What does living with flow even mean?

How can surrender bring us power, peace and presence rather than loss of control?

Is letting go simply accepting everything and standing for nothing? (thanks Katy Perry)

How do we navigate life without controlling the bajeebers out of everything and white-knuckling through it?

Is it possible to feel safe without hyper-vigilant, micro-management in life?

YES.

And YES. It is tricky to discern when to flow, when to intend and use your will, and when to let go.

Let’s get to it. Im going to highlight key concepts about this topic and then jam on them.

Surrender

The definitions:

1. “cease resistance to an enemy or opponent and submit to their authority.” – Online dictionary

2. “Surrender means to feel. Not just in your head, but in your whole body, and allow that feeling to express itself through you. When you surrender you live—when you don’t you stiffen up. Spiritual surrender is surrendering to life as it is.” – quora

While our analytical mind needs to know everything to feel calm. When we can surrender control our entire being can feel calm and then do what needs to be done from a still place within.

The rise of meditation and yoga in society shows us people are hungry for this peace, this rest from the fight of life. Always things to do and never enough time to do it, is the way our analytical mind sees the world. Most of us only know how to live from the analytical mind. Meditation and yoga teach us there are other states of consciousness. These states are just not practiced often because we don’t trust it. We don’t trust we will get everything done if we don’t control it all. It feels irresponsible to be peaceful. It has to be all or nothing, one or the other. Peace or productivity. 

When we surrender this duality of extremes and find the balance in the centre, life will still be life, just not as stressful and scary. We can learn to flow with life like a river. There are still riverbanks guiding a river, which in life would be time, a schedule, responsibilities and goals, but what makes a river is the flow between the structure. There are small streams, and rapids that you will never know what’s around the bend, but you can learn to trust this flow is not the enemy. Life is not something to be survived, but something to experience and live. There is no need to fight what happens in life, to control every little thing. That just squeezes out the good parts in life. Fun, joy, and wonder cannot be accessed from fear and stress and control.

“Life is a natural unfolding of reality you are supposed to harmonize and work with it…

You interact with life in a wholesome participatory way.”

Michael Singer – The Untethered Soul and The Surrender Experiment

Flow State

“In positive psychology, a flow state, also known as being in the zone, is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity.”

“Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi discovered that people find genuine satisfaction during a state of consciousness called Flow. In this state they are completely absorbed in an activity, especially an activity which involves their creative abilities.”

Science is catching up more and more with creativity and spirituality. People are fascinated by other people that seem to rise above normal reality and become extraordinary. These people accomplish a state of being extraordinary in this “flow” state. Athletes, artists, leaders in business, and more have shared in this research the common practice of trusting their flow state.  It is no longer a woo woo concept, but a studied, reputable, and repeatable phenomenon.

What can we learn from this in day to day life?

What are the things you do, or have done, that activate this state of timelessness and flow?

Usually, your analytical mind will say you don’t have time for that. The things that evoke flow could be seen as frivolous wastes of time.

But, they actually connect you to a state beyond time and space, a state far more productive because it activates your whole brain, not just the analytical brain.

Examples of activities people have done to achieve flow:

  • Knitting
  • Walking/Running
  • Gardening
  • Some mundane life tasks: show
  • Nature walks
  • Any repeated hobby that you love: an instrument, sports, math, painting, building things, etc…
  • A great conversation
  • Reading

You get the idea.

What can you begin doing, or start doing again that activates your flow state?

Trust it, practice it consistently as a priority, and watch how your life….well…flows.

Intuition

Intuition is the ability to hear your own voice louder than anything or anyone else. I call it hearing your voice louder than the noise.

For more on intuition read this article I wrote.

Intuition is essentially how life talks to us. Life, God, Allah, Spirit, the Universe…the intelligent, loving, creative animating “voice” of life, actually talks to us. But if we are rushing around in a heightened fearful state, trying to control everything, and overthinking, we can’t hear, or do not notice the signs life sends us.

Flow is when you re-enter this river of life. So you do not feel alone with all your responsibilities piled on your head needing to figure it all out.

You can feel this flow, if you begin to stop and notice more. Feel your body. Breathe more. It takes practice to remember this is even an option. We forget we can be peaceful and effective at the same time. Stress is not necessary to get things done, it’s just what society has practiced for so long few people know how to do life any other way. It’s no ones fault, we can just learn from our past and make new choices in the now.

Synchronicity is like intuition coming to life.

Synchronicity is something that happens in the physical world that winks at you from a bigger picture.

Synchronicity is when the universe co-creates with you. By paying attention to these soul-breadcrumbs you feel more taken care of and part of something bigger working with you, for you.

You don’t have to hold it all together and have everything figured out from this state of being.

Also, you do not have to meditate for hours a day to achieve a flow state or hear your intuition. Anyone can merge with this state of reality if they want to. It takes being open, being curious, choosing wonder over worry, and acting on the small intuitive nudges that present themselves to you. This state of living is actually always there for us to connect with, like the sun is still beaming light even at night. We can trust the sun, because we know it’s there. We can, too, begin to trust intuition and flow and synchronicities the more we practice tuning in or even entertaining it as an option.

TOOLS

1  “I don’t know how…yet”. When you have done all you can, where you are with what you have, let go of everything you cannot control. Try to suspend seeing thing as “good” or “bad.” You usually can’t see the whole picture…yet. 

2  Feel your heartbeat. Literally, put your fingers on your neck or wrist and feel your pulse. Feel this rhythm, let it lull you back into remembering you are being taken care of in the most fundamental way. The same energy that is beating your heart is connecting to you, through you and wants you to feel that.

3  Write all the things you need to do. Then breathe, 3 deep breaths. Now look at the list and circle the things that truly need to be done that day. Include all the little things too to celebrate how effective you are being. See that you are on track and you are getting done what needs to be done. You can trust yourself. You are an efficient and effective person. As you let your mind know you “got this” it will feel less stressed. Manage the voice in your head that says “there’s not enough time…I’m too busy…” Look back at the past year. You got everything done. The universe is always expanding, you will never get everything done, that is not nature. The world will keep spinning and the to do list is like the bottomless coffee at your local restaurant. But, you can shift your perspective to feeling like there is a flow of doing and being and you are riding that wave and winning.

4  Tell yourself. It’s OK, you are doing your best, you will be OK. This will calm your inner, feeling, vulnerable parts so you can be more effective without suppressing your feelings.

5  Be in your body. Whatever that means to you. Feel your whole body, and do things to connect to it. This will ground you. Intuition is like a cell phone, if you aren’t in your body to listen, you can’t receive the call.

6  Practice trust and faith more. Create an evidence journal for the times when things worked out, even when you had no clue how they would!

7  Possibilities arise from the unknown. Don’t be afraid of the future and what you cannot see. Your intuition has 20/20 vision for these things. Be here. Be in your body. It’s going to be ok.

The unknown is kinda cool when you can surrender, trust, and participate with the flow of life.