What does it mean to live in flow?
By Cailin Grant-Jansen
I started writing this blog post after having a conversation with my partner. An idea came up that at first seemed like such a beautiful and exciting opportunity. After chatting a little about this idea, our minds and fears started getting in the way. The wonderful opportunity started feeling challenging and my partner said: “ Life should be in flow and this doesn’t seem like the path of least resistance, maybe this isn't the best idea. Maybe we should just forget about it for now.” Our conversation left me with a strange feeling inside. The more I sat with this idea, the more my intuition told me that this was the right thing to do. So why wasn’t it flowing effortlessly?
The question that then came was ‘living in flow… what does that actually mean?’
Does it mean easy, without effort, everything working out perfectly, always being happy?
I came to the conclusion that this is not what life is about, that life includes all the challenges along the way. The questions that remain are how do we engage with these challenges? How do we react to them? Do we see them as something we have to control or fix? Do we see them as resistance? Do we see them as problems? Or do we see these challenges as opportunities that allow us to creatively engage with life?
Challenges vs problems
Most people see challenges as problems. But to me they are not the same. Life is full of challenges, but life is only full of problems if you choose to see a challenge as a problem. Approaching a challenge in a creative or even in a positive way requires a big shift in perspective. I love to research definitions of words, so I looked up what the actual meaning of ‘problem’ and ‘challenge’ are.
“A problem is a matter or situation regarded as unwelcome or harmful and needing to be dealt with and overcome.” - Oxford dictionary
“A challenge is something new and difficult which requires great effort and determination.” - Collins Dictionary
Problems put us in the mindset that we have to fix, get rid of and control. Challenges allow for creation. They allow us to shift the dynamics of all our relationships to keep life progressive and evolutionary. The Greek philosopher Heraclitus said, “The only constant in life is change”, so in a time where things are changing rapidly, what is our attitude? Are we punching our way through life trying to fix, control, and resist or are we moving with change, allowing our life to flow?
After having this conversation with my partner, instead of running away or trying to fix the situation I took time to stop and become aware of what was going on within myself. I realised that I don’t want to ignore anymore. I don’t want to go through life feeling anxious when certain emotions come up and have no idea what to do with them. I want to become more comfortable with not being comfortable. Actually accepting, surrendering and feeling into all that comes up. Letting it come up is the only way for it to come out. And I want to feel free and light and be able to gracefully dance through life.
I want to experience flow.
And from this realisation came flow. The next day my partner and I workshopped our challenges and realised that there were no problems. These challenges came up because they were needed. They made me us see that we were trying to control the situation with unspoken expectations and desired outcomes. We communicated, met each other half way and adapted our ways of thinking.
None of this would have been possible if I had continued to try control my life externally instead of coming back to my centre and bringing myself back to the present moment. None of this would have been possible without having the daily practice of Vedic meditation in my life. Meditation has taught me to let go and surrender. Having a daily meditation practice allows me to connect to my heart and feel all the feelings. It allows me to feel capable and step out of my comfort zone. It allows me to reconnect to my nature and unleash my confidence and creativity.
Meditation allows me to tap into my flow state.
To repeatedly do something requires self-discipline and effort. However, because Vedic meditation is an effortless letting go technique, the only effort required is showing up daily and in each moment choosing the life you want to live. No running away, no ignoring, no resisting and no controlling.
“Life has a natural ebb and flow. What goes up must come down, busy times are followed by slow times. This is a natural law of the universe. There is always a beginning and end. A high point and a low point. Life can become stressful when we don’t go with the natural current of where life is pulling us to go. When we fight against the natural current it’s like swimming upstream in a roaring river which which will leave one totally depleted and exhausted. When you can surrender yourself completely to the process or journey and become one with the waves you will get there faster and easier then when you resist. Think of the waves of life like a magic carpet ride. When you can let go and go with the flow of where life is pulling you, even if you don’t quite understand it, you will see that there is a bigger picture being created that will unfold from the journey.” Lori Bregman
Don’t choose the easy way out.
I know for myself that this is not what I want. I choose to live a life of happiness, love and flow. Because every single time I have let go and stepped outside my comfort zone, life has gotten better. And now I know that flow takes you to places you can’t imagine.
Enjoy the ride and let life flow.
Thank you for reading.