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Have You Done The Work on Board Games?

It’s amazing what a board game can show you about your mind.

At First Sight, Board Games May Seem Trivial

You may think that doing The Work on stressful situations that occur while playing a game would be too trivial to waste much time on.

If you’re new to The Work, you might think that this is serious stuff. That The Work should be saved for “important” situations. You may also think of it as too much effort to go through for a simple board game issue.

But Board Games Are Miniature Versions of Life

And as such, they are the perfect place to explore your mind, without any big motives to fix yourself.

Because the situations are trivial, there is an innocence in working them that is sometimes absent when working “important” issues. That’s why I love doing The Work on trivial situations.

Any situation, no matter how trivial, can show you your whole life when you work it. You bring the same mind to a trivial situation as you do to the big ones in your life.

My Partner and I Started Playing Chess

We’ve been doing so for about a year.

And I’ve written a couple of worksheets on my partner from what I experienced as stressful situations at the chessboard.

For example, one of the biggest challenges of playing chess for me is getting comfortable with winning and losing. At first, I thought my partner was a poor loser. But by doing The Work on him, I found that I was an equally poor loser.

In fact, I turned out to be a poor winner too, especially when he showed any signs of not being happy about my winning. I was completely in his business, letting his apparent unhappiness at losing rob me of the joy of winning.

I’ve Done That In So Many Ways in Life

I’ve avoided competitions in almost every way. I have a million ways to avoid making someone feel badly. And my number one way is simply not to play if I think there’s going to be a winner and a loser.

This fear has kept me on the sidelines in so many ways. But through chess, and The Work, I’m learning not to fear losing, or winning.

I’m Starting to Enjoy it as a Game

I find myself staying in my own business, not taking it so seriously, and having a sense of humor about it, even if my partner plays up the drama from time to time. It really is fun from this new point of view.

So keep an eye open for stressful situations that occur in boardgames, or games of any kind. These can be really interesting to work.

Stay posted next week for an excerpt from my new book coming out September 15th.

Have a great weekend,

“People talk about self-realization, and this is it! Can you just breathe in and out happily? Who cares about enlightenment when you’re happy right now? Just enlighten yourself to this moment. Can you just do that?” — Byron Katie, Loving What Is

Todd Smith has been doing The Work of Byron Katie on an almost daily basis since 2007. He is just as excited about this simple process of self-inquiry today as he was when he first came across it. He also enjoys writing about The Work, and training others in the subtleties of this meditative process. Join Todd for The Work 101 online course, private sessions, virtual retreats, and his ongoing Inquiry Circle group.