Within life, everything is in constant motion, perpetually changing. Flow is a word that points to so many areas of life. Thoughts FLOW through our minds at a speed too fast to record. If we are successful, we have proven work-flows to get our work done efficiently. Rivers flow, waves from the ocean flow onto the shore, and then flow back out again. Women get a visit from Aunt Flow once a month (hopefully only one visit!). Blood flows through our veins, pumped by our tiny, powerful hearts, for days and days on end. The flow of life is always at work, never slowing and alway evolving. The way I see it, you have two choices, you can jump into the flow of life completely, or you can go against the flow.
To understand the flow of life, first let us talk about what it means to go against the flow. Let’s say that you are finishing up an eight hour day in the office. Your day has been so great, everything has gone as planned. You crushed your work-flow all day. You have a date night planned with your husband. It has been weeks since you have had a quiet dinner without your children and you feel so darn excited! You get to the restaurant, and just as you are being seated by the hostess, your phone rings. It’s the babysitter, all the toilets in your home are overflowing and will not stop, she doesn’t know what to do.
There are many ways to react to a scenario such as this. You may get angry, or frustrated. You huff and puff, pout, cross your arms. You curse the plumbing, the house and the stupid water. You may feel like a victim, not understanding why you can’t have one moment of PEACE!
You can have MANY moments of peace, but if your first reaction to this is anything but acceptance, you have a ways to go. Anger at situations is going against the FLOW of life. Frustration, panic, self-pity all go against the flow of life. Essentially, you are having those negative emotions against life itself. I’m pretty sure that throwing your fisted hand in the face of life is not going to take you where you want to go.
How many times have you heard the phrase “the only thing constant in life is change”? A gazillion, I am sure. Change and life are synonymous. We advance, we grow, we evolve, we getter better and better and better. Change is what we are doing here! We are so tiny in the grand scheme of the universe and our time here is so brief. Each moment that you spend grappling with life, is robbing you of living a joyful, fulfilled existence.
So, if going against life is a bad idea (duh, it is), what does it mean to GO WITH THE FLOW? Going “with” the flow means that you accept all challenges, good or bad, that life reveals to you. These challenges, these ups and downs, are what your life is built upon. If you are not accepting the “downs” then you are not placing value on half of your life. The downs are where you learn. You HAVE to learn to accept your problems with grace.
It makes sense that expanding with the flow of life is a better plan that holding arms against life. Becoming compliant with this is much more difficult. As with everything in life, it must first make sense, then it must be put into practice. Every. Single. Day. We have made sense of the idea of going with the flow, now let us take a look at how we can apply this wisdom in our own lives.
Good vs. Bad – We label events that occur in life good, bad, neutral. If our goal is to be at one with the flow of life we must begin to understand that things ARE. The mindset that there are right and wrong is called duality. You will find duality mentioned in quantum physics. Sages of ancient wisdom teach about duality. The yin yang symbol is a symbol of duality. Hell, one of the first things we are taught as babies is duality. Right vs. wrong. Good vs. bad. Acceptable vs. unacceptable. We are taught that we are separate from everything else, that we must be different, we must stand out. These are very heavy, unnecessary, limiting beliefs that do not serve you. You are not separate. All life is happening all the time. If you have to label everything as good and bad, you’re not in the flow. Duality serves us well as children learning to stay safe. As we become older (and wiser) we have to practice letting go of separating ourselves from life. To be in the flow, we have to accept things as they are. The next time something does not go as you have imagined, watch your reaction, are you in the flow? Change and life are the same. Disagreeing with change is disagreeing with life.
Habitual Thinking – The most popular bad habit among humans is habitual thinking. You cannot experience freedom while being a prisoner of your mind. If you cannot control your mind, it is unlikely that you will create enough space to find the flow in your life. If you can’t find the flow, feel it, you can’t be in it. The easiest way to gain control of your thinking is by beginning a meditation practice. As with EVERY practice, you can not expect to see results immediately. It took me a very long time to find peace in meditation. It feels silly, it looks ridiculous, its frou-frou and it is HARD to get used to. Challenge yourself to sit in meditation for ten minutes a day for thirty days. You will experience progress. You will start to notice the space between your thoughts. That space is like magic, the greatest gift, and a complete relief all in one. The more you practice, the greater the “space”, the greater the gift. There are many tools out there to get you started with meditation. I use the free version of the Insight timer. It is an app that allows you to use ambient music, guided meditations, or timers all for free. The paid version also offers tons of courses to help you advance your practice. Once you get a taste of peace in your mind, you will want it always.
Live in Abundance – One last observation. One that helped me to merge with the flow of life was realizing that we are not in competition with each other. My experiences in childhood left me angry and highly competitive. As a young adult, I strived to be the best, do more than everyone. Get to the top and do whatever it took to stay there. Life was a competition. With the gift of clarity and after pulling myself up from rock bottom (after rock bottom, after rock bottom) I can see that competition is an illusion. This life has everything that anyone needs or wants, waiting to be retrieved. Whatever your heart desires is out there waiting for you. There is enough for you. You don’t have to hurry to get what you want. Take the time to get your mindset straight and PRACTICE living a focused life. The more you streamline your focus to what you want in life, the more in-focus abundance becomes.
Most people are moving through this life, letting life happen to them. If you want to live life on your terms, the exact way you want, get in the flow. Going against the grain in life is a bad idea. If you are wondering where to find the time or complaining that you don’t have the time, you don’t want it bad enough. Get your ass in gear. Create good habits that you can stick with and work hard. Your life depends on it.
Live with the mindset that there is enough for everyone.
Gain control of your mind.
Know that things are not good or bad, they just ARE.
This is my prayer for us.