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  • lucasbfoley


For about 10 years now, I've compiled a set of Google Slides with messages I find helpful. Inspiring quotations, thought-provoking images, helpful reminders, etc.

I try to review some slides a few times each week. I often come away feeling refreshed and recalibrated. And I notice that the slides come back to me throughout my days, often in ways that help recenter & guide me.

This is a slide that's been particularly helpful. I encourage you to try it out and see how it works for you.

The notion is microgoofs: little acts of spotaneous goofiness/silliness/playful nonsense.

Stick out your tongue, even just a millimeter.

Flash a silly face.

Make a goofy sound.

Speak a bit of jibberish.

Wink at nothing in particular.

Sing or hum a scrap of silly song.

Talk in a playful accent.

I find this helps me relax. It softens fixations, obsessiveness. It breaks monotonous & loopy thought trains. It opens my heart. It taps into my inner child energy, a playfulness and lightness that I often lose touch with during the day, as I'm cycling between tasks & modes. It feels good. It's fun.

Sustaining a goofy/playful vibe for longer stretches can be helpful, too. Often times though, that's difficult, for one reason or another.

An upside of microgoofs is the micro part. You don't feel any pressure to stretch it out, improvise, build momentum, live up to a standard, etc. You just flash some spotaneous silliness and then go from there. No need to assess afterwards how it went, whether that was long enough, silly enough, etc. Just goof & go.

An interesting development is, over time, we begin to appreciate more and more our opportunities for choice & spontaneity.

When we're stuck in ruts, doing our chores, cycling work tasks, lulling in boredom, etc., it's easy to start feeling like we're moving from one conveyor belt to another. Or we may become frantic, rushing from task to task, losing ourselves to a flurry of stress. We may feel negative energy piling up and gaining momentum - frustration, anger, resentment, contempt. We can feel our mood & attentiveness tipping out of balance.

In these situations I often get serious and withdrawn, or numb and lazy. I disappear into myself and operate like a machine. I stop being my fullest, most spontaneous self and settle into a mode, a program. I lose touch with life.

Microgoofs counteract that. We feel our power return, if only for an instant. We notice ourselves breaking the mold, transcending our current framing, taking sudden action, surprising ourselves. For that moment at least, our entrancement to our narratives is broken, & we're just being, just doing a little kindness to ourselves, just goofing off for a second, lightening our mood. There's plenty of time to be serious, appropriate, on-point. Why not stick out the old tongue a bit?

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