Go for the Flow

By Keith Varnum

You can learn a lot about happiness from observing the dry washes of Arizona.

Most of the year most of the stream beds in the Grand Canyon State have very little or no water flowing through them. We call these tiny canyons “dry washes,” although the word “dry” is really redundant.

Once in a blue moon a little rain does run down these creek beds—very little. Like a trickle. And because the source of this trickle was a short rainfall, the supply of water quickly runs out. Inevitably the trickle hits a boulder or fallen tree trunk and comes to an abrupt halt. Then the pure-as-driven-rain stream becomes a stagnant pool.

Yet a few times a year, after a rare cloudburst, the mere trickle becomes a deluge of rushing wetness—a flash flood.

This wall of water comes to the very same boulder that until this time has been an insurmountable block to all flow. Now the gushing torrent surges past (over, under, around) the former obstacle without slowing the water’s forward progress at all. The former killer of flow is now only a minor hurdle in the stream’s wild rush back to Mother Ocean.

This natural phenomenon makes me ponder, “What conditions in my life am I allowing to block my creative flow, financial abundance, and physical vitality?”

And I ask you, “If you had a torrent of aliveness and excitement in your life, would the romantic breakup, the car repair, or the skin outbreak stop your happiness from flowing?”

I felt back to when I was in love. Did I notice the garbage truck outside my window at 5 a.m.? Did challenges at work get me down? Did even a root canal rob me of my joy? No way!

I looked back to when I was involved in an exciting personal project. Did traffic noise distract me from my task?  Did other people’s objections impede my progress? Did my head cold slow me down? Not in the least!

When we get the mojo going, the usual obstructions in life magically melt away. When we’re in the flow, there ain’t no slow! It’s all go!

Excitement is a key to keeping life moving joyfully forward in the direction one’s goals:

If we can stay in the River of Life—in the exhilaration of being alive—we’ll cruise right past all the usual obstructions in life.

If we can keep a powerful enough flow of energy and feeling moving through our being and body, we can swim and surf past any impediment.

The implications of this discovery are thrilling:

Would you allow yourself to fall head over heals in love with someone if you knew you could deal quickly with the feelings if the relationship ended?

Would you care if you if you were dumped unceremoniously if you were certain you could move efficiently through the pain of rejection?

Would you allow yourself to live fully in the moment with your current partner if you knew the river of life will bring you another equally wonderful person if this connection ends?

Would you be concerned if you lost your home (or job) if you were positive that you could create another one just as good in a few weeks—or hours?

Would you even notice if you lost all your money if you bathed in a river of cash flow every day?

Would you care if you were physically injured if you knew you could heal the wound in a matter of days—or seconds?

Would it matter if you got cancer if you were sure you could heal yourself in a matter of weeks—or days?

Another way to ask the same questions is:

Is it the loss that troubles us—or the fear of the time we would have to go without a replacement?

Is it the breakup we resist—or the amount of time we would be in loneliness?

Is it the illness we loath—or the time it would take to heal?

And, underneath that, is it the FACT of loss, loneliness or illness we don’t like—or is it the FEELING of loss, loneliness or illness we don’t like?

You can feel where this current is flowing:

If we had a way to quickly flow through the fact and feelings of a challenge, that former block would turn into an easy hurdle.

I can suggest an approach to easily flow through the facts and feelings of any apparent obstacle:

As scientists are now agreeing with spiritual sages, all matter is energy. All situations and conditions (facts) are, in essence, energy. All emotions (feelings) are energy. (e=energy, emotion=energy in motion).

Approach all facts and feelings as energy—moving at either a very slow pace (physical forms and situations) or a less sluggish pace (heavy emotions).

You can move that energy in many simple yet effective ways:

1. Feel the situation (facts) and the emotions (feelings) as energy, vibration, sensation, tingling, flow, or any other (emotionally uncharged, neutral) term that suggests movement.

2. Breathe into the feelings of the situation and the feelings in your body. Release those feelings through a relaxed exhale.

3. Move your body to move the heavy or stuck emotional energy in your body. (walk, run, dance, sport, wrestle, swim, play, yoga, tai chi)

4. Sound the situation (facts) into motion. Chant the emotions (feelings) into flow. Sing your troubles into surrender. Music the monster into meltdown.

5. Nature your nuisance into no-thing. (garden, quest, hike, climb, surf, ski)

Invite the facts and feelings into the River of Life in whatever way that works for you. Be creative, open, flexible … fluid!

Remember all of life is constantly changing form, moving, grooving, flowing. All of life is constantly conspiring to help you move through your impasse.

Ask.  Allow.  Now.