Following Flow

“The point is, not to resist the flow. You go up when you’re supposed to go up and down when you’re supposed to go down. When you’re supposed to go up, find the highest tower and climb to the top. When you’re supposed to go down, find the deepest well and go down to the bottom. When there’s no flow, stay still.” ~ Haruki Murakami

Want to feel better, have more energy and live longer? Look no further than regular, old-fashioned, exercise. Exercise keeps us focused and helps to maintain balance and rhythm.

How much control do we have over our experiences, performances, or interactions? We don’t control very much because every experience, interaction, and situation already has a natural rhythm to it. This rhythm is determined by what is the best combination of environment, actions, and efforts to attain a maximum result. This natural rhythm is called flow and we choose to either resist the flow or join it. Going against the flow results in struggle, frustration, and errors. When joining the flow, we experience ease, awareness, and know what to do next.

Huayna Picchu, Peru

Huayna Picchu, Peru

To join the flow in any circumstance, you can follow these three steps:

  1. Get a sense and feel for the rhythm of the situation, experience, or interaction (as Mr. Van Damme does in the above video). Do this by avoiding forcing, controlling, or acting to make something happen. Simply be with it.
  2. Trust the flow by not expecting it to be a certain way or attaching meanings to what is happening. The flow is always taking the direction of success, we only choose to join it or go against it.
  3. Allow the flow with confidence in the abilities, intentions, and preparation for success. Fearing or not understanding what is happening doesn’t stop the flow; the flow continues, it just goes past us or around us.
Mt. Huashan in China

Mt. Huashan in China

Joining the flow is the only way to achieve and experience success in any experience, performance or interaction. It is neither a passive process nor a destiny. Join the flow by getting a sense of the rhythm, trusting the direction, and confidently allowing the flow to create success. It will – it always does.

Mt. Huashan

Mt. Huashan

Think of being in flow as a leap of faith. πŸ™‚

29 thoughts on “Following Flow

  1. Loved the video—so impressive.

    I’ve been pondering the profound impact that exercise (specifically running, for me) has had on my life. It’s taught me to be patient with myself and my circumstances, to press on through the pain and often embrace it because of it’s ability to focus and sharpen me, to look forward to the results without skipping the process, and to settle into things for the long haul.

    We are all about expectations, results, and looking out for number one that we forget to just be—to let go, enjoy the ride, and not manipulate the circumstances or people in our lives.

    Such a good word. Thank you, Eric!

    • So I’m cherry-picking from your thoughtful comment, Kaela: “patient, focus, sharpen, settle, and just be.” Each of your word choices are powerful and valuable. The fact that you have found ways to weave them into your actions and perspectives is admirable! Here’s to your continued being in and appreciating flow. πŸ™‚

  2. Hi Eric, I really like your new header photo and the pics in this post. Have you been to any of these places? Nice post about flow. When I relax into flow life feels so much better. Too often I get lost in my mind and overanalyzing. The journey continues πŸ™‚

    • Thank you, kind sir. The header photo is one of four that will grace the home page of my new business web site. I’ve not been to any of the places in the photos, though Macchu Piccu and nearby destinations is on my bucket list. Glad to learn that you, too, have experienced the calm of being in flow. In our world today, it is much too easy to get caught up in anything but being in flow. Here’s to your ongoing journey, my friend.

  3. Ha, I’ve been missing your posts for some time, so thank you for reminding me to check your blog. I have no idea what goblins had pushed the unfollow button!
    Btw, interesting piece, I like how you translate the tao into modern language. Old archetypes in “new bottles,” I appreciate that.

  4. Very very true. Love the photos you chose for the post.

    I have read two of Murakami’s books and have found the stories to start well but some of the story twists and turns are pretty strange to me.

  5. Pingback: Defy the law of physics | theseeker

  6. I appreciate this post Eric – I do, I do! But the reason we resist the flow is because it feels not right – “this is not right”. And then, there’s the realisation you can be swept out to sea, out of your depth, unable to reach solid ground.

    There’s good advice here how to accept the flow, but to trust it? Is it always trustworthy? Sometimes, isn’t it just mad rampant flow?

    I don’t know, just exploring what you inspired! πŸ™‚

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