Day Parenting

One game to CTRL the Shift…

This year in February I attended Play4Agile again. Some time after this unconference I stumbled upon the book ‘CTRL Shift’ by Mike Bonifer and Jessie Shternshus. Udo Wiegärtner and Adrian Suciu held one session at #p4a18 about unlearning and about this book. Of course, I immediately ordered it and then (of course ;-)) it took me some time to start reading… .

The CTRL Shift book

First the authors explain what they mean by Shift and what CTRL stands for. If you’d asked me to put ‘CTRL Shift’ in one sentence I’d say: it is about happily and effectively surfing the waves of life by unlearning old habits – with joy.

The book comes with 50 small chapters of situations (called days) one can easily hook into mentally… somehow and somewhere and sometimes better sometimes not. And that is okay. We are different and all our days are different. For me that is one of the book’s key points: I can connect easily to the material. The second uniqueness is: each day in the book is accompanied by a game. A game I could go for and try out. Either alone or with other people.

To wrap it up, the book is like a nice flying buffet: Pick something and taste if it fits. You can eat alone or in (small) groups.

The first game

So I helped myself and the chapter on A brand new day resonated the most with me. I started experimenting with its game called Day Parenting. I first did it deliberately for one full day on a relaxed free Saturday.

Here’s my logbook of that day spiced with some content of the book describing the Day Parenting Game:

Baby Day

06:00h – appreciate the ‘Baby Day’ in its unique morning beauty… and let it sleep a bit more 🙂

Let the young day be independent

07:38h – starting with my morning routine and thinking about that unique day could ‘have a mind on its own’ and ‘yearn to be free’
#CTRLshift clearly makes me think now…

Keep an eye on your Day’s friends

09:07h: ‘Keep an eye on your Day’s friends’ made me recognise well-known troublemakers on a Saturday like this. And these insights made me change the plan, rest in the morning sun, at the lake, take some minutes of just being and mindfulness practise.

Respect differences

Noon: My day is now a young grown up; i.e. comparing it to others makes it feel inadequate. I focus on what made it UNIQUE so far: a smile of that unknown person – the lakeside – a message from kind of a friend.

“Comparison is violence”

… is a quote from Taylor Mac in the #CTRLshift book. –
“Last Saturday there was more/less… or you achieved more… .” – Go ***k that!
Why compare this day? Today is a wonderfully unique day and it’ll continue being unique & wonderful.

No day is perfect

18:40h: “Don’t expect the day to be flawless” sounds so simple – ain’t that easy. Anyhow explicitly following those thoughts makes some bumps during the day feel smoother. And it adds compassion to the day – for me & for others.

Keep an eye on your Day’s friends (again)

19:50-ish: Meeting well-known troublemakers again… . So if the day “messes up” at some place, ‘guide it to a place where it can learn something or be productive’. For me that’s something tangible like e.g. crafting, cooking, dancing.

Let go

After midnight: finishing the day being grateful for all learnings, finishing that unique day with a deep breath, finishing the day and embracing what is and what soon will ‘just’ be remembered…

Keep making days

Staying curious for the next new day,
guiding it to grow,
creating spaces for it to learn,
keeping an eye on that next new day’s friends
and potential “troublemakers from the past”,
raising this new day independently and truly unique (again)…

For me that Day Parenting game has a lot to do with curiosity, openness and (self-)compassion. It feels like some kind of informal mindfulness practise which I have now in my mental toolbox.
And which I now can use from time to time – not just for entire days.

Curious about more of my experiences? I keep them (for a while) in a Twitter moment

And now it is your turn!

I am curious about your impressions of that book (if you know it).

I am curious about your experiences with un-learning… and about your thoughts on the Day Parenting idea in general.