with 12 friends here in Hong Kong. I asked them to volunteer as guinea pigs and I did it for them for free. Most of them were life coaches or people who were interested in personal development and healing. None of them were improvisers. They absolutely loved it!

Then I went and presented it at the conference in Montreal, twice, because there was a demand for me to do it a second time. Now I’m going to be offering it here in Hong Kong as a public workshop, on April 23rd, and then in Darwin on May 9th.

Exciting! So are there stories you can tell me from one of the workshops you’ve done so far? Did any beautifully touching moments or magic unfold?

Yes! One of the participants at the Montreal conference had a lovely experience. One of the improvisation games we played in that workshop is my version of a very famous improvisation exercise called The Story Spine. It’s also a very good writing exercise too. It’s an 8-sentence story structure devised by an improvisor named Kenn Adams. Each sentence starts with a very particular phrase and each one is different. It’s the classic, mythological, archetypal story structure that starts with “once upon a time”. (See Appendix 1 below)

I adapted the exercise to fit more with the philosophy of The Playground of Possibilities, where we transform people’s stories from an old, limiting belief or story to a more more resourceful, useful one. We did that exercise a couple of times as a group, with people standing in a circle. One person would stand in the middle of the circle and would share a true limiting, unresourceful thought or belief or story that they have about themselves. Let’s say the person in the middle was called John, and his limiting belief was “I’m not good enough”. The person in the circle who starts the story would say “Once upon a time, John believed that he wasn’t good enough.” Then the next person in the circle would improvise the next sentence, and so on around the circle until all eight sentences have been spoken. Along the way we’d see the transformation of John’s belief and John’s life, from the limiting belief into something more useful. The people in the circle don’t even have to know John very well, they just make up the story as they go around the circle.

The final time we did this exercise was amazing. I don’t remember what the person’s old belief was, but by the time we got to the last sentence in the story, everybody in the circle was almost in tears. It was so beautiful! The way the last person finished the story was so magical that everybody was touched. And to see how that landed with the person in the middle of the circle was so moving. His story was being told in a new way and he could suddenly see what was possible for him.

That was the highlight of the conference for me.

Thank you! That really does bring it to life!

Well to make it even better, we were standing outside on the grass on a beautiful warm sunny day, right next to a playground. It was perfect!

One of the coaches who came along to my test run in Hong Kong said at the end of the workshop that she thought she had been coming along just to do me a favour, and she was so grateful because she got a huge amount out of it for herself that she wasn’t expecting.

So tell me, how did your concept The Playground of Possibilities come about?

It was a long time in gestation. I’ve been studying personal development and healing and reading about quantum physics and the nature of reality for many years. I’m fascinated by these topics and over the years I kept hearing about concepts such as “the quantum field”. Different people give it different names like “the field”. And then I heard a podcast by Pam Grout, who referred to it as “the field of possibilities” (see Appendix 5). I thought this phrase described it better, but it still didn’t seem quite right to me.

What is this field?

It’s a field of energy, the energy that we are all part of. Sometimes I can feel it in my cells and I can feel that I’m connected via this field to the entire Universe. Being connected with it, my thoughts and words are sending out vibrations that are connecting with, affecting and being affected by the vibrations of the Universe. And when I do this consciously, my life flows better.

I sometimes say to people that I can’t absolutely prove that there’s a God or a higher intelligence or a higher power. All I know is that when I behave as if there is, my life flows with more ease and grace and joy.

Beautiful! I get the sense as you speak that this is raw creative energy and you are describing the process of shaping this raw creative energy into building blocks, grounding the energy into physical reality with your words and beliefs and stories.

Yes! Out there in this field of energy, the Universe is offering us infinite possibilities to choose from and it’s up to us to choose. The universe wants give to us. But it’s not just about dreaming and imagining or even saying affirmations. We have to make choices and take action. In this physical world we have to physically take action and take responsibility for our choices.

Another factor was a workshop I did several years ago in Tucson, Arizona. It was a marketing/branding workshop with a focus on personal and spiritual development, bringing heart and soul into your marketing. In one of the exercises we did we were asked to draw a picture. I don’t remember the exact instructions we were given but I drew what felt like the entrance way into a fairground. It was a very basic childlike drawing because I’m no artist. In the picture the entrance was an archway made out of a rainbow, and I wrote on it “Welcome to the Adventure Playground”.

I kept the picture. It stayed in the back of my mind and then about 3 years ago now, it all came together and the phrase “Playground of Possibilities” popped into my mind. I like the alliteration. Almost immediately I thought “Oh! I want to make a deck of cards.” This was the first manifestation of my idea that I thought would be perfect and not too difficult to do. So I sat down on my living-room couch and started writing questions that began “What would be possible for me if I…..” for people to ask themselves.

I wanted it to be a deck of 52 cards. In what felt like a download from the Universe I frantically jotted down 52 questions and every day since then I keep thinking of more questions.

I’ve noticed that! Every day something inspires a new question in you.

Yes! Those questions that I post up every day on Facebook and Twitter are questions that have been inspired by something in my life, something I’ve read, something I’ve heard…sometimes I repeat questions from the past but that’s okay because they’re still relevant.

After I wrote the original 52 questions I drew the picture of me on the swing with the rainbow, to use on the cards. I printed the sketch onto the cards and then coloured them in by hand. Then I typed up the text for the questions. I handmade the prototype card deck and had the cards laminated so that I could start showing people the concept. And everyone who has seen the deck and picked a question loves it. Now I’m planning to do a crowdfunding campaign to get the cards designed and printed.

PoPcards 006e

And why is the word “playground” so meaningful for you?

Because life is meant to be fun! And playful! And bringing that childlike innocence and joy into your life and having playmates around you to play with. And being physical. So it’s not just a mental thing; it’s very much about being very aware of what’s going on in your body physically and emotionally. It’s about not just living in your head; its also listening to the messages from your body and breathing and moving and dancing and singing or whatever you need to do to build up your vibration. Because that is the vibration that’s going out into the Universe. And other people sense that.

And improvisation? Can you tell me more about this as a therapeutic tool?

Improvisation helps us to step boldly into the unknown, to embrace that uncertainty, and to trust that everything will work out. The improvisation journey will take you somewhere you didn’t expect and it will probably be better than anything you could have planned and scripted yourself. The number-one principle of improv is “Yes, and”, which is about saying yes to the possibilities being offered to you by the Universe or your fellow players, and building on them.

Another key principle is “Make your teammates look good”. It’s all about playing as a team-member.

When we go through life with an improvisational mindset, we make bold choices, take action, make our teammates look good, say yes to the offers, step into the unknown even in the absence of complete information and trust that it’s all going to be okay. These are the principles I apply to my daily life, and I find that they make my life and business work better.

Thank you so much! I love looking at the connection between what you might learn from a creative skill or sacred play, and how this can be applied in a practical way to improving your actual life.

I’ve been performing with my current improv team here in Hong Kong for about eight years now and I very quickly realised that the improv principles absolutely apply in my everyday life and my business. It’s helped me to be more open to opportunities and trust that everything is going to be okay. It also makes me a better team-member because it’s never about one person being the star of the show and being in the spotlight. What I love about the “Make your team-mates look good” principle is that when I do that for them, I’m also trusting that they’re doing the same for me. If we all lived and worked like that then life would work so much better.

And when I go through life with the “Yes, and” philosophy my life works better. “Yes, and” doesn’t necessarily mean you have to like or agree with everything that’s happening, what it means is that you accept that it is happening.

Yes, because once you accept reality you can get on with working constructively with what you’ve got.  Is there anything else you would like to add to this interview before we wrap up?

Yes I’d like to reassure people who might be thinking about coming along to the workshop that it’s not about teaching them to get up on stage and be improv performers. We will use some improv games and processes that help us transform our stories about ourselves and the world, but you don’t need any improv or acting experience at all to attend the workshop.

Thank you so much! I’m looking forward to it! 

Me too!



Note from Om: Here are some extra resources:


Appendix 1 : The Story Spine exercise

Kay has a short video (2m 36s) in which she explains the “Story Spine” exercise. The 8-sentence Story Spine structure (devised by improviser Kenn Adams) goes like this:

Once upon a time, … [You set the scene.]

And every day, … [You establish the current “normal”.]

Until one day, … [Drama/conflict – an inciting incident that breaks the usual routine.]

And because of that, … [The consequences.]

And because of that, … [Further consequences.]

And because of that, … [Further consequences.]

Until finally, … [The climax.]

And ever since then, … [Resolution. The new normal.]


Appendix 2 : The New Choice improv game

Kay has a blog post titled “Improvising More Resourceful, Joyful Ways of Being – New Choice”, about her variation on the famous “New Choice” improv game. And see Kay’s video too (2m 34s).


Appendix 3 : Kay’s radio interview in Hong Kong

Kay did a 27-minute radio interview in Hong Kong on April 15 about her “Life is a Playground of Possibilities” concept, her card deck and the upcoming workshop. Here’s the recording.


Appendix 4 : Kay talking about feedback from workshop attendees (Montreal)

One woman at the conference whose husband did my workshop came up to me later and said “You’re a legend!” And one participant at the conference who didn’t even do my workshop commented on my “litupness” (she said that meant charisma). Wow!

Over the following few months, one woman who did the workshop wrote to me with several comments:
“Collective magic, under your careful guidance, at work! What a lovely thing to participate in!” (She posted that on Facebook.)
“The work you do and the person that you are exemplifies the thriving life and future I imagine and aspire to.”
“This was my top workshop from the AIN conference.”
“This was a *great* workshop! And a lovely story spine experience. It really helped us see how shifts in our beliefs can shift our lives.”

One man wrote: “I very much liked your workshop.”

Another woman wrote: “Working with you at the Circus School and also taking your workshop gave me my most gratifying conference experiences.” The day before the conference officially started, some of us participated in a half-day “Learning Journey” where we visited several circus-related organisations in Montreal, including Cirque du Soleil and the national circus school of Canada – a teacher and some students at that school led us in a basic skills workshop. I did a lovely pairs exercise with the woman who wrote that comment.


Appendix 5 : More about the Field of Possibilities

“How Your Thoughts Create Your Reality” by Pam Grout

Excerpt: “It all starts with intent, the force that lies behind everything. It’s the energy, the fuel, the electric charge that sets up a resonant field and sends out probability waves into the FP (field of possibility). Esther Hicks, who facilitates the Abraham-Hicks material, calls it “launching a rocket of desire.” “Giving it attention adds mass.”

And it’s Deepak Chopra who uses the phrase “the field of potential”.


Appendix 6 : The philosophy behind The Playground of Possibilities, by Kay Ross

The True Spirit of the Playground of Possibilities work is

to invite people into the ease, grace, joy, curiosity and freedom

that come from

Knowing that life is a playground of possibilities,

Tapping into the energy and vibrations of the Universe,

Transforming the stories they tell about themselves and the world,

Improvising new, more resourceful ways of being,

Being grateful for the abundance of choices that are open to them,

Acting boldly on their choices,

Taking responsibility for their choices,

Surrendering to the safety of the loving embrace of a Universe

that is conspiring on their behalf,

full of people and forces that want the best for them,

Feeling blessed by the support of their playmates, and

Trusting that even if they don’t know exactly how,

things will unfold even better than they could have imagined.

Grounding

This week on my Facebook page we are exploring “Self-Care’ and I thought that I would write the next instalment as a blog rather than a post, seeing as I’ve been neglecting this site due to book writing.

So far we have been concentrating on the self-care skill of centring. Todays theme is grounding. Grounding is quite similar to centring. They both involve slowing down and being more present in your body and the moment. Both skills are excellent remedies for anxiety, hyperactivity and stress.

Centring has a circular, spherical feeling to it. We might find the centre of our being and draw our energy back into this centre from all directions. Or we might tap into our centre and radiate peace and calm outwards from it, in all directions. If you could ‘see’ your centre, it might look like a ball of light.

Grounding is more about the flow of energy (or the relationship) between our spirit and our body, and our body and the earth. It’s the anchoring of the ‘above’ into the ‘below’ and the nourishment that flows between the two. Here are some interesting ways of looking at grounding:

When you are grounded, your spirit is properly and fully anchored into your body, and present with this physical experience. Which is, after all, what you came here to do! When we are grounded, we are happy to be here, having this physical experience, in this body and this life. When we are grounded we are fully engaged with the juiciness of having a physical body, a physical experience. Sex becomes great fun, so does food and all of the other sensory delights that come with being embodied.

Another way of thinking about grounding is to think of it as your physical body’s connection with its larger body, the earth. Our physical body and the earth are both made out of the same ‘stuff’. During healing work, one of the things I check is a clients ‘grounding lines’. These are the energy lines in the aura that connect our body to the earth. The can run directly from the base chakra at the bottom of our spine into the earth, or via our legs and feet into the earth. Sometimes these energy lines are blocked, frayed, tangled, congested or even missing altogether! My job as the healer is to repair this connection with the earth and teach the client new skills so the pattern doesn’t recreate itself.

We all have ungrounded moments or go through ungrounded phases from time to time. When I’m ungrounded, it’s usually because I’m rushing and trying to do too much at once, or because I haven’t had enough sleep, or because I’ve had too much caffeine or refined sugar.

How can you tell when you are ungrounded?

Ungroundedness expresses itself in a variety of ways:

*Being rushed, speedy and making mistakes. When we are ungrounded in this way, our thoughts, speech and actions are very fast. City people can sometimes seem a bit like this to country people and young people can seem like this to older people. For me, when I’m like this, I’m trying to think, do and/or say five different things at once. I might leap about from one thing to the next without finishing things or making any steady progress. This kind of ungroundedness can lead to burn-out and a frazzled nervous system! If you are suffering from this kind of ungroundedness, it’s important to ‘earth’ all that excess energy into the earth. Imagine the energy running through your nervous system is like lightening or electricity and there is too much of it: it’s important to let the excess charge release itself via our base chakra (or legs and feet) into the earth. As you go about your day, discipline yourself to think, speak and move a little slower. Do less. Say less. Think Less (or think one thing at a time!) Finish what you start before moving onto the next thing.

*Feeling vague, floaty, dreamy. Sometimes when I first wake up in the morning it takes me a while to fully ‘come to’… which is exactly the same kind of disorientated, vague, foggy feeling you can get when you aren’t properly in your body (i.e. ungrounded). This is also the kind of thing that can happen to people after a healing, because it takes a while to come out of the altered/relaxed state back to a normal waking state. People who are prone to this kind of ungroundedness have energy fields that are over-developed in the upper chakras (crown and brow) but underdeveloped in the base chakra. They might be very spiritual and sensitive, but they have trouble being fully present in the physical body and the physical world. To remedy this pattern, you might imagine stepping into an elevator in your mind and lowering back down into your body, or you could visualise tree roots stretching down from your base chakra or through your feet and into the earth and then imagine your root drinking earthy, stabilising energy back up into your body.

*Not wanting to be here. If I hear a client saying “I hope this is my last lifetime” or “I wish I was somewhere/someone else”, I know they are having trouble with their grounding. When we are grounded, we are happy to be here, what or whereever ‘here’ is…. or at the very least, we accept the reality we are in and getting on with making the best of what we have! ‘Not wanting to be here’ can manifest as chronic discontent, or or it might simply be a tendency to get caught up in your head rather than staying anchored into the present moment via your physical senses. To remedy this pattern, practise being fully present during a daily mundane activity, like walking or watering the garden. Use your physical sense to keep you anchored into your environment and your now-moment.

*Being unrealistic, romantic, etc can be an extension of the last two patterns. When we are ungrounded in this way seem a bit lost and unmoored, floating about amongst dreams and ideas that don’t have much substance in ‘the real world’. This might be because the idea was unrealistic in the first place, or as so often happens when we are ungrounded, the idea is simply ahead of its time and the world isn’t ready for it yet. Another challenge we can can face when ungrounded is that we can’t ground our ideas into reality because we love the idea of something more than the practical work needed to make it real.

Can you relate to any of these pattern? There are many more ways ungroundedness can express itself, but these are some of the main ones. Here are some recent examples I was working with in clinic:

Client 1

This client had damaged and missing ‘grounding lines’. I repaired the damage and regenerate the missing lines. Then, with some counselling, I found out that she felt disconnected with her family of origin and still hadn’t put down roots in her life: she didn’t know where she fits and who she was. She hadn’t found the people, the place or the work that would nourish her, so I taught her some mindfulness healing skills to rewire these old wounds so she can create a new truth, a new experience. I asked her to practise a new mood/truth/belief and to start looking for tangible evidence in her life on a daily basis, that this new belief could be (or become) true for her.

Client 2

This client was having trouble with anxiety and panic attacks. He is prone to what I call ‘hioking up’ where all the muscles clench and drawn upwards, rather than relaxing and letting go. He had a lot of tension in his solar plexus area (upper abdomen) and shoulders. His thoughts would very quickly spin out of control, creating “what if” dramas that weren’t real, and he drinks too much coffee. I asked this client to start substituting some of his coffees for chamomile teas and I taught him how to consciously relax. The relaxation process is a grounding process: when our muscles relax, our energy drops downwards. I combined the relaxation with creative visualisation to help with the ‘downwards’ movement of energy: he imagines a waterfall running down over him, washing away the stressful thoughts and feelings.