Do you feel like you are always paddling against the current, upstream without a paddle, or caught going round and round in the eddy of crazy busyness? Is life stopping you from rowing your own race? Or have you maybe taken a hold of the wrong oar? Do you ever feel like jumping overboard?
Alright, enough already with the maritime metaphors. Time to float your boat for a while and just take stock of your direction!
A little while ago, to mark my 100th post, I made a subtle shift in my mantra – from ‘go with the flow’ to ‘find your flow’ – perhaps I’d been floating down some long, lazy river (like de-nial, mojito in hand) for a little too long. Time to put a bit more effort into paddling (oops, over-used metaphor again), but first the need for a firm direction, right?
I’m doing a series of ‘great job’ profiles for work, one of which we filmed with a dolphin trainer last week. Now she knew her direction – from university to volunteering to landing a plum role at SeaWorld and then working hard, volunteering more, keeping fit and….well why wouldn’t you if you got to work with these guys every day?
In the mix of stories we featured a friend of mine who happens to be the marketing manager for a national sporting team and gets to hang out with buff footballers and have a lot of fun (in between hard work).
I also interviewed two scientists – one a Chinese-born Nano-chemist working on such things as clean energy and drinking water and the world’s environmental problems (nothing much really!); the other a young researcher working in the field of drug discovery – she’s already been involved in the development of a new vaccine for a strain of the deadly Meningococcal disease.
All these people are following passions, or so it seems, and in the case of the scientists in particular, being prepared to do long, hard yards for hard-won breakthroughs – finding their flow and sticking with it.
Me, well I’m trying to get my writing to flow when the words get stuck, and to really articulate what I mean by ‘finding your flow’.
For a start, you should really go ‘with’ the universal flow – otherwise its always going to be an effort.
From there, here are five tips you might find have you flowing easily, effortlessly (although not without some work first).
1) Just Let – let go, let in, let change, just let – basically this means you start by letting go of all the stuff that doesn’t serve you. This lightens your boat (making it much easier to paddle). And you have room to let the good stuff in. Then you row with the inevitable changes, rather than trying to row against them – chances are you can steer change in the direction you want to go. And here’s the thing, you don’t always need to be paddling, sometimes you can just drift along for a while. The universe lets you get away with slacking sometimes, and then you are ready and rested for an Olympic effort.
2) Tune in, tune out – tune into your senses in order to be really present in nature and all around you, and tune out of the world (and into the universal flow) through meditation, mindfulness, yoga, prayer, practising that thing that you love because you just can’t help but love it (see below). You know there is a universal river flowing inside you.
3) Get lost – in something you love and/or in someone you love. When you find your ‘thing’, time dissolves and the paddling becomes effortless – see how far you get without even trying! And when you get lost in someone else – in helping them row their boat, you realise that we are all in this universal stream together – the flow is limitless, compassion boundless.
4) Find something new, stick with something old – a new direction can be hard but exciting and you don’t necessarily have to throw out your old paddle – use the same old oar to take you left or right, or go fast or slow, just try to make it downstream.
5) Practise and practise and practise and well, practise – that includes practising gratitude for what you have, forgiveness for others (and most importantly yourself), mindfulness, non-attachment, non-judgement, patience, compassion and that thing that you love so much it just puts you in your flow without you even realising it. The more you practise that thing that you love, and all the things that turn you into pure loving energy, the more you will flow.
And that’s me – the tide is out for a Tuesday, linking up with thanks to Essentially Jess and IBOT.