When I am completely focusing on my passions, I feel completely fulfilled. Usually this state takes no effort. For me it usually happens in the morning and lasts a few hours, then when there are things that need doing, like work, errands or chores, I am taken out of that wonderful flow. If I do have some spare time in the later part of the day, I’m usually tired, sometimes stressed, and can’t find my way back to the flow I had in the morning. After I get a good nights’ rest, I’m usually back in flow to repeat the whole cycle all over again. The only time it doesn’t happen is if something else significant is going on in my life and I’m focused on that.
This flow is always possible, no matter the circumstances we are going through. It doesn’t have to be all the ‘good’ stuff that gets us in this state. I’ve experienced it before through focusing on and appreciated what’s in front of me right now. It’s our thoughts that take us out of flow. It’s our thoughts about our experiences – judging them good or bad – predicting what’s going to happen in the future – being sad about the past – basically not appreciating what we have NOW, and living in the past or the future.
It’s easy to be in flow when things are going smoothly and we are doing something we enjoy. It’d be nice if life could just be like that, but it isn’t and we will always have challenges to work through.
I know this, and have known it for a few years, but still struggle with it. There are times we have to think our way through a problem and there are many problems that come up for all of us. We can be caught up in how something didn’t work out the way that we wanted, how we want certain good times to come back, a lost love, a relationship not working out like we hoped it would, loneliness, how we’re going to get through financial issues, how we’re going to get through health issues, the list goes on and on. In very challenging and/or dark times it feels impossible to control our thoughts and feelings about it and we can go downhill fast.
But, we do have control over the thoughts we think and it’s the thoughts we think that control how we feel. In every situation, there’s a healing process we have to go through and we need to allow ourselves to process our thoughts and feelings about it. But sometimes we can get stuck in those thoughts and feelings and it can take away our joy for present moments. We can be so caught up in something that happened years ago, that we are missing or even blocking new wonderful experiences that may be even better than the experiences of the past that we are missing. It’s why it’s so important to process through rough times and let them go, moving forward.
The most helpful thing for me in letting painful past times go is to be in the now. Accepting what is now and appreciating it. Moving through each experience with a sense of wonder. Changing my thoughts about past situations. Sometimes we are remembering something better than it actually was, or we only remember the really good parts, but don’t recall the reasons why it didn’t work and we ultimately had to walk away. We have to be honest with ourselves to give closure to those things and move on to what’s meant for us.
Being in the now does require some thought and processing of the past. We have to somehow bring closure to those things. But living our current life regretting or missing things that didn’t work out is no way to live. If we allow ourselves to do that, the older we get, the more regrets we have, then we are just sad old people. Wouldn’t we rather be living life to the fullest? I think we all want that and it is possible for all of us at any age.
So bring closure to those things of the past that are hurting you presently. Be honest with yourself about what really happened. There is a reason or reasons why it is no longer here. I suggest writing it out so you can read it when the regret or sadness comes back up. Remind yourself of every reason the situation did not work. Then let it go, and work on being in the now and appreciating what’s in front of you. What’s unfolding for you right now? Maybe it’s the life of your dreams and if you are totally enjoying each moment and what it has to offer, you’re going to experience joy and life will keep getting better. Even when something ‘bad’ happens.
I remember going through a couple car breakdowns and having to get my car towed to the shop with all the expenses that come with it and not having enough money. At the time I was practicing being in the now and trying to see the good in everything. Well through those tough experiences, I made friends with the tow truck drivers and had good conversation. I got to experience riding in a tow truck and seeing how they got a car on it. My car got fixed and felt reliable for a while. I ended up getting credit to get my car fixed and still have the credit for future issues. Talked with other people waiting for the car to get fixed. Had new and different experiences. I’m sure I read some good magazine article and had coffee. I don’t remember every detail, but I did it – I made a ‘bad’ experience ‘good’.
Another ‘bad’ experience turned ‘good’. My mom was diagnosed with cancer last summer. Not easy to turn this to good and I actually was not doing very good with that, however, we got through it and I now see the good in it. There were daily trips either to support her at the hospital or to support my dad who was having a very rough time. It was an expense I couldn’t afford but somehow got through it. I was so shook up at one point I backed into my daughter’s car and damaged both cars. But in hindsight, I was able to help my parents and that strengthened our relationship. My parents turned into lovebirds with pet names and everything. My kids came in to support grandma. She is now healing and her cancer count is way down and they are back to living almost normally again. My parents are now appreciating family more. I had prayed for our family to become closer, and this helped.
I’d love to hear your comments! Have you experienced ‘the flow’? Do you have any tips, experiences or thoughts you’d like to share on this subject? Please comment below.