Go With The Flow vs. Be In Your Flow
Go With The Flow vs. Be In Your Flow
I was listening to Paula White talking about the book "Caught Between A Dream and A Job"by Delatorro McNeal II
I was inspired to write about how to find your passion, to live your dreams, and to discover how to live in your flow.
In this lens you will find an exploration process and definition of what it means to "Be In Your Flow", guidelines to discovering your passion(s), ways to practice activities that will nurture your journey toward living in your flow, and applicable steps to enjoy every minute of it.
As I was creating this lens, I discovered an opportunity to celebrate people who are living the 'Be In Your Flow' way of life. It is easy to find them all around us. I will celebrate them here, so return often to meet them in the
"Be In Your Flow - Exemplar" sections.
I have also included numerous resources for more indepth study of principles of passion, creativity, and spiritual growth.
If you would like to join in the journey toward authenticity, this is an exceptional read!
Go With The Flow
Ihave heard this said, modeled, expressed, and explained. I have learned to go with the flow. Learning to go with the flow required acceptance of what is. Tolerance is not enough; complete acceptance is required, without expectation.
A new concept, I heard about today, is this:
Be in your flow.
I was listening to Paula White this morning (May 2, 2008). She was talking about the book "Caught Between A Dream and A Job"by Delatorro McNeal II
The discussion between Paula and Delatorro was about how to leave the 9 to 5 behind and begin living your dream. Delatorro shares in his book how to find your passion, how to begin engaging in what you are passionate about, and how to use stepping stone jobs as a bridge to living your dream. The topic is inspirational, and brought to mind, thoughts about my journey to discovering my passions and learning to live my dreams.
I remember being asked "what is your dream job" and I was unable to identify it. Then I was asked "what is your passion?" As I contemplated the question I was able to find my passion by looking at things that I love to do.
How Do You Feel When You...
paint, cook, sculpt, sing, dance, write, speak, sew, take photos, ski, play tennis, climb mountains, run a marathon, teach yoga, teach a child to read, scrapbook, organize recipes, make jewelry, visit a nursing home, play an instrument, teach someone how to play an instrument, wash windows, design a garden, plant a garden, make bread, decorate a cake, mow the lawn, lead a humanitarian transformative activity, plant a tree, organize a space, knit, promote an artist or actor, design a theater set, write a play, walk a pet, design a playground, teach art to children, facilitate a support group, comfort a friend, set the table, arrange flowers, create a website, write a blog, detail a car, shop, cruise, dine, skate, swim, craft, or any one of thousands of things that are possibly your passion?
What kind of activity have you found yourself immersed in and couldn't wait to do again?
When you have identified your passion(s), then you are well on your way to creating space in your life, to live your dreams and be in your flow.
The books mentioned in this article are available on Amazon. I have also included other books that are exceptional for passion discovery, nurturing your creativity, and discovering your inner source of energy and vitality.
Ask Yourself These Questions
While you are in the process of discovering your passion(s), the following questions to ask yourself may be helpful.
Elizabeth Jean Allen said:
"Some find their passion early in life, others find it later. For some, their passion changes and evolves with them." (Liz - May 2008)
If you find that this is true for you, re-visit these questions often as your journey evolves.
- What would you like to spend most of your time doing?
- What do you do, that while you are engaged in it, you feel energized and are enveloped in feelings that bring you peace, joy, comfort, and energy?
- What are you hoping to be able to do 'when you have the time?'
- What do you think about doing when you notice that there will be time available at some point in the future?
- What are you doing when you feel that time is flying by?
- What do you think about first thing in the morning or during brief moments of peace during your day?
- When you were a child, what activity did you enjoy the most?
- When you were a child, did you have a favorite game?
- What was your favorite song, your favorite book, or favorite creative activity?
The Be In Your Flow - Exemplar Featured Lensmaster Award is our way of celebrating the people we find that are expressing the essence of the 'Be In Your Flow' synergy.
Please visit the Featured Lensmasters and Featured Lenses to show your appreciation for the outstanding commitment to shareing their passions and setting an example of the 'Be In Your Flow' way of life.
I have been blessed to have the opportunity to meet people who have inspired, modeled, and lived the principles of 'Being In Your Flow.' I will be adding each of them over time so that you can discover them as well.
Identify Your Passion(s)
Imagine one thing that you love to do. Spending time engaged in this activity brings you joy. This consequently brings you energy, vitality, peace, and a sense of accomplishment. You may have hobbies, talents, or skills you have put at the bottom of your 'to do' list, waiting for a time when you are not doing the things you dislike doing.
We have been taught that we 'should' have a job. We have forgotten our childhood wish to have a life full of joy and fulfillment. We have disconnected with the truth that our life's work is our best vocation. We have forgotten that we are here for a purpose and our passion is our calling.
We may have never known that our life's calling, could translate into a job that we love, and would bring us fulfillment, joy, and vitality.
One of my favorite activities as a child was coloring. I didn't think I was very good at it, but, it seems that back then I wasn't concerned with what others thought of it. It was a bit later when I took what others said to heart and I vowed not to show anyone my work. I was troubled by the talents of others and compared my work to their work.
That was the beginning of creating a safe harbor deep within my soul that no one could get into, no one could harm me there. The problem was that I hid that harbor so well that eventually even I didn't see it there. It became a long lost forgotten memory that only surfaced after I was depleted to the point of exhaustion.
Miraculously, I retrieved the memory, took action to find that place once hidden from myself, and took steps to bring my authentic self back into the light. It didn't take long before my energy returned and the magical joy of life was on my mind all the time once again. I have the precious childlike wonder, the joy of discovery, the enthusiasm for taking on challenges and learning new things.
I remember once taking my coloring book and crayons under my blanket (when I was supposed to be going to bed for the night). I took a flashlight as well. I remember this primarily because of the outcome. When I woke up the next morning, the first thing I did was grab the coloring book that I had tucked under the bed. I was surprised to see the colors. Something about the flashlight combined with the color of the blanket caused the crayons to look different. I do not remember the exact differences, but, as an example, where I had colored grass green, in the morning it was purple. And, where I had colored the sky blue, in the morning it was actually brown.
Being In My Flow
This was created by special request
It is never too early to be in your flow. Children are most naturally able to choose what makes them joyful. This is a reminder to not let our children forget who they are.
Create Space and Time - Synergy
The interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual.
When you add the forces of desire and intentions you will have manifested the opportunity to create time on your calendar and in the framework of your space as well. The framework of your daily life will open to your desires. Time will be transformed; you will be living in your flow, free to soar, and practicing the life of your dreams in increments.
You will experience the 'Be In Your Flow' synergy
Paula White said that 80% of people in America dislike their jobs. They get up day after day and go to work, spend the majority of their time doing what they do not find fulfilling, and at the end of the month are disappointed and overwhelmed with the pressures of work, bills, and the lack of time to do what they really love to do. They do not have the time to spend engaged in re-creation activities. They do not have the energy to put into creativity.
The paradox is that engaging in energizing activity is the only way to access the full potential of your inner source of revitalizing energy. Once you tap into that ever present resource, you will find a connection with seemingly endless energy, which will allow you to do everything that your heart desires. The manifestation of your heart's desires is possible when you connect with this powerful source that is your true authentic self hidden in the calm and safe harbor of your soul.
I believe that we created a safe harbor in the midst of the storms of life. Now we are invited to re-establish our connection with our innate creative passion(s).
Claim Your Passion(s)
I have found myself in the second half of my life.
Situations created the opportunity to start from square one. Everything changed. In a brief transformative chain of events, nothing remained. The choices I had were simple; Fall into dispair or pick myself up, dust myself off, and move forward.
I made the decision to move forward.
I would not go back in time if given the option. There are far too many beautiful memories and the lessons learned were priceless. As I enter into a new stage of my life, I am determined to apply those lessons to new opportunities.
I recommend Richard Leider's book for anyone who is 30 something plus.
Commitment To Your Passion
Have you heard that it takes 90 days to establish a new behavior pattern? By adding brief daily activities, that incorporate the activities that you are passionate about, you will be setting a course toward living your dream. After 90 days you may desire to increase the time spent engaged in your dream activity. Be on the lookout for opportunities that present themselves.
*You will find that you gravitate step by step toward more and more time spent in the activities that bring you joy and vitality.
*You will discover that you feel better throughout the day and you will encounter serendipitous opportunities to take your passion to new heights.
*Many of your previous blocks and limitations begin to lift. Life has a spark of magic once again.
*Your actions have sparked the manifestation of an array of new thoughts, new emotions, and new enthusiasm.
A very good book about returning to creative activities is by Julia Cameron "The Artist's Way". There are many examples of applicable ways to break through anything that is blocking you from allowing yourself to live your dreams.
If your passion isn't about art (or creativity), you can still use the book's premise to find any obstacles that are standing in your way. Substitute the 'artist date' practice for an activity that matches your passion. Have an open mind and you will find the benefits of the process will serve any passion.
One of Julia Cameron's most powerful tools in The Artist's Way is the 'morning pages'. Any kind of activity you are working into your life will be freed from any thoughts and emotions you are holding on to by the simple practice of writing (cleansing) each day. You will discover your hidden blocks, and find the belief systems that you are carrying around with you. While many of them are wonderful, there are perhaps still a few that would benefit from conscience discovery and choice. The morning pages activity can be part of your 30 minute routine, or in addition to it.
You can more easily change a pattern of thinking when you have access to the process that is involved in your life.
We take many actions in our lives without thinking about them. We have discovered many of our core beliefs are based in a forgotten 'code', that has been stored in our ego, to help us make quick decisions. Some of them are still working for our highest good. Some of them are outdated and actually block us. Many of the filed away processes are unknown to us and are only accessible with dedicated effort.
For example: when I vowed to not color again, my brain registered that as a rule, a code to live by, so for years I was not interested in coloring (much less painting, creating graphics, photography, or other mediums that I enjoy so much now). If I had not remembered that code that I chose, I might still be dreading each morning, day after day, and still exhausted.
By identifying my hidden belief system, finding the source of it, discovering my decision process, and re-evaluating 'why' I made that decision, I was able to uncover the sources and make informed decisions. I was then free to change my actions.
Practice Your Passion(s)
Plan and Implement
In the beginning you may ask, as I did, "how do I get from here to there?" The answer is small steps that bring about change in your life. A great place to begin is to move your passion closer to the top of your list. Create time each day to engage in the activity that you are passionate about.
The following examples are be based on Photo Journalism because that is what I have found to be one of my passions. You can use the outline with whatever activity you are passionate about.
Activity Timetable Outline - Part One- General
Create 30 minutes to engage in outlines, preparation, gathering the tools, and planning a project. Set a time each day to dedicate to this. Work it into your schedule someplace. It can be at different times each day, or at the same time each day if that feels best for you. On days that it is time to 'do' this, if you find you are unable to get going, just sit for the 30 minutes and imagine that you have engaged in the activity. If any other topics try to pass by in your thoughts, ask them to return after the appointed time. Little by little you will have the ability to allow yourself this treat. Be certain that you are committed to this important step. It would be counterproductive to balance your check book during this period of time (unless of course your passion is to be an accountant). If your passion is a physical activity, (such as mountain climbing), you can substitute a walk in the park or another physical activity for climbing a mountain (unless you happen to have one handy).
Create 3 hours to engage in the activity. Practice your passion. You will have the full 3 hours to indulge in it, as you have set the scene on a daily basis. Everything is ready. Immerse yourself. This is the most important part of the process. If you need to travel to access the resources to practice your passion, allow travel time in addition to the 3 hours set aside for this, if at all possible.
Activity Timetable Outline - Part Two - Examples
I will review the photos I have taken, set up templates for integrating photos with journal, and write one paragraph or two for the photos. I will clean tools, check supplies, and work on the project checklist (a poster type tool where I stick post it notes for each of the milestones in the process). I have a dry erase board now, but, not yet installed (no wall space). I am going to work out a way to trade the post it system for this because the long term goal post-its tend to lose their grip over time and fall on the floor behind the furniture.
I will spend three hours creating content for a template. Putting together the photos, the paragraphs, and incorporating the inspirations that I have. Inspiration is a good sign that you have identified an element of your passion(s).
I will engage in activities that help me grow in the area that I am passionate about. This might be self study, a seminar, a gathering of likeminded people, a trade show, or any number of activities that will enhance my abilities and spark new inspirations.
For photo journalism, this may include a walk through a garden center (my photos are primarily of nature), a seminar about butterflies, a trip to the library to read about photography, a writing contest submission, and/or any number of things that enhance the skills that I am developing. In terms that Julia Cameron uses, this would be my 'artist date'.
Summarized Steps - Be In Your Flow
Make a Decision - Living Your Dream - Choose to Live In Joy
Make A Decision
I started where I had left off. I colored. Slowly I moved onto water colors, then acrylics, then oil pastels. Now I am using digital media (Photo Art) to create to my heart's content.
You may be thinking to yourself, as I was when I first learned of this process;
How can coloring (or _____ insert your passion here) change my life?
Living Your Dream
One day you will wake up and find that you are engaged in your passion full time. You are living your dreams; passion and joy are your way of life. You have joined the 20% of people who love what they do and do what they love. You have discovered for yourself what it means to live an authentic life. You are in your flow now.
One of the miracles that I have discovered about the difference between 'going with the flow' and 'being in my flow' is how effortlessly I engage in each part of my life. I wake up refreshed, ready to go, and enthusiastic about the day ahead. I am guided to people who are positive and supportive.
Choose To Live In Joy - Choose to Be In Your Flow
Taking small steps to gradually live every day doing what you love to do. That is how coloring changed my life. That is how I am living my dreams full time.
Cameron, J (1992) The Artist's Way, Tarcher / Perigee Publishing, New York, NY.
McNeal, D. () Caught Between A Dream and A Job, retrieved May 2, 2008 from del mcneal caught book
White, P. (May 2, 2008) Caught Between A Dream and A Job with Paula and special guest Delatorro McNeal, Retrieved Showtime on May 2, 2008 from paula white
Please leave your comments, share your reaction to the articles, share your experience in the topics discussed, or just say hello. It would be delightful to hear from you.