The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it,
move with it, and join the dance.
~ Alan Watts
May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing
and not holding back, the way it is with children.
~ Rainer Maria Rilke
One way we can look at life is that it’s about flow. And flow has at least three quite different states.
First, ‘going with the flow’ is about both directing and simultaneously allowing one’s life to unfold day by day over decades. This is the world of time and its apparent passing. When our focus and attention, our consciousness, is on this form of flow, we see how life has cycles and we learn that going with the flow means being willing to move with change. Sometimes things go the way we want them to go. And sometimes they don’t. That’s how it is. This form of flow is the journey itself: dynamic movement, encountering the unknown, and overcoming resistance. It appears to be linear and unidirectional.
Secondly, there are times when flow is about ‘right timing’. This state is also characterized by a dynamic balance between directing and allowing simultaneously but with very different chemistry. Right timing is when conditions come together effortlessly and move us exactly where we want to go – and sometimes even further than that, further than we could have ever imagined. It’s as though the energy is not only flowing but is working with us and on our behalf. It is the partnership between doing our part while we also allow Something Greater to do Its part. However, respecting timing can be difficult and uncomfortable at times. It may mean being patient and quiet longer than we want to be in a world where action and ‘forward’ movement are highly valued.
Third, ‘being in flow’ throughout this journey of life is about joyfully visiting the ephemeral inns along the way. It is the inspired state of being fully in the present. No matter what is swirling around us ‘out there,’ we are in the realm of timelessness. It is the place of creation. It is the place where we can draw on the power and potential of the whole Universe. We become agents for the Whole as we find ourselves bringing into being something out of apparent nothing. Or, said another way, we assist in unfolding something into the visible world that was present all along in the enfolded, invisible world.
Photo by Barbara