This is a truly excellent question asked by a beautiful Mum friend of mine recently, and one that often comes up – mainly because even if the idea of Flow connects with the original wisdom within us, we still find it hard to believe that we are not in charge…
especially as we are surrounded by techniques – positive thinking, affirmations, goals, NLP – some of which can work really well sometimes.
The stand-out word being ‘some’ (why not ‘all’?) because, yes, these techniques are a form of control, benevolent control usually – controlling our thinking.
This is the KEY. The Power of Thought. We all have it – it comes as standard at birth, this gift, and is developed over time (ever seen a stressed-out baby?). In fact, you could say (and this is how Sydney Banks saw it in 1973, and his uncovering of this way of describing our divine gifts was what lifted the veil on my own depressive tendencies) we are born with 3 gifts – Thought, (Universal) Mind (trust in this gift is the main component of what I have chosen to call Flow) and Consciousness (the awareness we have as alive human beings, that allows us to bring our thought-experiences to life).
So, back to ‘controlling our thinking’. When we start to understand (truly understand, beyond our superficial intellect/ego – this took me a good 2-3 years and I still drop in and out of deeply ‘getting it’!) that our personal thinking, powered by the gift of Thought, is just that – personal, subjective, not truth but our own individual fabricated illusion, we start to be able to look at our thinking differently, lightly, taking it less seriously – which allows it to pass through, and we remain un(or less!)scathed.
But, what it is that ‘hurts’ us is our feelings. It’s all very well to observe your thoughts as illusion and ignore them, but often we don’t know what we’ve been thinking – we just get the shitty feelings, and boom, we ‘do what we do’ (whether that is sink into depression (me!), become chronically anxious, act out our dangerous thoughts etc). The Feelings Barometer is crucial to understand.
It is actually the Thought-Feeling barometer really – every thought we have (acc to research, between 40 and 120,000 a day – yes, that’s why tracking your thinking ain’t gonna work!) triggers a corresponding feeling. It’s a great system – it brings our thoughts to life, creating a tangible experience of life. Tangible, but, remember, not real…. This is what, when the penny drops, takes the sting out of our intense belief in what we are thinking-feeling. We created it. We are so clever like that! But it is not real. Think of your life as a sophisticated movie that you are completely lost in, living-as-if-real all the highs and lows. And ponder on this too – can our feelings really hurt us…?
So, how DO we deal with all this thinking-feeling then? – with positive thinking techniques? – speaking formulated affirmations? The reason this MAY work SOMETIMES is that your thinking really may align with well-being, after all we were built that way – to live in the well-being provided by being in the Flow of life, trusting in Universal Mind. But so often we get caught out by the underlying, invisible (we can’t make visible the thousands and thousands of thoughts we have a day 😊) thinking that derails our well- meaning techniques.
What CAN you ‘do’? What can you do when the feeling is painful?
Nothing. Leave it alone. Be mindful as much as possible of this process (the human operating system!) and let it self-correct, which it will, IF you leave it alone 😉 How long does this take…? Moments. Years. Who knows. But it does seem that the more you understand who you really are (Mind) and how your create your own unique special experience of life (Thought, Consciousness) the quicker it is.
For me now, usually, it is moments – and I live more in Love with the incredible magic of Life every day, with every experience and every realisation of how bloody ridiculously miraculous our very existence is….! (And how entertainingly crazy my own thinking can be!)
A word about intentions though (and I guess goals, although you can more obviously see the ‘forced’ element here I expect). We ARE creative, desirous beings – and this is to be rejoiced!! The juice is in our rich imaginations (powered by Thought) and I can only believe that we are here to have fun with it! Lovingly. Compassionately. Light-heartedly. We get ‘into trouble’ when we attach ourselves to outcomes.
Life is bigger than we are, each one of us. Allowing ourselves to dream, with a light heart in the spirit of fun, knowing that Flow will work out the details, is a great way to let imagination experience the feelings of joy/peace/love/happiness/etc that we might seek. For, whatever your specific goal/intention (and, please, don’t be too specific 😉) your actual goal is the feeling you believe the achievement will bring. It’s all about the feeling! So, why not try missing out the middle guy, and imagine that particular feeling – your wisdom will bring you ideas to follow, actions to take. Take them with light-hearted ease – detach from circumstantial outcome and you are allowing Flow.
You might swing, like a pendulum, in and out of Trust, but being mindful of the process (the 3 Principles outlined above) and throwing in a dash of Acceptance, Gratitude, Trust and Allowing (Love, basically!) your life will unfold FOR you, with so much less effort on your part. And, you will find yourself living in the feelings you have always desired to be living in, as if by magic… 😉
The Flow Coach