We are all familiar with the expression “Be careful of what you wish for” but why the air of caution? It is because our thoughts seem to have this unnerving ability to attract what we unconsciously believe in, deep within ourselves. This is why it’s vital to be making decisions that come from love and strength, rather than fear and weakness. For instance, if you want something so badly in life, or you want it too much, you are already in a state of fear that something will be taken from you. This fear of loss in itself can result in you pushing the opportunity away.
When this happens, it’s like swimming against the current. The moment something feels too difficult or ‘heavy’, it is already a sign that you are struggling against the stream. Perhaps, it’s time to change your attitude or start doing something else that brings you more joy. Unfortunately, when we are unhappy or overwhelmed by stress, it becomes even harder to have flow in our life.
The concept of flow comes from the field of psychology, first proposed by Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi
, the world’s leading researcher on positive psychology. ‘Flow’ is described as a mental state where a person is fully immersed in a process or activity and experiences an energized focus or spontaneous joy from being ‘in the moment’. This happens in the field of sports or business when one feels they are “on fire” or “on a roll”, or to dancers, musicians and artists who all experience a state of flow from being totally immersed or “in the groove” when they are in complete sync with their passions. Even a housewife who has embarked on painting the walls of her own bedroom can get “into the zone” where time flies and she is completely immersed in the task at hand.
The quickest way to know if you are flowing in your job, your finances or love life, is to first check on your general level of happiness. How heavy or light do you feel in any of these major compartments in your life? How much stress are you living with, or prepared to put up with? Do you truly believe you are deserving of success and whatever you are hoping for to come your way? Are you making decisions based on fear or love?
Fear is the enemy of progress that represents the opposite of ‘flow’. If you have ever had a partner who was a fearful, clinging vine, their sense of possessiveness can make one feel claustrophobic. Fear puts the brakes on things coming your way. This could be in any area of your life from the fear of being alone, to the loss of one’s position or ‘face’ in society, to losing a job or partner of your dreams.
This brings to mind an old friend of mine who was on what seemed like an eternal search for a long-term partner because all her relationships never lasted more than six months. The timing of these men making a bee-line for the ‘exit door’ was uncanny. The closer it got to the six month mark, the more difficult it seemed for her to act normally or relax in her relationship because she was already in fear of it coming to an abrupt end. She was unable to ‘go with the flow’.
As a student in clinical hypnosis, I’ve come to realize that a mind subconsciously programmed by fear is actually running a negative program in the background to ensure you always get what you ‘want’. Sadly, in the case of my friend, she feared she was unable to hold on to the men in her life so her relationships were an accurate reflection of her depressing self-beliefs.
Yet, when we are in a state of flow, we are automatically more positive and fully immersed in the moment. We are not obsessed with the past and neither are we fretting about the future because we are truly present. When we swim with the current, it takes less effort and there are less obstacles blocking your progress or standing in the way of what you really want.
This is clearly evident in people who love what they do, and are doing what they love. No task seems too difficult and with positivity and the right attitude, anything seems possible. Hence, in order to find your life’s purpose, do what brings you joy. People search far and wide for happiness but the answers to their burning questions are usually right under their nose. As Confucius said, “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” With that said, I’m really trying to follow my heart in everything I do and reminding myself to ‘go with the flow’ because it’s a much easier way to live your life.