Confessions of a Single Mother: Bedroom Dancing, A State of Flow and Finding Oneself

I am sat outside, on a bench, in the back garden with Maia.
The birds are tweeting – a lot -, the sun is happy and I think I hear a lawn mower.
One of those glorious picture perfect May mornings.
Maia is next to me eating her bran flakes. I am sipping tap water. (Coffee part of the morning is done). We are the most basic-of-breakfasts-people.

It’s Friday, Maia’s only day off nursery, a.k.a our lazy-but-not-so-lazy-day. We tend to stay home, chill, dance, be silly, and tidy up the mess/activities/happenings of Monday-Thursday. I call it catch-up day.
“Can we have breakfast outside today Mummy?! It’s so nice out there!”

We’ve just spent a good twenty minutes dancing to Bailando and other such genius creations. (Despacito included..) We – I- have a thing for Latino music. The beat is like no other. I get very sweaty and lose myself in all the footwork and twirling. Lose yourself is a funny expression, because it is when I am dancing, or singing, or activities along those lines, where I feel most connected to myself. – My true self, if we’re getting deep, which apparently I am. I do not feel like I have lost myself, I feel like I have found myself. I am worry free. Psychologists refer to this state of mind as “being in flow”, read more about this here.

It’s a truly liberating experience, and one I would recommend to anyone who needs to get out of their head. If more conventional exercise is failing you; shut your bedroom door, strip off and wack your move-it-or-lose-it music on. Then just see what happens. Don’t force anything. The brain responds well to music. Music + movement + the knowledge that no one is watching? Oh run free my child…let loose. *I will add, when I say strip off, one does not have to be butt naked, obviously go with whatever level of clothing you feel is appropriate, you do you, own it, enjoy it.

“Activities that lead to a flow experience are called autotelic (from Greek: auto=self, telos=goal), because they are intrinsically motivated and enjoyable and have an end in themselves, rather than in some other end product.
Many activities are conducive to flow: sports, dancing, involvement in creative arts and other hobbies, sex, socialising, studying, reading and, very often, working. In fact, most daily activities can lead to optimal experience (another name for flow), as long as the situation is sufficiently complex to activate the high challenge – high skill condition.”

– Dr Iiona Boniwell, 
Back to the garden…
Maia is chasing a butterfly.
“What are you looking for baby?”
“I’m looking for the snails that have escaped…They’re supposed to be where they need to be..I want them to be as my pets, but now they’re gone and I have no pets..”

“Oh well, soon we can talk about what kind of pet you might want…”
“I can see an airplane! A big one! Can’t see it anymore, its in the clouds…”
*bounces off and continues running around, talking to herself.
Imaginary play is truly a joy to observe..

I do believe, that my little girl, is in flow. Lost, and found, in the wonders of her boundless and perfect imagination.


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