Some Thoughts on Presence
This is what I wrote in my notebook on Sunday morning before we started clowning.
Be PRESENT to everything
- Your Pain
Use rituals, games and routines to achieve presence. This is what the stand-up is in Agile, this is that the show and tell is in Agile - and it's why people don't like it.
"Let's talk." "In conversation."
Look out for people who are present talk to them. Help people who aren't present become more present.
Things that might help:
- Yoga present to your body.
- Meditation - present to your conscious mind
- Improv - present, present to your "obvious", present to the offers from others, to the people you are playing with (clowning adds in the audience), the story (this is why improv is such good practice)
- Sales/asking for stuff - present to the person you're trying to sell to
- Talking to everybody - present to the world.
The other thing that I thought was that there is a kind of more advanced skill, which is the one that everybody needs to get through life. This is maintaining presences, whilst at the same time, pursuing your own ends.
This makes the hat game and the "chair game" that we played at clowning very similar. In the hat game, the aim of the game is to take the hat. But then the game becomes getting your opponent to "go inside" so that they aren't present so that you can take their hat. Similarly with the chair game, everybody knows that the person who's not sitting in the chair is only trying to sit in the chair. But the secondary aim of the game is to get the person who's in the chair thinking about something other than being in the chair this seems to be very like sales.
It also seems to be very similar to magic when people watch a magic trick, they know that they're being deceived so in some sense, if they thought about it they would realise that everything that they're seeing when a magician does a trick is phoney. This is the same with sales.
Fuck, if I could get back to talking to people in cafes, that would be great wouldn't it?