Going with the Flow of Life

Going with the Flow of Life

Throughout my life, I have often turned to inspirational quotes, books or authors to help me navigate challenging or rough passages.  I would “collect” these words of wisdom and write them in a notebook on my computer to look at during bleak or challenging times. I still “collect” inspirational messages and like to share them with my clients and students as well, hoping it will offer them comfort and guidance in challenging times.

This year, as I turned 40 in May, I am reflecting on my life as it is now compared to how I hoped it would be. After several challenging years, I find myself in a pensive place, needing some guidance and inspiration for this next year.

I have always trusted in Divine guidance, knowing that I am always guided and supported, and I recently received these two messages 3 times in one day and I knew I had to pay attention:

“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.”

(Joseph Campbell, philosopher, speaker and storyteller)

“I want to surrender to life as it is right now, I want to let go into the flow.”

(Just a sentence that continuously popped into my head)

When I let the wisdom of that wash over me, I can feel things shift.  I am reminded of the many plans I had for my life that did not materialize.  For example, my plan for my life was to get married in my early 20s to the man of my dreams and to have a secure job either as English teacher or as a member of the public service, earning good money, all safe and reliable. I did get married in my early 20s but know now that it wasn’t because he was the man of my dreams but because he could offer me a security that I was really longing for at that time. From 2004 to 2008, I tried to do my training to become a member of the public service but failed; it just didn’t interest me at all. I entered the training to become a bilingual secretary in 2008 when I really couldn’t take the public service any longer. In 2009, this first husband encouraged me to take part in a weekend at our Buddhist centre; and there I met my beloved Paul, my true love, the man because of whom I would move to Ireland one year later. I had just completed my training to become a bilingual secretary in English, French and Spanish then and was full of confidence that I would get a job as bilingual secretary straight away. But, due to the recession, I didn’t get a job and, after two years of unsuccessful job interviews, my Paul encouraged me to open a holistic therapy practice using the training I had received in Germany years ago in Reiki and Mindfulness Meditation to help the general public by offering treatments and workshops; and I followed his advice and this is why Healing Well is here today.

So these are just a couple of examples of the different plan and bigger picture life had in store for me than what I planned for.

When I look back over my life and think about how I went with what the flow of what life was presenting to me, things happened or came to me that were so much more than I could have ever imagined.

What I have learned from all of these experiences is to stop fighting and let go and surrender to what is. Of course it doesn’t work all of the time. I, too, have moments that can turn into hours or even days when I feel very uncomfortable being in the flow and where my wish to be rigid and have everything under control “my way” are trying to take over. But that is normal. It happens to all of us all of the time. The important thing is not to be in the flow all the time and to never have those other moments where we are fighting against what is, the important thing is to realise when this shift happens and to bring ourselves back into the flow. Observe what life presents to you and go with that. Focus on what is working or flowing and stop pushing and trying to force what is not.

Another inspirational writer, Eckhart Tolle says, “Surrender is the simple but profound wisdom of yielding to rather than opposing the flow of life.”

“Accept—then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it… This will miraculously transform your whole life.”

My beloved Paul died from advanced prostate cancer in May of 2018. Once again, this had not been the plan at all. We had just bought our dream home two years earlier, had got married, had imagined a happy, long life in our new home. But only a couple of months after we had moved into our dream home, Paul’s cancer spread to his liver, he had to go on chemotherapy, and died 10 months later at the age of only 68. Once again inspirational words were offering me guidance and support as I let life show me what was next for me: learning to live with my grief, learning to go out there again and to meet friends, acquaintances, colleagues and clients, not stopping myself experiencing joyful moments just because Paul was no longer with me to enjoy them with me… There were so many wonderful writers of essays and poems and reflections who were my guides during that time and without whom it would have been a lot harder to move forward. I turned from young married woman into young widow. Not planned at all, but possible to endure once I was able to remain in the flow of life.

Just when I had learned to live with the pain of loss and a loneliness that no number of friends and not the busiest work schedule could fill, the pandemic hit and I went to Germany because my family and I felt that being with family at such an uncertain time would be best. I ended up staying in Germany for 18 months. I was working a lot during that time – my biggest project was the publication of my book “When to love means to let go”. Again, totally unplanned this was because I had never wanted to stay with my parents for this long; however, it turns out to have been the right thing as it would be the last time that I experienced life with a healthy and well dad. Now my dad is in fulltime care in a nursing home because of his Parkinson’s disease and Dementia which are fast progressing.

Last August, I returned to Ireland after 18 months in Germany. I wasn’t prepared to feel as unsettled about being back as I did. I thought I would go back and be so happy to be back home. Instead, I have really been finding myself thinking about whether my next move should be to return to Germany: to be closer to family, to be closer to my best friend, but also because job opportunities may be better there, the cost of living is lower, and the standard of living is higher. And again, I need the wise and spiritual words from people like Campbell, Tolle and Jonathan Foust to get me through this time. I have also recently discovered Soma Breath Work and can really recommend it to anyone who would like to bring a little more aliveness and joy into their experience.

I hope that reading this blog post has helped you if you are finding yourself in a situation where the pull out of the flow of life, the pull towards fighting and trying to take control is stronger than the voice inside that tells you to let go, to let be, to surrender to what IS.

Looking over my life I am reminded that there is a bigger plan for our life than our limited mind can imagine. If you are finding yourself in a time of great transition, allow it to show itself to you by opportunities that come up; people you meet; books you read; signs or messages you receive and especially noticing what is working in your life and what is not. Buddhism teaches that “attachment” is the source of suffering. Letting  go of the attachment to things, to people, situations and how you think your life should be is the remedy.

Ask to be shown the way and the actions. You will know when it is right. You will feel that little warm feeling inside. Check in with yourself to see how you feel about it. Your body will tell you.

Tosha Silver, author of “Outrageous Openness: Letting the Divine Take the Lead” reminds us that “…a Force of love exists that can guide, help, and interact with each of us” …we just need to invite it in and surrender to the Divine Plan and big picture of our lives.

I hope you have your own collection of inspirational authors and messages to guide you and help you navigate the waves of life. If not, let this be a nudge to begin. Your life is worth it. You are worth it. There is so much love and support from the Universe for each and every one of us. Some may call it God; some call it Great Spirit or Source; and others refer to it as faith. I like to think of it as LOVE and the Divine Intelligence of the Universe.

 

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