What we can do is remove, by awareness, acceptance and curiosity, everything that impedes the flow – everything that is not truly ourselves. Many times, obstacles to our natural flow will dissolve simply by our awareness and acceptance, but some particularly ingrained patterns or beliefs may require gentle exploration before they can be released. In this case, we move forward by being willing to know the truth and to utilize the resources we have to explore the nature of those places where the flow seems impeded.
In some modern spiritual and personal growth circles, the suggestion to lean into and explore the things we don’t like might be perceived as being counter to the idea that we should focus on what’s working. However, giving attention to the places where there is discomfort, fear or resistance is only a problem when we come with an attitude of judgment towards the situation or ourselves: “There’s something wrong here. This is not good. I am not good. Things should be different than they are.” On the other hand, when we observe with a willingness to accept that the present moment is perfect as it is, we find the hidden gem and realize more fully, in the process, who we really are. Perceived problems become wonderful opportunities to become more aligned with our truth.
Stillness – whether accessed through meditation, time in nature, a physical activity that relaxes the mind, or time spent with a trusted person who can help us connect more deeply with our own inner wisdom – is the ground of awareness and the source of all inspired living. It is also what is most threatening to the ego. Ego, or the level of mind, feels best when it’s busy. In busyness, it gains a sense of control. However, we are so much deeper than our minds can ever know, than thoughts can ever express or serve. If we want true happiness, we must drop below the level of the mind and all its ideas and judgments into stillness. Initially, if the mind has been driving the show most of the time, surrendering to stillness can be a difficult thing to do. Many of us would rather effort all over the place, doing all manner of comparatively unimportant things, than become inwardly still and allow our souls the opportunity to show us a different perspective and move us into an effortless flow.
But once you venture into stillness and experience first hand the deep peace and quiet joy of that place, or realize the connection between stillness and greater ease in your life, you will begin to make time for it and to cherish it. That stillness is who we are and as the mind loosens its grip, we start to recognize this and to instinctively yearn for this connection to our true selves. We begin to trust the river more and as we do, we experience both greater ease and greater happiness. Paradoxically, as we relax into the flow and say, ‘Yes’ to what is, whether we like it or not, our attachment to needing things to be different than they are lessens and we find that the joy of life is much more in the journey… in the awakening to who we are… than in even the best of circumstances.
Copyright, Katrina Mikiah, 2007