This post is the fifth in a series of eight concerning Deepak Chopra’s Seven Spiritual Laws for Parents. For the original post and summary, click here.
Wednesday is the day of Least Effort. The message for today is, “Don’t say no—go with the flow.”
This was another day that, for this week, we didn’t do much for. That said, I don’t expect we’ll always have a big activity or lesson, but I hope more that we will keep each thought in mind as we go through the corresponding days. Some weeks, we will incorporate lessons or activities. I explained this idea to Neko in the morning before I went to work, and asked her to please try to go with the flow and think of creative solutions as she went about her day. I’m not sure whether she did as she spent the day with her dad, and then Nicole’s family!
On our drive home at the end of the day, Neko mentioned that she had spotted an eagle gliding over our neighbourhood that morning. Perfect! Eagles were one creature I immediately thought of when brainstorming themes for Wednesdays, because they go with the flow – instead of working hard to stay aloft, they glide and ride the air currents to get to where they need to go. I explained this to Neko and told her that when you see a large raptor in the sky, you can tell it’s an eagle if it is riding the wind instead of flapping its wings much. When we got home, we watched some videos on YouTube of eagles riding the wind. Neko asked a really good question: “But what if they want to go somewhere that the wind isn’t going?” I wasn’t entirely sure of the answer, and I told her as much, but also told her that I thought an eagle might try to find a higher or lower current going in the direction it wants to go.
While supper was cooking, we read The Gruffalo, because I think that the mouse in the story goes with the flow and thinks up really neat ways to solve problems and keep himself alive. Plus, we love The Gruffalo. We talked about these things and about how, if the mouse had freaked out or reacted in a different way, instead of keeping calm and thinking creatively, he might have been lunch for any of the threatening creatures along the way.
a) find the game in work or a chore – we need to get Neko doing more chores around the house anyway, and I’d love to have regular chore time during the day (often things just feel too crazy and it slips by us – plus I tend to put cleaning and such things pretty low on the priority list). I’m all for finding the fun in chores! That’s a lifelong skill that won’t let you down.
b) float a boat down a stream – a toy boat, a paper boat, a boat we’ve made as a craft. This is always a fun activity anyway! We have lots of streams and rivers around us, so this is an easy one for us to access. And is there anything more fun in the spring when the snow melts? We can take the opportunity to talk about how the boat follows the current, what happens when it gets stuck, and whether different types of boats are better at “going with the flow.”
c) take responsibility for our actions – as you go about your day, try not to blame others for things that happen. Take responsibility for the things you say and do, and how those things affect others. Placing the blame on others wastes time and detracts from the opportunity to find a solution.
d) create something that feels fun to create, or do something active that doesn’t feel like work to you – when you do what you love, it doesn’t feel like work!
e) in the pool or lake, let the current move us around as we float, and see where it takes us – similar to the boat idea, only in this case, we’re the boat! You could be on an inflatable toy, or just floating on your back. Play safely, of course! Lifejackets are great.
f) have a wandering day – leave the house and just go where feels right. You could be walking or driving. See where you end up! I love the instructions in the following image (from tumblr) so I’ll leave it at that.
g) learn about how eagles float on air currents – we didn’t have a ton of luck on YouTube, but I’m sure with a bit more searching we could have found other websites with much more information. Books or DVDs from the library, or a visit to your local bird sanctuary would also be helpful!
Book ideas: The Gruffalo (Julia Donaldson), But No Elephants (Jerry Smath)
Movie ideas: Winnie the Pooh, Shrek