A Little More Flow

playground fountains sans water

I could feel that familiar sensation last night of spinning and fretting while I watched my routine for today getting turned upside down. The weight of an inbox that's been procreating, unattended, all weekend, the list of things to-do mounting, the way I always feel in those moments like everything that needs to happen needs to happen this minute and simultaneously. I remember this sensation, I thought, and ran through all the words I have for it. Stressed. Manic. Wound-up. Operating with a Too-Small Margin. Over-stimulated. Weary.

Then I reviewed my remedies: a good night's sleep, some hot cocoa (that steamed milk is magic) and the Bare Minimum Game. That's the game I'll be playing today, while my caretaking duties here at home trump everything else for a day or two. And the world will keep turning, and the wound-up part of me will see once again that the sky is not, indeed, falling. That my control is an illusion and that life works best with a little less effort and a little more flow. I will breathe, in and out, and feel the earth supporting me. And be flexible. And flow.

FYV News: A video podcast series is coming soon here on the blog, featuring some Finding Your Voice bonus material and followed by Q&A sessions on the FYV Discussion Board for course participants. You won't want to miss moving our way through parts of this great conversation together--it's not too late to order your Finding Your Voice Multimedia Course.

The technical kinks are smoothing out over on the Discussion Board. Check in to say hello, to share how you found us, or what's already coming up for you--there's a new thread going there today. If you're having trouble getting logged in, just let me know.

The Bare Minimum Game

Horizon Perfekt, Kodak Portra 400 35mm filmI'm always a fan of games, and this one in particular is a strong guide for me.  More and more lately, I'm playing the Bare Minimum Game, asking all the time--what's the bare minimum that must get done today?  What's the bare minimum that I need to clean, to pack, to straighten up, to say, to write, to think about?  I like to run to-do lists through the bare minimum mill not once, but twice, to see what's still left.  I feel my hypervigilance lift and I rest more, I play more with my children and I practice a certain kind of grace with myself.  With my limits and my frailty.

I do not have to always be so strong. So in order.  So "on top of" anything, as if such a thing existed.  I can do the bare minimum and watch the world keep turning and life continually unfolding without my compulsion and striving.

What if life is beautiful, just as it is in this moment?  It's a revolutionary thought for an idealist, I promise.  But it's a thought that allows me to let the kids go through a whole roll of tape in a weekend, making their own fun with an explosion of paper and cardboard.  It scoots me off to bed when my head is pounding, and lets me choose only the things that are rooted in love as I cast off the ones mired in obligation.

It could take me a lifetime to master, but it's healing me bit by bit, every time I play the game.