As I write this post, I am reminding myself that this message is as much for me as anyone who chooses to read it.
As a super driven ambitious woman, and someone who also coaches and teaches folks that are very much wired the same way as I am, I can tell you that the idea of doing less to actually produce more was SO foreign to me.
Why wouldn’t it be? The current model that most of us are operating in is very Yang. It is all about efforting, pushing, maneuvering and making things happen. Our Western Society has been perpetuating for hundreds of years. We wear our busyness like a badge of honor as though the more plates we are spinning the more worthy we are. If that calendar isn’t filled and scheduled within an inch of its life, I must not be doing enough…right?
I get it. That is how I had been living most of my life. I used to believe that grinding it out and approaching everything like a warrior was the only way to be worthy of my success. I used to believe that if I wasn’t perpetually in a state of doing, I wasn’t fulfilling my purpose somehow. I believed that it was all about effort. Growing up I had seen my mother, and most of the women I admired, do it that way, and I must acknowledge that at the time they may not have felt like they had much choice.
And here is what I have come to know: there is something terribly out of alignment with that way of living – especially for women.
Whether the wisdom came to me through the beautiful practice of yoga, studying various spiritual modalities or learning from personal growth teachers, the message, the big picture, has been the same. Ease is just as important as effort. Even the aforementioned women in my life have to come to this conclusion.
Allowing the space for ease is the key to coming into the flow.
To me, flow is focused yet fluid. Flow is being in harmony with both being and doing. Flow is when you are most connected to your center. Flow is when there is a gorgeous dance between the masculine energy of the mind/reason and the feminine energy of feeling/intuition. Flow is when you are tuned in and the ideas are coming through you rather than from you.
So, how can you stop grinding and start flowing?
Give yourself dedicated time and space for creating ease. Do it in the morning, pepper it into your day, and certainly give yourself time when the day is done.
Here are some ideas for ease to create flow:
- Start the morning off slow. Get up a little earlier and give yourself some time to ease in. Spend some time in meditation, journal, do a few yoga poses, or just sit for 5 minutes and set an intention for the day. It doesn’t have to be a lot; even just a few minutes will set a different energy for the day and make a huge difference.
- Throughout your day, every 90 minutes if possible (studies have shown our brains need a break every 90 minutes for better productivity), check in with yourself. Just pause and ask yourself what you need. Then, allow for a few moments of silence as you close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. The answer you get might be as simple as a “stand up and move,” or “drink some water,” or “go outside and get some fresh air.” Remember that it is just about connecting with your intuition and weaving in what you can.
- Stay in what the Hawaiians call Hakalau or dynamic peripheral vision. This is the flow state. There is a ton of research out there (here is just one study https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4227514/) about how this is the state athletes are in when they are in the “zone”. When you are in this state your are in a more relaxed alpha brain wave. There is an ease about what you are doing when you are in this state you will actually be more productive because thoughts and ideas will be coming to you from your unconscious mind rather than trying to figure things out consciously.
- When you come home at the end of your workday, give yourself just 30 minutes to shift into a different energy. I was recently at a seminar with Marianne Williamson and she called this Goddess Time, which I loved. This is your time to nurture yourself and shift from the more masculine energy to the feminine energy of receiving. In this 30 minutes be really loving, do some yoga, take a quick bath, light some candles, whatever feels like it would fill you up.
- Take some time before bedtime to do a little self-love ritual. I recently tasked a client with taking a bath or shower and a little 5-minute self-massage with her favorite scented oil or lotion while giving her body positive suggestions of love and gratitude, seems simple and it has made a huge difference for her.
So dear one, how will you commit to more flow in your life? What would happen if you integrated even just one of the five ideas above? It can start with a little shift and grow from there. Like anything else, a little bit every day over time makes a huge difference.
From my loving heart to yours in flow…