Meandering Stream1Rachel Flow Quote

In so many moments during the day, I want my experience to be different. Somewhere in the back of my mind I harbor this idea that there is a better place to be or better way for things to happen. I keep moving and checking things off my list as if there is solid ground or some steady state on the other side of just a few more actions. I seek order and control.

Yet, I know things are always changing. I can never be fully certain. There is never really closure. Nothing is ever complete. Perfection is illusory.

My heart tells me that I have a choice. Instead of resisting, maybe I could accept? Instead of wishing for something else, maybe I could be content with what is? Instead of thinking the ideal place is somewhere out ahead of where I am, maybe the perfect place is right here, right now, in the moment?

A friend recently described my life as a meandering stream, moving with what shows up, adapting and fluid, yet steady and always moving forward, toward some great unknown possibility. I saw the truth in it. From 10,000 feet, yes, I flow, I adapt, I meander, I move toward possibility. I wondered, what if I saw my life up close as a flowing meandering stream? Can visualizing myself like water, fluid and graceful, help me move out of resistance and into acceptance as I go through a busy work day?

Try This!

I thought I would try these questions to experiment:

  • What would it look like if I moved through my day like water?
  • What does it look like when I am going with the flow?
  • How do I feel when I move fluidly in response to what shows up?
  • In what ways can I seize opportunities to open to the unexpected?
  • How do I want to be when situations bring something unplanned?
  • When am I inquisitive, curious, accepting of not knowing?
  • How can I let go of control to embrace the potential of the moment?

Pema Flow Quote

Word Cloud

Here’s a wordle I created to bring me that sense of flow.  Maybe you want to create your own little cloud? You can at http://www.wordle.net/ .


Quotes to Contemplate

  • Life becomes joyful when we can open to the constant flow and ride freely with it. ~Higher Awareness
  • The sun shines not on us but in us. The rivers flow not past, but through us, thrilling, tingling, vibrating every fiber and cell of the substance of our bodies making them glide and sing. ~John Muir
  • When you accept what is, Life Flows. ~Jackie Dumaine
  • The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes
  • When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy. ~Rumi


Click on the link below to access the May calendar featuring highlights from this post.

May 2013 Flow Try This! Calendar

© copyright Vicki L. Flaherty, Leading With Intention, 2013

Photo by Kristie.

Author: Vicki L Flaherty

I am most alive when I am creating, whether through writing, photography, gardening, cooking, crafting, sewing, yoga. I enjoy traveling because it opens me to greater awareness and new possibilities. I find a special joy when I’ve helped someone see their brilliance and express their full potential. As I've focused on living more mindfully, I've found special joy in expressing myself through poetry and photography, and in truly being in relationship with those I meet along my journey.

20 thoughts on “Flow”

  1. This is wonderful, Vicki, and very timely. Especially with Spring happening in its usual startling rush as it does here in the upper Midwest. And all the planning and efforts we make to push our lives in a certain direction suddenly get overwhelmed by events that we’d given up on ever happening or forgotten we’d put in motion sometime before. Being a writer, or a wanna-be writer, makes me aware of the importance of stillness; of being a witness first. And the calm that the stillness brings gives me time and energy and vision to sort things out from there. It’s not the sort of thing you can do on the run!
    Thank you for all these reminders and images of how that can work.

    1. I am glad you find the post timely and helpful! I love what you say about writing – the importance of stillness and calm so that you can be a witness…thanks for stopping by Sheila!

  2. This was such a wonderful and inspiring post. It really hit home with me. I’m always making mental or written lists that I think if I accomplish, I’ll reach some kind of perfect state. But as you indicated it’s always illusory and something else is always evolving adding more tension and yet another goal to reach before I’m satisfied. Sometimes I can’t even enjoy the moment fully because I still have something else to finish first, and then I’ll be able to relax and ” deserve” to enjoy it.I need to let go and go with the flow and enjoy being able to do what i’m doing in the moment! I need to think of myself as being water and flowing along to relax into the rhythm of my day. Thanks so much Vicki for your thoughtful ideas.

  3. Hi Vicki, I first read your post in early May and some “coincidences” have happend in 10 short days that I find make your post resonate even more with me !
    1. Carefully laid plans for my daughter’s first communion went all awry due to illness and I “went with the flow” and let go of having a clean house and perfect dinner to focus on family and celebration (and health) instead.
    2. A writng course I’m taking talked about metaphors and I just read http://www.cleanlanguage.co.uk (Coaching with Metaphors & Learning Metaphors were the 2 articles I read) and your metaphor has even more impact ! In fact I have an assignment to write about metaphors and I’m going to use your blog to post to our coursera site.
    3. A life coaching class I just attended on Tuesday called ” How to lead a low-drama life” by Lori Race introduced me to the trait of “equanimity”. From Wikipedia: “Equanimity (Latin: æquanimitas having an even mind; aequus even animus mind/soul) is a state of psychological stability and composure which is undisturbed by experience of or exposure to emotions, pain, or other phenomena that may cause others to lose the balance of their mind.” This definiton makes me think of “aqua” and water, how changeable it is from the oceans to the soil to the clouds to rain to ice to steam and yet how unchangeable it is at the same time,having the same properties for millions of years on earth, and your metaphor becomes even more meaningful!

    Lastly, Lori mentioned this song, which has beautiful lyrics – “Living in the Moment” by Jason Mraz from the album, “LOVE” . This song and your blog speak to me in much the same way.
    Thank-you for the great insights !

    1. Sunita, thank you for sharing all the connections you are making with flow and how my post helped open some things up more powerfully for you. It seems we are kindred spirits – I love writing and am going to check out the cleanlanguage site after this comment, and I have been playing at being a life coach since I was introduced to life coaching in 2005 via an experience called Radical Leadership (www.radicalleadership.com). I look forward to our making more connections inside and outside of IBM. Thanks for reaching out!

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