I believe I have mentioned this process, this state of being, The Flow, before. In brief I have often used The Flow as a sort of way of living. But I am seeing it is more than that. That it applies to more aspects of one’s life. I believe, more and more, that The Flow is a way of being.
But that is the state of The State, enlightenment, is it not? Not somewhere to go, something to do. You just are. Enlightenment is a state of being too. The best way to think of this is it is not a going forward or backward, but inward. Outer Change Begins Inside. Inside is where Enlightenment is found. Or rather it is realized. Like something you already knew but forgot. At least that’s how I understand it.
Flow is a choice, and in that respect it is something you do. But really it should be how you live your life. How you are. What exactly is the flow? It is a state where you proceed through life without forcing anything. It is a process of letting go. You stop trying to control things. You act with trust and belief that whatever decision you make, if it is made in the flow, without forcing, then it is the right decision for you at that moment. You don’t look back or ahead. You remain in the present moment.
I found tonight that the flow even applies to one’s daily activities. I have been trying to teach myself guitar. I caught myself tonight tensing up, trying to do an exercise. I relaxed. I let go. In the relaxing and letting go you pull up anchor, untie yourself from the dock, and set the boat of your life adrift. I trusted that my body knew what to do. I just had to relax and let it do the exercise. Immediately, on doing that, I was able to go faster and ore accurately than at any time I was forcing it. I was even able to look away from the strings and play for a short time, 4-1, 3-1, 2-1, 1-1, repeat, without messing up. Trust and belief in one’s self, in God, your Higher Self, or whatever other higher power you ascribe to, these are integral components. Once you let go and trust yourself, you can do anything. Or so I currently believe.
So if you take nothing else from this blog, from all my endless teachings, instructions, rantings and raving, then take way this. Let Go and Let Flow. Or Release Flow (a mantra I use during Deep Meditation), if you prefer. Stop trying to control your life, your spouse’s life, or your children’s lives. Gently guide, instruct, teach. Share concerns. Communicate. But in the end let go and leave it to them. Belief and Trust. You want to deepen your relationship to your loved ones? Gentle communication followed by belief and trust is the key. It’s so obvious, so simple, so easily missed, yet so deeply desired and needed by all of us.
If you’re learning an instrument like me follow my example. Get the exercise down in your mind. Once you know mentally what to do, relax, exhale, and let your hands and your mouth, where applicable, do their thing. Your mind works much faster if it has direct access to your muscles. If it forced to follow a maze-like path of concentration and effort your movements will be far slower, and you will be handicapped until you learn to relax, trust you know the exercise, believe in yourself, in your body, in its capabilities, and just let go. Let it do its thing. Flow with the music. Such beautiful music you will make!
To bring this home even better I think of Brittany. I know I have to let go of her, of this idea of any sort of relationship. I know. I am still struggling. But I digress… I think of her dancing. Substitute her with any dancer. Can you imagine what would happen if the dancer, jumping, leaping through the air, were focused on the ground, on whoever is supposed to be catching her, on the placement of their limbs, and everything else that one would worry about and be tempted to concentrate on? What would the the end result? The end of a dancing career for one thing. Broken leg, sprained ankle, hurt partner. No the dancer closes her eyes and trusts in her partner, in herself, her body. Her mind already knows the moves. The routine has been gone over and over again. Now it is time to simply let go, belief and trust. The result? Probably the most amazing dancing you will ever see. Do you understand?
I am beginning to think, more and more, that nothing of any value, lasting or otherwise, can or ever will be achieved by force. You can’t force people to change. You can’t force yourself through tasks like playing and instrument or dancing. You can’t force a victory when playing a video game. I remember the best times I ever had when I just didn’t care about victory. I just relaxed, enjoyed myself, and usually during deathmatch I performed feats that left my friends talking. I didn’t win very much, but there are limits one’s abilities, and mine were never that great in video games. The worst times I had are when I was sitting forward, my body tense, focusing on the screen. I would just get more and more stressed, angrier and angrier. Moving on… You can’t use force to subdue people without serious consequences. Pretty much there is nothing of any use you can ever do with force. Water trumps rock every time. Flexibility trumps inflexibility. Open minds trump closed minds.
Accomplish more. Stop forcing and start flowing!