Lately I’ve been writing a lot about left-brain, analytical approaches to change, and I, for one, could stand a break from such a relentlessly logical approach. So today, we’re talking about flow and the art of allowing. Everyone has experienced some version of flow at some time in their lives, even if it is only an evening where everything went exceptionally smoothly. According to Wikipedia, psychologists describe flow as “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.” However, I find Merriam-Webster’s definition more fun:
Definition of FLOW (intransitive verb)
1 a (1) : to issue or move in a stream (2) : circulate
b : to move with a continual change of place among the constituent particles <molasses flows slowly>
2 : rise <the tide ebbs and flows>
3 : abound <a land flowing with natural resources>
4 a : to proceed smoothly and readily <conversation flowed easily>
b : to have a smooth continuity
5 : to hang loose and billowing <her gown flowed around her>
6 : to derive from a source : come <the wealth that flows from trade>
(http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flow Items 7-8 not included)
How do you know when you’re in flow? You feel good. When you’re not, it’s likely you’re not going to be feeling great. Days when everything is disastrous are perfect examples of not being in flow. When I find myself fighting things, wishing they were different than they are, trying to control and change things, I know I need to return to flow.
How to do this? Allow whatever is happening to happen without resisting it.
That sounds ridiculously easy, I know. But since you’re human, you know exactly how hard it can be. Our minds want to assert control.
The best advice I heard on this topic is from Brooke Castillo, who asks, “how is this perfect?” I’ve found this helps my mind to relax and lean into what’s happening instead of fight and rage against it.
Another idea is to ask yourself in a moment of anxiety/resistance is, “would any of the definitions of flow apply to me right now? How can I change my reaction to ease closer to flow?”
“Your understanding and application of … the Law of Allowing, is really where all of your personal power lies.” (from Abraham-Hicks, The Astonishing Power of Emotions, http://www.abraham-hicks.com/lawofattractionsource/astonishing.php)
My question for you this week –f you’re not allowing flow in your daily life, what are you missing out on? What experiences might you be missing, what connections are you blocking, because you’re not allowing them to happen?
Leave a comment with your thoughts!