Do you ever feel like you are pushing against a current? You want something but feel like you are fighting all the way to get there with little to no help or support? In turn, have you ever experienced when things just happen as if by magic? Everything aligns and comes easily. These are the opposite ends of what I call “being in the flow.”
So what is “the flow?” Think of your life journey as a river. Some areas run fast and other slow with pebbles and obstacles. Some are like water rapids. You are on the raft/canoe/wheel barrel riding down this river. Your job is to identify the current and be part of it, paddle to jump into a different current or paddle against the current.
When I am speaking with people that are struggling with making changes or deciding what to do next his I often hear: “well if I’m padding and feel resistance because I want to change direction that is a good thing right?” “I should have to fight to make a change.” “Change is not easy so it should feel a little like a struggle, right?” My answer to these questions and statements is NO, absolutely NOT.
Here is the thing. Being in the flow is a way for the universe, spirit or whatever is out there to help you know the difference between a good thing, a bad thing and a great thing. We have free will and so with that comes the paddle you use to steer. However, when you are going towards something great, that is for your highest and best interest, you don’t have to paddle much. It just happens for you. You are in the flow.
When you are moving towards a new current, yes you paddle, but there are intersecting points that move you towards that new current faster, more effectively and with less strife or work. Do it too early and it can be more difficult, do it too late and you might miss the current altogether. So how do you know when it’s time? Yeah I’m getting a little metaphysical here- listen to the signs. Here’s what I mean:
• When new opportunities arise, ask yourself is this right for me then LISTEN to your gut, not your head. Your gut is going to give you a yes or no. Your head is going to tell you all the reasons why and even try to disagree with your gut. Listening to your gut is a lost art that for whatever reason we have moved away from in society. It served our forefathers well and it still works today. We just have to listen.
• After you listen to your gut, look around you. If your opportunity is happening organically then it’s the right direction and shift. It may happen very fast or it may happen slowly but as you follow the signs you will see when it’s the right time to shift. When I say an opportunity happens organically I don’t mean that you just wish and hope and it happens. I mean when you set your intention and talk about your intention, do doors open up for you? I’ll use this blog as an example. I have thought about doing this for years, but it was only a couple of months ago when I started talking about doing it that I got a lot of encouragement to do it from peers, mentees and others in my life. I then very easily, with no experience found several resources that helped me understand how to build one and one that helped with literally setting the vision for this. And voila, here I am. Part of me says that I could have done this sooner. But my gut says- “You are doing this at the right time. You needed time, experience, desire and drive that may not have been there before.”
Paddling against the flow is painful and not productive. When I find myself feeling angst, discomfort and generally not happy about where things are going AND most importantly, I am trying so hard and not much is happening, its usually because I am paddling against the current. Your anxiety, nervousness, and frustrations are signs that you might be paddling the wrong way. Ask yourself aka you gut, is this the right thing for me. Yes, I mean stop what you are doing and have that deep conversation with yourself. Then look around you, what are the signs? It’s not happening for a reason. You can find out why and work through it (aka better shifting from one current to the other) or take a step back. This process allows you to re-center your raft, gain perspective and get back in the flow.
So, are you in the flow today or fighting the currents? Put that paddle down and refocus.