Going with the Flow:A Brief Guide to Effortless Action
Can you remember a time in your life when you got lost in what you were doing? You lost track of time, had no sense of where you were, you were fully immersed in the experience.
When you were done, you felt exhilarated, yet calm. You finished what you were doing without struggle. You didn’t have to force yourself to focus, or to stay in one place. You didn’t even think about it. You were in the zone. It just happened.
This is effortless action. It is the type of action that flows naturally and with ease. You’re in alignment with the moment and what it brings. You’re one with life.
“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them—that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like. ~ Lao Tzu
How to flow naturally with life
The most important thing is to get out of your head, and to not overanalyze everything (this is where struggle begins).
A state of flow is not a mental process. It’s more of a byproduct of just being—right now in this moment.
I hope you find the steps below useful.
1- Be present.
When we’re fully immersed in everyday life’s events as they unfold in this moment, nothing else seems to matter.
The more you’re aware of what you’re doing now, the easier it is for you to do things naturally, effortlessly, but still be effective.
2- Set clear intentions.
Knowing what’s important is the first step in aligning our actions with our truth. A clear purpose is motivating and empowering. Your intentions send signals to the universe of your desires so life can get to work and make it happen.
Being clear about what we want doesn’t mean that we have everything mapped out. There is no need to worry about the details of how we’re going to get there, or when it’ll show up. The universe doesn’t care much about deadlines and minor details.
3- Listen to the inner voice.
We all have within us all the wisdom and guidance we need.
Listen to your intuition—the voice within that knows, not the defeatist ego that wants to protect you, and keep you safe. How do you feel when you think about the things you’d like to do? Are you excited? Are you scared? Both are okay.
Acknowledge your feelings, and trust your intuition. If the inner voice says it’s a bad idea, then sleep on it, and seek more guidance.
4- Take deliberate action.
When it’s time to act, our actions will be in harmony with our desires and truth.
Whatever you do, do it with all your heart, and give it your best shot. Give every little task your full attention, be present with it. See the magic in every act.
Don’t dilute the power of your actions with multitasking, or rushing to get things done. Do one action with power and focus, and let the universe guide you.
5- Go with the flow.
As you take action, immerse yourself in the experience. Don’t second-guess. Just do.
Flow comes naturally with repetition—think of musicians, athletes, and performers. They just get into it, and don’t think about it. Going with the flow is where you build momentum and start to see results. This is where excellence is born.
There is usually a natural rhythm to our actions. Once you notice a shift in your focus, it is time to stop and move on to something else.
6- Monitor energy levels.
When you do something, does it energize you, or does it sap your energy? Do you get fidgety, impatient, or anxious to move on? If you experience any of those things, it’s time to stop and change direction.
Don’t try to go against your natural rhythm and flow of energy. You’ll be fighting an uphill losing battle that will deplete you more.
Sometimes we need to stop and do nothing, and allow the next thing to show up when the time is right.
7- Embrace change.
Nothing in life is set in stone. Keep an open mind and be willing to change course, when required. Don’t get caught up on how you want to get something accomplished. If something is not working for you, let go. You’ll find another way, when the time comes.
Think of calm water and how it flows easily and changes course with the change in landscape. Yet with time, it reshapes the hardest of rocks … effortlessly. Be like water.
8- Practice gratitude.
Starting with an appreciative attitude gives us strength. When we appreciate what we have, we become more open to receiving from a place of power.
On the other hand, when we approach life with desperation, we’re focusing on what’s missing. We’re trying to fill the gap of lack. Nothing we accomplish will ever be enough, until we realize that everyone and everything is complete the way it is.
Practice gratitude, and reflect on the positives of your life every day. Gratitude connects you will all of life and creation.
9- Be a student of life.
Whether things work out or not, every experience is a chance to learn and grow. Learning is a crucial part of living. We continue to learn until our ultimate graduation, when we leave this existence.
Be willing to learn a new skill if it gets you closer to your heart’s desire. It’s never too late, or too early. Be the best student of life you can be.
Have faith that things will work out. Do your part, and surrender control.
Trust that life is always working with you. Doors will open; help will come; and things will become more clear … all in the right time. We may not know when that is, but it makes a big difference to know that we are not alone—we have all the support we need.
“All difficult things have their origin in that which is easy, and great things in that which is small.” ~ Lao Tzu
The most important thing is to work with life, not against it. Think of a child who is going down a slide. She’s having fun, practically doing nothing. She lets gravity do the work and she enjoys the ride. All she had to do was show up and get on that slide.
You can do the same with anything. All you have to do is: show up with an open heart and mind, be willing to do your part, and let life take care of the rest.
Enjoy the ride!