Responding to the deep ask of giving my life attention, love and observing it without judgement has been immense. It has been so nuanced, asking for so many different things of me at different times. At times it has felt overwhelming. And not always in a good way. But that too has been a learning curve. To know when I am feeling the flow and aligning with an innate readiness to deep dive into that state of presence, where everything slows down and holds meaning; versus when I my body is telling me “No, not today.” and I am able to observe that too, skim the surface, see what I need to and knowingly say, “I am not going into this today, I’ll file this away for when I feel better.”
Ultimately, I realise the summation of this entire process of looking within, healing, self-development…call it what you will.. for me, it has been about befriending myself intimately. Finding a deeper relationship with myself. Really knowing what I am about. Even when it is to see that I am not doing okay. Without attaching any more meaning or judgement to it. Knowing that that too is a part of the process, a part of who I am and how I can sometimes feel. Not making those periods/days/phases a time that needs fixing or “bettering” somehow.
I am getting so much better at riding through the days, all kinds of days, just watching and noticing the minor ups and downs in my energy and emotions. It helps me function well on days when I can, and go easy and cut myself slack and be kinder on days when I cant, for whatever reason.
In a session with a client today, I found myself speaking about going with the flow and how it holds a meaning absolutely nothing like the one I used to associate with it some years ago. I had this notion that I was a go-with-the-flow kind of person, and it used to me I was chill and easy-going. Maybe I was, for the most part. But a very large part of me wasn’t — a large part that I didn’t want to acknowledge. And noticing and seeing that part, understanding why it desperately needed and craved rigidity and control, and most importantly, looking at it with compassion and kindness, has somehow made me make space for it. Allow it. Let it be. Rather than fix it or let it go. This, is probably a truer representation of going with the flow.
It presents itself as an organic moving through with life, rather than trying too hard to shape everything in it. And of course it’s taken me years to understand that I have to find a sweet spot between working hard and actively moving towards my goals, and leaning into what is not in my control and aligning myself with that component of the process that is the flow of energy beyond and outside of me. Knowing the difference between when to exert energy, and when to ride the wave.
An analogy one of my mentors used very often was of a casual boat ride. How choosing to actively paddle, steer and guide the boat in a certain way would result in one kind of journey, while understanding the natural flow and current of the water and finding a rhythm between paddling a little and sitting back and enjoying the ride a little would result in an entirely different kind of journey altogether.
This has been coming up a lot for me lately, because I am suddenly seeing, actively, how I am working much more (in quantity) and much harder (quality) than I have in a long time — probably since 2017 — and yet the quality of my life is slow-paced, comfortable, easy-going. And I seem to have ample time to do more of the things (work and life) I want to, I feel happier and much more in the flow with life, than have to work against it, somehow.
I have always associated busyness, hard work and the like with the conventional definition of “the hustle”, only to realise that my inherent rhythm and energy cycles cannot hustle quite the way the world would like me to believe is rewarding. I had to find my own rhythm, my own idea of the hustle, my own sense of what is a good reward, and give all of that to myself. Observe, listen and loving all of this about myself has been a key factor in finding a way that is rewarding on my terms, that doesn’t feel like too much effort for too little payback, and most of all — not constantly feeling tired and holding that like some goddamned badge of honour.
One year ago: Chasing sunlight
Four years ago: Kitchen soup for the honesick soul
Five years ago: Shine one