Structure serves flow

Four hours down, just one to go.

Family road trips can be lots of fun, but sometimes they are utterly stressful.

Things had escalated just before our dinner stop, and I was dreading the last hour of put downs and arguments. So I had an idea.

I remembered I had a block of chocolate in the back, and I put my foot down.

“Right, I have chocolate for everyone, but I am not giving it to anyone if there is any arguing or negativity in the next 30 minutes.”

Yup, technically bribing… or is it?

30 minutes into the journey and there was no question about the chocolate being shared around. It was such a joyous journey for us all. Arguing was replaced with sharing funny stories, and to be truly honest, I laughed so much I started to cry. When my children aren’t ‘at each other’ they are freakin hilarious.

And it got me pondering afterwards… putting my foot down and bringing in a boundary or some structure actually created space for so much fun and connection.

Structure serves flow.

The masculine qualities of discipline and order, create the banks of the river where the feminine essence of spontaneity and surrender can flow.

We need both in our lives and wisdom helps us to know where and when.

It happened again this week after dinner. I said, “That’s it, all phones in the bowl until after 7pm”. Everyone ended up outside, playing a family game on the lawn and letting off some steam and frustration. The energy of everyone after that was more peaceful and playful.

So whether it’s your morning routine, homeschooling, managing finances or simply navigating a five hour road trip, don’t be afraid to set some boundaries and embrace some structure. Freedom and fun flow best within the strong and safe structure of the riverbanks.