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The Practice of Mastering Flow

Can you believe its only three and-a-bit weeks out from Christmas already, and so much has changed globally in the last 12-months. It kind of feels like the engine that begins to chug at the turning of the starter motor, it splutters, it spurts, gives a good ‘vrrrooooom’, then suddenly dies again. So, we humans get back under the hood and get cranking with our tools. Often times, impatience, frustration and anger take hold and the tools go flying across the pit.

To be honest, I’m quite aware my blogging efforts have been very similar! I’ve made many vague attempts to put words to Microsoft and they ended with the sudden dying of our proverbial engine!

The word ‘flow’ has been presenting itself to me a lot over the last couple of weeks. As a huge believer in surrendering to the flow of life, I have a couple of times over the last months found myself fighting against the current, then having the audacity to wonder why things weren’t working out in my favor. This need that we have as humans to know what comes next or predict what result should be accomplished, was offering me no benefit at all. Remembering to practice the practice I preach has also been bit of a sputtering engine (I am hopeful I have now reconditioned it to like new working order!). This constant human need to take control, to know the outcome, to mentally grasp at something, is but the mind chatter of an egoic self.

To use the Taoist theory of flowing water; water is soft and gentle, yet it can change the shape of land and rock. Water doesn’t have an intention, it has no goals or desires, it simply flows. Although water lacks intention, it provides an abundance of life in every pocket it touches, yet it does nothing with intention, it just is.

As an observer, I observe that every single time I surrender my ‘need to know’ or my need to ‘control’, when I allow life to just happen for me, life then truly does happen FOR me (never TO me). I see it in each of my clients, past and present. That mental and emotional clutching becomes a physical pain due to the tension and stress our physical body endures. That moment of surrender is literally an energetic floodgate opening up and sweeping us onto a path of ease and joy.

This morning my son called me The Master of Flow. I laughed – I certainly can’t claim to be master, although I can lay claim to being a master of practice! I am indeed practicing, learning, observing. It is absolutely a concept the mind struggles with and wants to sabotage. It searches for every excuse, it grasps at historical outcomes, it strives to understand results. Often times, the mind even tells me lies, however “what you resist, persists.”

A quote I saw on social media today stirred my senses with amusement. It encouraged starting the day with visualizing your goal and not allowing in anything that was not for that goal.

Start the day visualizing what you want, is absolutely a great start to your morning. I remember as a young mother learning how to mother, I would start my day visualizing what kind of mother I wanted to be. Didn’t work for many, (many, many, many) days/weeks/months however the practice certainly led to achievement. Now, please know that I mean absolutely no offence to anyone who has a say in this quote, I absolutely know it was gifted only from love with the greatest of intention. The part I struggle with (and yes, it is my egoic mind chatter having a ball here) is in the not letting in anything that is not for the goal. My first dilemma is that this creates energy which resists flow.

My second dilemma is in the setting of expectation and perception – the ‘need to know’ or ‘control’ phase. By grasping the expectation that our goal has a certain result, that it looks a certain way, has a certain scent, acts a certain way… we miss many opportunities, we fail to see that our goal can certainly be achieved in a different way, in a better way.

I know I go against every core of my coaching training when I talk about not setting and striving toward goals. Making goals or setting intentions is absolutely a great start. My business days and coaching training taught me about the ability to keep moving the goal posts. My emotional wellbeing training taught me that the goal posts don’t just move. They change shape, they bend, appearing to distort, they sway back and forth, up and down and even inside out. The gift of flow and observation aids us to allow this process and see the true beauty, magic and creation of something much more simplistic and powerful.

Making a goal can be as simple as setting an intention and allowing that intention to manifest in its organic form. I clearly remember the day I saw this form in action. I had dreamed for many years of how I wanted to be living my life in joy. I had been clutching onto the expectation of exactly what that looked like. One morning I looked around me with the fresh eyes of an outside observer. In this space, for the first time I viewed that I had been so busy striving, forcing, controlling that I didn’t see I was already living the dream I was busy striving for. It was not as I had perceived it to be, yet it was much more simple and much more magical. This was the moment I fully accepted the concept of flow. This was the moment I fully accepted the concept of perception and expectation. This was the moment I chose to be patient with that engine which was struggling to rev into life, choosing to mindfully use my tools with patience, a fully open mind and a fully open heart. Trusting the flow of the process and allowing the organic matter to take form in its own way.

And so, if you choose to wake every morning and visualize your goal(s), I encourage you to open your mind and your heart to the concept of flow and you observe as your goal unfolds itself before you.

Ko tenei taku mihi atu ki a koutou katoa i haere mai nei i tenei waa. Naku i tuku atu tenei matauranga ki te whakamarama, ki te whakakaha, ki te whakamahana i o koutou ngakau, hei oranga kai mou. Mai i tenei wa, kua rite o koutou ngakau me toku ngakau.

(I thank you all for coming and sharing this time with me. I give this knowledge to enlighten, to strengthen and to warm your hearts, as sustenance for you. From this time, your hearts and my heart are as one.)


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