Have you ever felt the feeling of being in flow with your life or in flow with your goals? "In flow" is a common reference used to describe the feeling of alignment, oneness, and ease. Think of the free flow of water down a stream or the open flow of air all around you (open, free, effortless, and natural). It's that type of energetic free flow within and around you as you move toward your goals. The reference of flow to your experience of life or in pursuing your goals and passions is often characterized by that space where everything you need to move you forward just seems to come to you with seemingly little to no effort. It's where your work and the actions you take seem to all be the right ones to propel you forward. It's where everything is moving forward in your life and you're moving right along with it.
Now, think back again. Have you ever experienced that in your life ... even if for just a few minutes?
What about what's referred to as "hard"? The space were it feels like significant effort is expended with little to no results, or the great results you get take what seems to be everything in you to achieve, where what you need seems to be out of reach or blocked in some way, where there's a constant push energy within you to move forward that drives stress and confusion or frustrations arise regularly in response to trying to figure out an easier way. Any of that sound familiar?
Unfortunately, more people tend to identify with "hard" than "flow" and some even feel more comfortable with it because it's more familiar, but "flow" is available to anyone who chooses it and is willing to put for the effort.
The challenge for most in connecting to that space of flow and staying connected (instead of it being a rare occurrence) is simply a lack of awareness of what you're doing and not doing that's blocking it. Some are moving so fast through life and overloaded with so much, you just don't realize the impact you're having on what you're experiencing. In addition, there's a very common push, fear-based energy that drives many of us into settling for things, life, or the pursuit of major life goals as being exceptionally hard or difficult. It's almost an expectation. And then there are some who have a subconscious affinity for what's hard and a belief that "hard" is good and makes you more deserving. All of these keep you from opening the doorway to anything else.
So, where are you? Would you describe the way you've been moving toward your goals or passions as "hard"? Is it time for you to begin stepping out of "hard"? Are you tired and ready to open the doorway to something else? To more ease and flow?
Well, if you're answer is YES, here are 5 ways to begin stepping out of hard and more into flow starting today:
1. Stop resisting What IS. The act of resisting consumes a tremendous amount of energy, but when what you're resisting are things, circumstances, people, etc. that you cannot change or control, you create a continuous energy drain that can zap you mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. And it can all occur very subtly without you recognizing the impact. All of this leaves you blocked and with little energy to use in creating what you really want for your life. When you stop resisting the things you can't change, you keep your energy available to focus on things that you can affect. It's as if you stop hitting your head against the brick wall and choose to walk around it instead. So, pay attention to areas where you're resisting and make it a priority to stop.
2. Honor and respect your feelings (stop ignoring how you feel). Your feelings are there in you for a reason, so learn to listen to the messages and guidance they provide (e.g., maybe it's time to grow, expand, time to change, time to let go, try something new, time to stop running and rest more). Whatever it is, it's there for you, so pay attention. If you want to cry, cry; rest, rest; scream, scream (you get my point?). Don't run from your feelings. Allow them to move through you. So many problems can arise from not allowing yourself to feel whatever you feel like overeating, overspending, depression, addictions, etc., so don't be afraid to honor what you feel and take action on the guidance you receive.
3. Release the need to have all the answers and embrace the adventure of life. This is about opening up to the possibilities of your life. It's about embracing the times of uncertainty and releasing the ego's need to have all the answers (i.e., to have it all figured out). Instead, be more willing to discover anew as you move along your journey. Blaze a new unimagined trail. Embrace the idea that there's no perfect predefined way of being or doing YOU and simply enjoy discovering the adventure of your own unique path. It can make life so much more enjoyable and keep you mindful that there's a bigger force at work in your life.
Now, this is not a pass to not take action when you know what to do or to not do things you're called to do. It's an invitation to simply be okay and to not fight it if the next steps haven't been revealed to you yet. It's an opportunity to release the push and panic that oftentimes comes with uncertainty in your life and instead trust that you'll know when it's time for you to know and give yourself permission to have fun and enjoy life in the meantime.
4. Stop beating yourself up. What you think about yourself, the internal videos that play, the words you speak about yourself, the internal chatter that plays, all matter (BIG TIME - yes, that's a technical term). If any of it is negative, critical, or demeaning, it blocks you at a very deep level. It's a form of beating yourself up, which leads to feeling disempowered and incapable, and can even result in personal shut down. So, STOP IT. Instead replace those thoughts, words, inner chatter, etc. with thoughts and words based in love, acceptance, forgiveness, uplifting kindness, gratitude, and appreciation. Get into the practice of lifting you up and loving you up in everything you think, say, and do about YOU. Be more kind to yourself than you can ever imagine another person being and witness YOU opening up and accomplishing things you never thought possible.
5. Allow the things that serve and uplift you into your life. You know how it feels when you get a great 8hrs of sleep versus the 4-5hrs you traditionally squeeze in each night or when you eat a healthy lunch instead of on-the-go fast food, or actually work out instead of skipping it, or when you get that massage instead of putting it on hold until later, or decide to go ahead and work with a coach instead of settling for little fulfillment in your life? It all gives you a wonderful gift. You feel great, like there's nothing you can't accomplish, Right? But then, you don't continue. You feel you're too busy and there's not enough time to keep at it. So, those things that uplift you and support you in being your best become occasional treats and soon infrequent events, leaving you fully zapped, unfulfilled and less than you. And oftentimes it occurs without your conscious awareness.
To avoid that trap, you must treat yourself better than anyone else would and a great first step is to allow yourself to enjoy and experience the things that serve and uplift you in being your best on a regular basis. Make it a way of being for you. The benefits of doing so are truly priceless and you feel it immediately in your life. The better you feel (mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually), the better your flow through life. Always remember that.
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Life Passion and Fulfillment Coach, Pam Smith supports professionals and entrepreneurs in stepping out of their way and into the passions, goals, and life fulfillment they so deeply desire! Get her FREE CD, "What To Do When You're Stuck & Unfulfilled: Discover the Top 3 Ways to Finally Start Doing What You Love!" at www.pursueyourpassionnow.com.