Flow or flow not, there is no struggle...
"The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be.
A friend emailed me recently explaining that she had been having a difficult time but that she was working hard to get through her current struggle to get to where she wants to be. She extolled the virtues of struggle and suggested that there was good in it.
Something about that irked me. Is that true? Is there benefit in struggle?
Imagine you are paddling down the rapids in your kayak when you hit a boulder at the wrong angle and get tipped out into the white water. Do you struggle? Hell yes! Does it help? Maybe only to a point – you see once you’ve pulled your head above the water and taken a breath then your next challenge is actually to stop struggling, stop panicking and freaking out and start thinking and calming down. You need to get your bearings and feel the flow. Struggling against the flow will simply wear you out and as you get worn out you will start to drop below the surface every now and again. You will start to take in mouthfuls of water and that will freak you out and make you panic and struggle even more. Then the more you struggle and panic the less will be your ability to actually save yourself. Instead of thinking about what you want you will be thinking about what you don’t want – fear will reach out and grab you…
Your ability to self-regulate your emotions and still act will be critical to your survival.
So back to struggle.
You won’t get to peace through struggle just like you won’t get to peace through war – think about it - “We are seeking peace but to get there we are going to bomb you, kill your friends and family so as to encourage you to be peaceful” – hmmm….
“The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you murder the hater; but you do not murder hate. In fact violence merely increases hate… Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
Martin Luther King Jnr.
Struggle means you are struggling against something – fighting something. But in fighting something you are paying it attention, giving it energy, lending it your energy. Instead of focusing on what you want, you are fighting against what you don’t want. Instead of being peaceful and proactive, you are being stressed and reactive. As your experience flows from the present to the past you tell a story about it to reinforce your current view of reality. If you tell a story about your struggle, guess what, you are reinforcing your experience of struggle – so I repeat – focusing on struggle will not lead you to not struggle.
“But wait”, I hear you cry, “If I don’t struggle, if I don’t fight, I will lose”
And so you are back to fear is my reply…
“Fear, even the smallest fear, is a hacking at the cords of faith…”
In amongst your experience is what you desire. This is what you need to first look for – what is it that you truly and deeply want?
When you find it you need to translate it into essence – feeling – a state of being.
Deep, heartfelt clarity on what that looks like, feels like and sounds like in hard core reality.
Connect to that feeling and ground it in reality in the best way that you can – remember times when you were peaceful, free, loving and in flow – reconnect to that time. Retrace your footsteps back to where you once were. Recognise the fork in the road that took you down the struggle street. Recognise the good in the experience and say thanks. Release the fear and embrace gratitude instead – regain your faith.
In your state of calm and grace you can now feel the flow. Getting out of the rapids is now easy and maybe even fun. Allow the current to take you. Make slight little adjustments to your trajectory and look out for opportunity – all the time staying as calm and relaxed as you can – and there, grab that overhanging branch – and you’re out!
In life, find your space of calm and serenity – release your fear, grow your faith – “I don’t know why this is happening to me now but I trust and have faith that it is perfect and that with the passing of time I will come to understand the meaning of these events”.
Faith means believing in something where there is no evidence.
Don’t fritter away your will by pitting it against someone or something else.
Direct your will to your faith – use your will to hold your nerve – hold your peace, hold your faith.
Feel the flow, don’t fight against it, allow yourself to go with it, focus on what you want and patiently wait for it to appear – then act, and act decisively, calmly, confidently and with love.
“When you find the way, others will find you. Passing by on the road they will be drawn to your door. The way that cannot be heard will be echoed in your voice. The way that cannot be seen will be reflected in your eyes.”
Lao-tsu in Toao-te Ching
In peace and love always.