Flow is an excellent thing.
Whether it is the flow of love. ideas, laughter, champagne, poetry, streams, products, good will, conversation, energy, money, oxygen, rivers, wildebeest, juices, writing, air, electricity, offers…
Or, for those of us who might be spending a good part of our summer holiday inching along the motorway, bumper to bumper… traffic.
Cars are not designed to be stationary. They can be of course. They can do that very well. They can sit idling or creeping at snail’s pace. But it is not in their essence to be stuck.
So it is with the human mind. We can do stuck very well. We can be in the mental equivalent of the M25 at rush hour for decades and still do perfectly well.
But what driver wants to creep and stall when he or she could be smoothly gliding along, trees and houses streaming past?
Similarly, who wants to settle for stuck but fine when they can experience the full flowing miracle of who they are?
While we can of course function well when we are blinking like a rabbit in the headlights of apprehension and self consciousness, wouldn’t we all rather be in that easy, total, super-conscious, uncluttered absorption in life that is our birth right?
The truth is that we live for those moments in which, from the depths of our soul, we connect with the racket or the pen or the pan or the canvas or the vehicle or the scenery or the music or the task or the solution or the soul of another. Those moments are when the over-thinking dissolves enough for us to notice the miracles that have always been there.
This is a human being in flow. Just as there are signs to keep traffic flowing freely and safely round our roads, so we have our own crystal clarity about how our mind is designed to be used, how it flourishes and how we excel.
One way traffic
There is only one way life works. It works from the inside out. We create our reality through the power of thought. It comes from us and then appears outside as though we had nothing to do with it.
And when we realise that this is true of us, we realise it is true of everyone else. Everyone else is constructing their own version of reality in the moment out of thought and acting accordingly. They have their version of reality. We have our own.
The simple ‘One Way Only’ sign is the access road to a lifetime of compassion and understanding for ourselves and others, to a lifetime of seeing clearly what is going on.
Traffic jam (on a city ring road at rush hour)
Who wants to transform the ultimate super highway of their mind into a clogged up city ring road at rush hour?
I can help with that one. I spent decades doing it.
Imagine I believe I need to be more confident. The idea of not being confident is stressful. I feel nervous and ill at ease. I hate that feeling of nervousness. It tells me I am not confident. I get frustrated with myself that I am not confident. I am now not just nervous but frustrated as well. I try techniques to make the lack of confidence go away. I just feel worse, less capable than ever. And so on. Round and round and round I go. And along the way I collect all the evidence I need of how useless I am and how confident and brilliant everyone else is.
Substitute confidence for anything else – wealth, appearance, possessions, intelligence, popularity, self esteem, success, in-demandness and you get the picture.
Talk about going round and round in circles, very slowly, while puffing out vast amounts of fumes.
As I’m going along stressed or angry or frustrated, loose chippings can get caught up in the wheels and fly out causing damage – windows can crack, metal work can be dented.
Time at this point to ‘Give Way’ or ‘Slow’ or even ‘Stop’ and have a cup of tea in a service station.
The realisation that our experience of life is in one direction only, does something remarkable. It reveals a genuine exit.
Because now we know that the experience of being not confident (or attractive / successful / popular / whatever) is simply thought in the moment. We know there is nothing useful for us in that stress or frustration. There is no information in it, no solution. It is simply a thought that by its nature will pass on through.
And the moment we realise this a huge ‘Exit ahead’ sign appears. Finally we can stop going round and round and circles on the jammed road. We can click on the indicator and exit towards a new experience of life, a new thought about a relationship, a new understanding of who we are.
Tourist information point
Let’s face it, we are tourists here.
We are sent here from who knows where for this adventure / safari / retreat / eco-trip / honeymoon / homestay / cultural excursion / working tour on earth for a certain amount of time. Initially we don’t even speak the language. We have no idea what this place is or how to manoeuvre the body-vehicle we are supplied with.
We just know that we are here for a while, to see what we can see, experience what we can experience, meet who we meet. Our visit is impermanent, brief. In the scheme of things, there is barely time to take a photo and buy a souvenir pen.
But for the whole length of the time we are here, at every stage, at every juncture, there is a tourist information office. Always open and ready to provide us with the insider knowledge we need to have the time of our lives. We just have to ask. It will advise on the best way to learn the local language, on how to get ourselves from A to B, on which locals to trust and who to steer clear of, on what landmarks to visit and what scenery to marvel at, what delicacies to taste and what spectacles to watch, what workshops to take part in, what initiatives to sponsor.
That office is us, it is what we know deep down to be true, it is our clear inner voice of wisdom. Open 24/7. Always sign-posted.
Deep down, thanks to that inner tourist office, we know what resonates for us, how we want to spend our time, what we want to bring to the world, what makes sense for us. (And if we don’t right now, we will) .
So we know deep down what we are about. We load up the car with everything we need and we set off in that direction. Then the insecure thoughts start throwing themselves at the car, rolling across the windscreen like stunt doubles on speed. Who do you think you are to do that? What will people say? What if you can’t earn enough? What if you fail? What if you look ridiculous? What if you get it wrong?
These are the moments to realise that you are on one of those roads with the red painted lines on each side. No stopping at any time. Keep going. Keep driving whatever stunts those crazy insecure thoughts are pulling.
Don’t stop because somehow you doing what you know deep down to do is integral to the flow of who you are, integral to the flow of the world. When you keep doing, loving and sharing what you know to do, love and share, everyone and everything else finds its flow too.
And flow, as we know, is an excellent thing.