My Answer to: Doesn’t Living a Life of Flow Get Boring and Shouldn’t You Put Contrast in Your Day?

When I work with clients or share my way of being in a public forum or speech, a question that is always asked is along the lines of:

If one chooses to live a life, fully tapped into flow, centered into love and gratitude, cultivating and celebrating peace, joy, ease, abundance, natural unfolding of creative expressions and fullness in heart connections…..wouldn’t it get boring, the person become stagnant/disinterested in growing or expanding and shouldn’t a person intentionally put their being in challenging, stretch spaces? 

Let’s look at this question, together – what is being asked, beyond the wording?

What is the ‘sacrifice’/pain variable to me if life is always fun and it is ‘easy’ to be me and to share what is in my heart as I move through my day? How will I grow if it’s natural and joyful? How can I trust this newness especially if it’s so different from the way my family and friends live?

I invite you to breathe in and consider living in flow as an ever-evolving practice

Before I share my response to these multi-layered questions, I invite you to breathe in. One: because it centers your energy and naturally opens your mind and two: it’s refreshing.

I am choosing to live an open-hearted life, tapped fully into flow; I offer my experience for you to think about and feel into. As you consider my ‘reflection’, I invite you to notice what parts resonate well with you and what parts your mind may kick up some doubt in. And, as always, I thank you for your consideration!

My response is based solely upon my experience of practicing presence to unfolding within organic growth for over ten years, as a way of being.

Remember, I stepped out of a lifetime of abuse, so when I first began practicing, I was also concentrating on healing some deep and painful wounds while exploring this newness of peace and possibility.

I was very familiar with the feeling of struggle, challenges that looked to be insurmountable, and pushing through everything to the point of physical and emotional exhaustion.

I wasn’t used to being fully present in my body, because there was so much unhealed pain and I wasn’t feeling too keen about being fully present to life, either, for the same reason.

I wasn’t aware of flow and when I became aware of it and began tapping into it, I was afraid of it – where would it take me and how would it feel? – so I spent a lot of time resisting it.

(Maybe you can relate?)

Even in that, I experienced abundant blessings! I wasn’t always aware of them and I didn’t yet have the skills to receive them in and celebrate them fully. (Mainly because I was always astounded at how ‘easy’ it was to manifest in and experience these blessings, and I wasn’t familiar with – so I didn’t trust – ease; as a result I often deflected blessings, even the *very ones* I prayed for and called in!).

I also found (and still see this as very prevalent) that in general our society celebrates, applauds, rewards this ‘struggle, challenge and pushing through’ and criticizes ease, peace, joy as consistent ways of being, moving, creating and connecting.

So, I understand the energy in the question and think it very much speaks to this collective patterning.

The great thing about patterns is that when we recognize them, we can use that awareness to create a new pattern that feels better and supports the thriving of our being in all ways.

When I was first beginning to practice presence to unfolding within organic growth, I also found it incredibly frustrating to hear teachers, guides and peers say ‘yes, it can be this easy; look, I’m living it’.

My heart would say ‘yes!’ but my mind would pick out the variables in their life that differed greatly from mine and say ‘well, sure it’s easy for them because they have these benefits and perks (like parents who love them, a partner that supports them, abundant money so they can take more business risks and have better quality everything than I, a house in the country far removed from mainstream energies, freedom from patterns that I lived, etc.) that I haven’t had.’

Of course, when something is so radically different and unfamiliar, our minds quickly throw in doubts.

I understood that then, and used that as inspiration to examine those limiting thoughts and open through them because I wanted to feel this ease, peace and joy; seeing others live it ultimately inspired me greatly (and still does!).

Please remember, living tapped into flow is a practice.

You may have doubts (that’s okay). You may not always find it easy (that’s okay).

Yet, flow is always there for you to choose to tap into (and it won’t ever ‘sweep you away’ unless it’s something you’ve chosen).

My Response to the Above Questions

About flow: When you are fully tapped into flow, it’s like gliding along on the current of your choice (for me that’s love, gratitude and joy – for you, that might be something different).

Your attention and awareness is on doing practices to continue to stay tapped in and to open to more (depth, range, quality) trust in the process and receiving in of the blessings.

So, you’re not thinking ‘hmmm, this isn’t using my brain or skills or isn’t challenging me in any way’ because you’re engaging your mind and the unique characteristics of you in the practice and ‘doing’ of being fully in flow.

As you are in this flow, you begin to notice consistent beauty, synchronicity, spaces of connection, resources that support and encourage, source energy and light, in your daily life (as it is, are you are.) This may be new to you, so again, the ‘work’ is on practices that amplify your trust and ability to open to the experience.

You’re not attempting to direct the flow. You’re not manipulating external variables to change the flow.

You’re concentrating on how to best stay in flow and feel good while doing it, and then to open to the joy of the experience.

The ease, joy, peace you experience comes from your choice and ability to ‘lean into flow’. It’s a choice. When you choose it consistently, it becomes your way of life.

When this living in flow becomes your way of life, you become disinterested in creating pain, barriers, challenges, because your entire being is focused on amplifying the ‘goodness’ in the flow you are experiencing!

Growth: Gosh. There is *tons* of growth in all of that!!

There is physical growth as your life unfolds while you are figuring out this ‘flow stuff’. You may notice as you remember more about your inner essence energy and become more comfortable being and sharing it, that you choose to physically inhabit your body, because it feels good to do so. You may choose to physically honor your personal pace as well as your preferences of physical movement.

As your energy shifts and opens and becomes more clear to you, the external variables of your physical life begin to align to this newness. Again, here is where flow comes in – when you choose to keep tapping into it and gliding along with it, you understand these changes and can allow them to shift with less resistance (which equals less pain and more peace and joy).

There is tons of energetic growth – usually accompanied by spiritual and emotional growth. There is lots to learn, explore and experiment with so your mind is constantly expanding as well.

Boredom: Ummm. I’ve never been bored. I understand people feel it, but (for me looking in) I don’t understand how boredom would exist – just start savoring and celebrating the moment. (And if there is so much pain in the moment that you think you can’t savor or celebrate it, do something that gifts yourself healing and relief in a whole-some, positive sort of way.)

When you are tapped into flow, life continues to unfold to newness, daily.

Part of this unfolding is the delight of there always being something to learn, explore, discover, experience (in a fun way, because you want to and it lights up your being).

Another part is the consistent synchronicity and placement of delightful surprise.

As you listen to your heart, creative expression flows and being present to create any of it could fill your day. Your ‘purpose’ very naturally becomes obvious to you, physically evolving and changing shape as you continue to be present to tapping into flow.

Also, once you begin living fully tapped into flow, it’s likely that you connect with others making similar choices. As you each live your lives, you continue to reflect possibility to each other along with new techniques to try and paths to explore.

There is *always* something to experience, manifest, create, enjoy, savor, bless, clean, call energy into by yourself or within community.

On challenges: For me, understanding natural cycles and seasons and honoring them in my life supports my ability to be most fully tapped into flow.

There are inherent ‘challenges’ in these cycles and seasons – based upon my patterning and beliefs and the unfolding of the cycles in my life.

(Just because I understand a cycle doesn’t mean it’s easy to accept and appreciate it!! – although it gets easier the more I practice.)

For me, challenges (after I began practicing tapping into flow) included: learning to be most fully in my body, understanding my patterning and drawing in resonant healing, opening to receive in delightful surprises, being fully present to blessings without deflecting or giving them away, honoring peace instead of creating chaotic variables like I was used to, releasing ‘mediocre’ to embrace *excellent* (in thought, word and tangible items).

As my heart opens and the external variables in my physical space change (which happens naturally and also intentionally), challenges arise in the form of embracing newness.

I think what happens sometimes, though, is that we look into another’s life and decide that what they feel is challenging ‘isn’t’ or we rate challenges on a very subjective ‘pain-level’ scale.

For me, personally, I currently have the skills to open through what others might label a challenge, when it is presented, but I’ve also lived a life-time of pain from pushing and conquering ‘against the odds’, (I like to say “I can move mountains, but I know I don’t have to and I prefer not to”.)

I choose to follow the organic growth model – stretching, opening, blossoming – naturally, with ease, joy and love. The ‘built-in’ challenge of understanding the process and then embracing and living it offers plenty of contrast and opportunity to learn new skills and to create new patterns.

I can open and move with pain, but I don’t choose to follow the ‘pain-path’ and that might be the reason I feel such consistent peace in my body, home and life. Along with tapping into flow, I practice intentionally manifesting and it’s easier and more effective for me to manifest from a space of peace and joy (and also improves the quality of what I draw in).

I don’t believe ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ – physical pain and emotional grief can dissolve hope and distract you from wanting to live at all, let alone in flow; it can tear apart your body in all ways and realms, and is the cause of mental and physical illness. Healing that takes your time, energy and presence – which can be a life-long journey.

This is enough natural pain in this world, let’s not intentionally add to it!!

Loving on a Baby is a Great Mirror for Living in Flow

To illustrate all of this in a way that’s easy to understand and feel into, I often share this example from my personal life. 

I spend time with my favorite now one-year-old, a few days a week.

When we first met, this little love was around 5 months old. My ‘job’ at that time was to provide attention and comfort (mainly eye contact, smiles and lots of holding during naps).

Never once did I think ‘oh, little love is far too comfortable and resting far too deeply and is so incredibly peaceful, let me drop little love to mix that up a bit’.

As the little love grows, my job expands a bit but the main objective is to ensure little love feels the presence of love, appreciation, comfort, safety; to create an energetic and physical space where exploring is encouraged (as is laughter, silliness and imaginative play); and to provide plenty of nourishing food, fluids, diaper changes and opportunity for deep rest.

Now that little love is learning to walk, I literally clear the path, removing obstacles so little one can practice and experience walking with ease and joy. Sometimes little love toddles over and falls and I provide comfort and space to refresh, along with encouragement to try again.

Again, never once did I think ‘oh, little love is learning to walk, let me put more obstacles on the path to make it difficult or to teach a lesson’, or ‘little love is having such a joy-filled morning, let me take all of the toys away to teach about sadness/sacrifice/pain’ or ‘I’m so in love with little love, let me be mean and ornery and critical to teach about contrast’. Nope.

Little love is growing in all realms – surrounded by pure peace, joy, love and with ease and gentleness, encouragement, resources and tools that support growing in a joyful, loving way.

Little love feels natural pain. Little love doesn’t need me or any of us to add anything that distracts from this glorious experience of the first year of life. May little love always feel this flow!!

(My PS is always that little love has amazing parents who love and treat each other as if each moment together as a family is a blessing! *grin* I just add a little joy to what they’re already growing together as a family.)

One note: I raised (am still raising) my children in a similar way, which is how I can be so fully present with little love.

One of the most life-changing practices for me in a heart-healing and opening way was to treat my inner child as I do my children and from there to learn to treat my heart whispers, dreams and heart connections in the same way.

You see, I use little love as an example, because we all agree there is never a ‘right time’ to abuse a child (if you don’t agree, you wouldn’t be in this space!) by refusing to provide nourishment and energy and resources that encourage peaceful, joyful growth and thriving.

So, my question is, then, why would we intentionally want to do anything different than love and appreciate ourselves fully and thoroughly enjoy the gift of this moment we’ve been given?

To be ultra-clear: 

What is the ‘sacrifice’/pain variable to me if life is always fun and it is ‘easy’ to be me and to share what is in my heart as I move through my day? There isn’t a sacrifice or pain-variable, although many of us are used to sacrificing so we might make them from habit, until we learn to unmake them, with joy.

How will I grow if it’s natural and joyful? First, you’re more likely to want to grow from a space of joy and ‘ease’. You’re more likely to embrace new ideas, practices, ways of supporting your growth, because it feels good and you like the feeling. You are less likely to resist growth (which causes pain). And, when you love the feel of flow, you do inner work you might have been avoiding your entire life because you want to live as barrier-free as possible, in this moment.

You grow organically – your entire being thrives when given plenty of love, kindness, laughter; physical movement that feels delightful; time to simply be and to savor the moment; space to create and to honor creative flow in your life; when connecting with energy that lights your heart – in work, play, relationships, with money, your spiritual path, the blessings in life.

You find that you are present because you want to be, because it lights your life, so things like ‘commitments’ and ‘responsibility’ no longer feel heavy because the way you are present and the reason you are present has changed.

How can I trust this newness especially if it’s so different from the way my family and friends live? You do practices that amplify trust, you keep centering and practicing.

You understand and experience that living infinite possibility is so wondrous, extraordinary, *magical* that it’s okay if those around you don’t choose the same and it’s not your ‘job’ to make them choose the same. As you live this loveliness, they may become curious (and they may become many other things, too) and none of that is about you, although it may seem like it – it’s about their journey and life-path.

You also feel so supported by Universe, so connected to flow (and Source) that *belonging* is a way of being. You know you belong here, on this Earth, in this life and that knowing is so clear that new friends who ‘know’ the same will step into your life. So, you will have your familial love and relationships and also new love and relationships – win-win.

Dear Reader: I’d love for you to consider the questions above and share your experience and insight in the comment section below. We all learn and are inspired by real-life examples, like yours. I value all that you choose to share – so if, as you read, you have questions, please ask. And, please do share your insight and life experience as it relates to what I’ve shared here.

Thank you so much for your presence!!!

Much peace and abundant love,

Joy

We have a beautiful flow of heart-light in my Celebrating Daily Magic 30-Day Photo Journey forum. I created this class a few years ago, during a time of the most painful heart-loss. I knew if I could focus on one snippet of ‘magic’ each day, I could keep my heart open through the pain and eventually heal it. Gathering in a forum, sharing these creative expressions and word descriptions from participants world-wide, it’s pretty much impossible ‘not to believe in magic’ even when life feels messy. And, there is the ‘added gift’ of feeling support of your creative process and seeing places and compositions that might be new to you and inspiring in some way. The new session begins March 19th – for more information and to join in, please click the title link.

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Comments on: "My Answer to: Doesn’t Living a Life of Flow Get Boring and Shouldn’t You Put Contrast in Your Day?" (4)

  1. Catriona said:

    Joy! Yes, Yes and Yes!! Why, it is so much easier to grow and stretch from a base of confidence and security than from one of self-imposed fear and anxiety. For me, it is, at all times, a work in progress, but FLOW feels good and obstacles not something I would wittingly want to put in my own path (or anyone’s).

    Thank you for sharing, living, and teaching this. Xxx

    • Thank *you*, Catriona, for your presence and for sharing this response! In general, society has become used to ‘self-imposed fear and anxiety’ and have learned not to trust consistent peace and joy. So, as you say, it is a practice – of intention and presence, which eventually shifts patterning into flow and trust of feeling good (and *great*!!) daily.

      I’m simply practicing, too, and I choose to share what i’m learning and experiencing for those who are also heart-centered to experiment with in their lives.

  2. Wow, Joy, this is a beautiful post! I love how you spoke about ” little love” and how you just try to make life sweet and joyful AND easy! :) I am trying to be in flow with an ear condition right now that seemed to be on the mend and them went the other way again. So I am continually trying to find the joy in my present life, even with the distraction of the ear dysfunction, and I find that I can walk and write poems and paint and pretty much have joy in the moment. Because it hurts to hear anything, even my own voice, it is difficult to be with people. But I am not being a hermit as I am tempted to be, but living my life as I normally would (except that there are times that I really do have to plug up the ear), and just live with gratitude that I am still able to walk and interact in some manner and also to be able to do the creative work that I love. I am really trying to incorporate flow into my life, but sometimes I slip and get into resistance and not being grateful (actually forgetting to be grateful). Love to you!

    • Thank you, Jean, for your presence and for sharing this response!

      I do very much love ‘little love’ and learn so much in our time together.

      When I read what you’ve shared here, the key words I pick up on are ‘trying to find the joy’. The energy of joy, much like love, grace and peace, is ever-flowing so it’s something we can tap into (with practice) even if something else in our life isn’t feeling quite ‘right’ or ‘lovely’. You gave some wonderful examples here: going on walks, writing poems and painting. So, the joy won’t “heal” the pain, but it will provide contrast and in those moments pain no longer has power over you (which is relieving to your entire being). This might be why ‘laughter is the best medicine’ is such a popular quote!!

      I can absolutely understand the feelings you’ve shared here about the pain and frustration in your experience of life *with* your ear conditions. Please do celebrate the choices you are making, that support yourself during this time (like you shared here, the ‘fun things’ you are doing, as well as gratitude and accepting your current physical experience).

      It’s okay to ‘slip up’ – please remember to be really kind and gentle with yourself when you notice, then thank yourself for noticing and either keep on that path or use your awareness to make a different choice, if you wish.

      I think, in general, most of us resist pain, so there is much you’ve shared here that many people can relate to.

      Thank you, again, and love to you!!

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