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On Friction and Flow… (sport bras and dresses)

by Adina Levy

I get very introspective at this time of year (in between frantic runs to end-of-year parties and holy-heck-have-we-got-party-snacks-to-bring????). I love the slowing pace of life, the pause, and I find that it helps me make new connections in my noggin’. My swim led me to think about friction and flow, and that’s what I’m going to share with you today!

So on friction and flow…

I went for a swim the other day (stay with me, this story is going somewhere!). And I was so happy with my decision to bring a dress to change into afterwards. I pretty much live in leggings but changing into leggings with wet legs in a public change room while falling over… not fun.

The dress was an FLOW move. It was a little moment of added ease in my day. I didn’t NEED it but it certainly was nice, and helped me have more capacity to deal with other less flowy things that day.

But before the dress, I had a moment of friction that was SO needlessly frustrating. I’d brought along a sports bra that is the most sticky, twisty one to put on. SO. ANNOYING. And so unnecessarily so when I had plenty of other options that wouldn’t have been this sticky, twisty and annoying to put on.

All of this had me thinking about friction and flow this week, and I always connect it back to how this relates to the lives of neurodivergent children (and of course applies to the lives of ND grown ups, and also all kids and all people too, cause we’re all humans who experience friction and flow! ND kids generally experience much more friction in life and have less capacity to cope for many reasons, which is why reducing friction and embracing flow is so much more important for them).

Reducing friction:

  • Friction should be minimised as much as possible
  • You don’t have to earn or deserve a reduction in friction. Just remove the friction. Get the support. Make life better and easier.
  • This means saying YES to the more comfortable clothes
  • Saying YES to the easier meal choice (easier to make, or easier to eat, or both)
  • Removing sensory aversions even if they’re mild. It all adds up
  • This means choosing boundaries very thoughtfully and carefully for ND children (‘pick your battles’ as some say but I don’t love this term!)
  • Sometimes friction is unavoidable and other things can help make it less challenging… e.g. more flow in other areas, more emotional support, more preparation, more motivation

Embracing flow:

  • Flow is about finding joys, glimmers, enjoyable moments and Nice Things, and getting just the right amount of support to do the things we want and need to do
  • Flow can include challenges that are just within our next-level-of-capacity (this is also known as the Zone of Proximal Development) – a great space for learning to happen
  • Everyone deserves to have more flow in life. Every single human
  • I believe that the more flow we have in our life, the more we are buffered to deal with frictions that we have less power to reduce

I’d love to hear what my thoughts on Friction and Flow bring up for you! What extra flow can you find for the ND kids you support, and for yourself over the coming weeks?

If you’re a neurodivergent business owner, check out my Aligned Business Workshop where we’ll work on each participant defining what their own frictions and flows are, and working on a plan to reduce business friction and embrace more flow. More info over here!

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