What does it mean to go with the flow and does it improve the quality of our life?
I’ve noticed a pattern in the clients I work with as well as in my own life– Many of us are confused with the idea of going with the flow and what that means.
What I’ve come to observe is that there is a difference between going with the flow and going with the Flow.
Let me explain…
We can look at going with the flow from the perspective of our personalities and relationships and/or we can explore the same idea from the perspective of aligning with the Flow of the universe.
Getting confused between these two very different meanings has a huge impact on how we make decisions.
Let’s take a closer look at the difference between the two. I have a sense that I’m not the only one that has struggled with this.
If we’re not mindful and have a go-with-the-flow personality we may find that we are actually making decisions to keep life comfortable and to avoid discomfort or conflict.
It’s that inner voice that tells us that it’s best to go along to get along.
It comes from the place of not wanting to rock the boat.
If you take a closer look at your motivations they’re often associated with avoiding conflict or not wanting to go against the grain. What results is a sense of having lost one’s self. We may begin to feel like something is missing in our life.
We may be so outwardly focused on other people’s needs, desires, and expectations that we’ve either never established our own or we’ve lost touch with them.
This is an intention that arises from our conditioned small sense and is purely concerned with living a contained, controlled, and safe life. And not only does it result in us living a less than fulfilling life- it is often an indication that we are living someone else’s life.
In these situations, we use the idea and resulting action or lack of action of going with the flow as a reason (often we’re not even aware of it) to not take responsibility for our own lives and get clear about what we want or need.
We go with the flow– but if we pay close attention we may notice that it’s someone else’s river that we’re flowing in.
We may still accomplish a lot and not appear to be flowing through life- but we are allowing other people’s agendas to dictate our flow.
Going with this type of flow undoubtedly has a person floating in the river wondering, “Who am I separate from my roles? What do I want and need to thrive? Why do I feel a sense of anger or resentment percolating just below the surface?”
It often feels like a sense of emptiness and like we’ve lost our voice and sense of our self.
This is a dangerous kind of flow.
We become bystanders in our own life because we’ve bought into the idea that we’re meant to go with the flow. We have spent a lot of time either fitting into the flow of others or watching others’ lives unfold.
For some people going with the flow is the worst possible thing they can do to thrive in their lives.
For the conflict-avoidant, people-pleasing types their spiritual practice is about being mindful of their intentions behind going with the flow. And not going with the flow is where their growth happens as they connect with who they are at their core.
The other side of the flow coin is when we go with the Flow and the result is getting in synch with the natural intelligence and Flow of the universe. It means understanding and using spiritual laws in our lives to co-create based on the higher needs of our souls.
Being in the flow means being aware that the river of life is flowing to us at every moment. Being in the flow means accepting whatever comes and putting it to good use, before passing it on. Going with the flow means allowing whatever comes to move on freely, without holding on in any way. Anonymous
It’s a Flow that arises from becoming intimately aware of who we are at our core and what the universe is asking of us.
In this case, it is the universe making the demands and not giving in or flowing around other people’s demands, requests or needs.
For many of us, the universe is asking us to overcome our fear and take the risks to grow and evolve. For others, it’s about letting go of the need to try and control everything and everyone.
Here are a few daily practice tips that may be helpful for tuning in to Flow that nourishes and honors the deeper levels of your soul:
- Begin to notice the intentions behind your desire to go with the flow? Remember it’s not what we do that matters, it’s why we do it.
- Create a daily habit of communicating with an intelligent life force through meditation, prayer, or “divine chats.”
- Keep a journal and make brief notes about intuitive insights, coincidences, dreams, or synchronicities that arise.
- Learn to distinguish between thoughts and feelings that arise from your small self and your soul.
- As part of your daily spiritual practice begin asking: What is my heart’s desire? What inspired action arising from my soul am I meant to take today?
Going with the Flow is about creating awareness, space, and practices that enable us to tune in to what the soul messages are and then honoring what we hear.
Honoring what we hear for the benefit of our personal growth often results in being uncomfortable, overcoming fears, and making some changes. This is what going with the Flow is about from a spiritual perspective.
Just as an acorn is meant to become an oak tree, we are meant to become a certain type of human being. Getting in the Flow allows us to do that.
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