My Mom was always reminding me to “go with the flow.” Mostly because I didn’t. I was nervous and uptight from what seems like the day I was born. In fact, I arrived a month early so you could say I wasn’t really going with the flow right from the start.
Now that I am older – and more seasoned so to speak – I can better relate to the concept of flow. I’ve come to learn that swimming with the tide is much easier than against it, and learning how to respond to the universe’s natural tendencies keeps us strong and resilient. As Dory knew in Finding Nemo no matter what the challenge, it’s best to just keep swimming, swimming, swimming….
Of course, I am not perfect at the flow thing. Quite often a tidal wave hits me and my swimming gets disrupted. At those times I flail, kick, maybe even scream a bit. However, once my head is above water, and I’ve taken a few deep breaths, I’m back on my way. I’ve come to notice that those tidal waves in life are often followed by smooth, calm waters if you just keep swimming.
So, I’m happy to report that Mom was right. Embracing the natural flow of things can be really rewarding. This has been particularly apparent to me as it relates to two of my favorite past times – yoga and writing. When you are in the flow in either of those activities, you are at your best – stretching to your limits and expressing your inner creativity.
But, what Mom never really shared is exactly how to go with the flow. She probably didn’t need any explanation – it came naturally for her very, flexible, carefree temperament. But, if you are a sensitive, nervous-nelly like me, here are some tips that might help:
- Accept who you are – if you are uptight – admit it. I hated to admit that I was nervous or shy, but once I started to just own it, I was able to let it go.
- Express your thoughts and feelings in the way most comfortable for you. I don’t always feel comfortable in publicly blogging, so I keep a journal. And, I don’t really enjoy doing yoga with other people, so I practice at home in the comfort of my bedroom.
- Spend time in nature or with pets – both offer no pretenses on how to be. They’ll let you just be yourself without judgment.
- Finally, give yourself a break. Flow is difficult when you have a bunch of expectations and requirements. By setting yourself free from limitations, you give yourself the power to just be.
If all else fails, find yourself a mantra, a saying that helps you get through rough waters. Can you guess what mine is?
I think Dory got it right……Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.