Client/Friend StoriesEssential Topics

Going With The Flow

Life is so much smoother when we flow with it rather than against it. Resisting life is like holding a cat by the tail and petting it backwards – not very fun and a great way to get mauled. I love that image for some reason, by the way – it really gets the point across. Anyway, I was reminded of this by a client who had really “gotten it” after just one session (read He Got It!). He’s college-aged, so we were talking about majors, jobs, and the like. He has no idea what he wants to study or do for a living later, but he didn’t care. He said something to the effect of, “I want to let it find me.” Whoa.

He was basically saying that he wants to flow downstream, with life. This doesn’t mean to be lazy and do nothing, just waiting for the phone to ring. It’s quite the opposite, actually. We still work hard and put forth great effort, but we have a different attitude. We let go of trying to control things. I mean, let’s face it – if we tell the truth, we aren’t really in control of that much… So he’s going to dive right in and give it his all in school. He’s going to work hard, but without the tight, stressed out attitude. This will allow him to have fun at the same time. Will he feel stress at times? Absolutely, because that’s a normal, built-in part of school. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with it. Now that he knows that he can just let it pass through him, though, without making a problem out of it, he’s no longer afraid of stress. Not afraid of stress? Excellent! Now, that’s a good plan. And it’s all simply because he learned about it and practiced what he learned when things came up.

Back to the topic of going with the flow, I was very excited to hear my client say that he wanted to let his major find him. When we take that attitude, it can really speed things up in life. We’ve all experienced times when we were “in the flow” – that’s what we’re talking about here. My client mentioned how some days it seems everything goes right and other days it seems everything goes wrong. He said that some days the lights are all green and other days they seem to all be red. I took it a step further and said that the attitude we want to develop, and all it takes is practice, is that we don’t care! We’re going to roll with it no matter what kind of day it seems to be. Even when we’re sitting at yet another red light, we can take a couple breaths and just sit there waiting for it to turn green, not making a problem about it or bitching about it. That only makes us feel worse, and what’s more, it’s self-inflicted pain (not good). Instead, why not just sit there and relax? Red lights are a great place to let go of our stress, too. So we are making the choice that sitting at those red lights is being in the flow – that’s what the flow looks like right now. We don’t have to wait for one of those good days – we can make the choice everyday.

An important thing to note is that going with the flow takes practice for most of us – definitely for me… The first step is simply noticing our resistance throughout the day, both big and small resistance – it’s all the same. It happens fast. There’s a feeling that goes with the resistance, too, which is good news. That means you can learn to release it. Releasing it then and there gets you out of your head and into the present moment. At that point you can remind yourself of the situation and what your options are. That works much better than saying NO to what has already just happened. Because it has already just happened…

Good luck, happy practicing, and as always, let me know if I can help. And don’t beat yourself up when you catch yourself resisting – just stop. And breath. And let go. And laugh! Life is much smoother that way…