Upon reflection, I can see that the early part of my life was spent wishing things were different. That I was in some way different. That my life circumstances would change. That things would get better. Easier. Perhaps this sounds familiar to you too.
Although this seems to be a normal part of human development, it also seems that I may have been particularly good at struggling because even when things were going well I would push against them. Resisting or forcing. I was always looking for more, better, other. And when things were great I would sabotage them, because if I didn't make them go wrong - in a controlled way -it would surely happen anyway and I'd have no control whatsoever. Isn't it funny how we can do that to ourselves?
If I was to pinpoint when this really started to turn around, I’d say it was in my early 30s. Three major ‘shifts’ happened at that time. I started to meditate, to take greater responsibility for my own thoughts, and I read Eckhart Tolle and realised (in my words, not his) the power of presence and surrender. A decade and a half later, I’m happy to say that significant progress has been made. Mostly. It’s an ongoing practice, for sure. Thankfully, over the years I’ve learned to recognise signs of struggle, and also how it feels to be in a state of allowing, or ‘flow’. I would imagine these signs are probably quite common so perhaps you will relate to them, even if it’s not something you’ve ever really thought about. As I've been talking about related subjects a lot lately, in various formats, I thought it might be helpful to share my own experience as an example of what I mean about being in 'flow' or in alignment, and trusting your intuition.
General feelings of resistance, discomfort, disharmony, or of things being ‘off’ in some way (often without any obvious reason) can be the first conscious indication of struggling against something. If we use the metaphor of 'being in the flow', this would be the equivalent of swimming upstream. There is also a feeling of restlessness and nervous energy that accomanies this.
For me, this is also usually accompanied or followed by feelings of shortened temper or annoyance. Often blame, anger or agitation towards other people, things or circumstances tend to arise too. It the right time. Life is fun! I need less sleep, have lots of inspiration and the energy to do something about it. Even my diary seems to arrange itself perfectly! I am also much more tolerant and feel love and gratitude for interactions and experiences. Synchronicities seem to occur more frequently and s a cold, a sore throat, an infection or localised pain somewhere. On the occasions I continued to ignore the physical things (common in the early days) I often ended up in bed or – in a few extreme cases – in hospital. Then there would be a sense of smallness and isolation, of wanting to withdraw.
On the contrary, when in the flow, life feels full of grace and so EASY! Everything seems to fall into place – from parking spaces, to meeting the right people or finding the right things at exactly the right time. Life is fun! I need less sleep, have lots of inspiration and the energy to do something about it. Even my diary seems to arrange itself perfectly! I am also much more tolerant and feel love and gratitude for interactions and experiences. Synchronicities seem to occur more frequently and everywhere – often to the point of ridiculousness. My intuition is greatly magnified. I suddenly ‘know’ all sorts of (random) things. I smile, laugh, dance, and experience love more deeply. I feel connected and joyful.
In the days when I was s0 resistant to many things – constantly wanting and wishing – I thought to get to that point of connection, joy, and ease required lots of effort and probably a large amount of luck. I didn’t realise the opposite would turn out to be true – that it would be about allowing things to unfold rather than struggling against them (by resisting or trying to force things).
In my practice, clients often ask me how they will know what’s right for them – what they should ‘allow’ and what they might need to do something about. My response is always this – listen to your intuition. Tune into your body to see what’s showing up. Does it feel more like struggle or flow? Once you feel that, the answer is usually quite simple.
“Going with the flow is responding to cues from the universe. When you go with the flow, you’re surfing life force. It’s about wakeful trust and total collaboration with what’s showing up for you.” Danielle LaPorte
AFFIRMATION: I AM in flow with life, and trust things to move forward with ease and grace.
Sarah Knight is a Reiki Practitioner, Women's Circle and Workshop facilitator, and offers a range of online and in-person services from West Sussex, UK - www.intentionalhealing.co.uk.