Course Corrections in The Flow

Navigating the Flow

White RabbitHave you ever been going about your day and noticed that you seem to consistently be in the right place at the right time to meet the people you needed to meet? Other days, nothing seems to be going right and obstacles keep appearing, making you miss important appointments. If we look at the situations we are presented with as feedback rather than random happenstance, we might find that life is always engaged in a dialogue with us, trying to help us find the right “flow”.

There are many different forces that act upon our movement through life. One would be our own will, our desire to be where we are or to go where we intend to go. There is also our desire to facilitate the will and desires of others. We may go out of our way to help a friend move or go out to support them at a special event. This is still an act of our will, though our desire is to support those we care for. Then there are the external forces that act upon us. These seemingly random forces might be other people, technology, traffic, or weather. Sometimes, more subtly, our own subconscious mind or emotions can jump up and block our true desire from happening, like returning to a familiar behavior rather than making a bold new choice, or backing out of a difficult conversation you know you need to have.

With all of these forces in motion at all times in a seemingly chaotic cacophony of noise and bustle, is it possible that some sense can be made from this?

Imagine for a moment that life is a mountain stream. Sometimes the current moves swiftly through deep and narrow channels. At these times our desire to flow straight ahead is met with little resistance and we can choose to lay back and float on through. This would be one of those times when it seems that nothing can go wrong. Then you round a bend and the incline is more steep, and there are rapids ahead! You might start to stroke for shore, or become rigid like a vessel and try to navigate the rush. If you pay attention to the stream, you might notice that there are signals and warning of what might lie ahead. For instance, rapids can be heard before they are reached, and the air is more humid with the frothing water. Life too displays signals that we can use to anticipate and have a better flow.

Now, you are just getting off a long day at work. You had to stay late because your carpool driver needed to “wrap things up” again and now you are late for a dinner date with friends… what an inconsiderate jerk! You say something snarky to her because you can… you were slighted and and you deserve what little recourse you have, right? What if life is actually trying to tell you something. I call these little hiccups a “Course Correction”. What if this is life telling you that what you thought you wanted might not be the best possible path… or the “Path of Least Resistance” as the Buddhists say. What if you needed to pause a moment to catch a new flow that would help you avoid the rapids ahead? Many of us in a similar situation might use our next several actions to hurry things along in a vain attempt to catch up to our original intended flow. Drive faster… prod those who slow us down… yell at the line of cars ahead… make desperate and frustrated calls to those we are missing. I offer an alternative. What if this is actually a smooth and slow moving part of the stream where the silt settles on the gentle banks? Here we can relax, open our limbs and float, waiting for the next current. I dare you to try it.

Leaf on Pond SurfaceI have often found that when I relax and wait for the right flow, and then move with my whole being, completely releasing what I wanted for what is now available and actually happening, magical things occur. I bump into an old friend I have not seen in a long time, or I hear a conversation on the later bus or on the radio that solves a puzzle that I was previously unable to solve on my own.

I challenge you to look for these Course Corrections. Note when you have done everything in your power to move through life as you intended, but something gets in your way, especially when that thing seems completely out of your control. You might feel frustrated or suddenly helpless. Feel those feelings for moment, then breathe. In your mind, open up your limbs and relax. Wait for the next current to carry you, and then pay attention, because I bet something really special is about to reveal itself.

Have you had a similar experience?
If yes, leave your story as a comment below.

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