Are you interested in living your life to the fullest? If your answer is yes, then let’s flow!
You probably heard or used the “going with the flow” expression. You might interpret it as indulging in your sensory pleasures. For instance, eat as much as you wish, act on your impulses, and have as many partners as you want. In other words, chase pleasure and avoid pain. Interestingly, his ideology is deeply rooted even in some Eastern thought.
While Life is Yours, Live Joyously
A while back, I took a course with one of my favorite teachers, Edwin Bryant. In one of his lectures, he introduced a doctrine called Cārvāka (600 BCE). It is a rationalistic and skeptical philosophy based on logical fatalism and religious indifference.
While Life is yours, live joyously
None can escape Death’s searching eye
When once this frame of ours they burn
How shall it e’er again return?
However, the big question is why the experiences of indulging and following our endless sensual desires don’t make us happier in the long term?
And trust me on that one! I am an expert in over-indulgence.
Similarly, to a hangover after a night of drinking. It’s fun to drink, but then the morning after always comes.
Your Heart’s Desire
In contrast, consider this: “going with the flow” might mean following your heart’s strongest desire or your dharma.
The word dharma comes from the Sanskrit root dhri – “uphold” or “to sustain.” Therefore, consider your Dharma as a lens through which you interact with the world. In other words, you focus on rights and wrongs through your dharmic lens or heart’s deepest desire.
As a result, you live your life in harmony with your purpose and your environment. Dharma is one of the keys to the path to freedom. Dharma is your soul’s flow.
1) Cultivate Deliberate Practice.
To learn any new skill or gain expertise, you need to practice. But the quality of your practice is just as important as the quantity. Furthermore, the top performance is the result of expert-level practice and not due to innate talent. This concept is known as deliberate practice, and it’s compelling.
Let’s consider a yoga practice. Firstly, the goal of yoga practice is to quiet the mind’s chatter to see things clearly. In a nutshell, a deliberate yoga practice must consider the following elements: time (Kala), space (Desa), biological age (Vayha), occupation (Vritti), Energy (Sakti), and interests (Icccha).
Simply put, your daily yoga practice is tailored for your body, mind, needs, and energy levels. A type of practice to create a balance not only in your body but also in your life.
In fact, “going with the flow” in your yoga practice could mean going against what you wish at the moment.
For example, after my separation from Mysore practice, I embarked on a long journey with my daily struggle to do my home practice. At first, it felt nothing like a flow but a struggle. However, many positive life changes were inspired by this yoga practice after some time. I was able to tune in and find the courage to discover and follow my heart’s desire. Here are some key points on how to cultivate a deliberate yoga practice:
- Do your homework.
- Use common sense.
- If you are easily excitable, hot yoga or hundreds of sun salutes is not a good practice.
- If you’re always sleepy and cold, you might consider more heating practices.
- If you are super flexible, then work on strength.
- If you are strong, then work on flexibility.
- Always start where you.
2. What’s Nourishing You?
One of the definitions of yoga is linking. Observe whether your actions and thoughts are nourishing you or not. This observation is a result of daily practice.
Some time ago, one of my yoga students shared her horrific life story. She was brought up in an abusive household. She married an abusive man. Additionally, she ended up at a dead-end job where her manager was unfair with a short temperament. She wanted to change her life. But, she had no desire to change her daily habits. She preferred to be a victim of her circumstances without taking charge of her life.
In fact, most of us are fucked up by our upbringing in some fashion. As we move through life, we continue to accumulate more vices. However, we can change our life by changing our habits.
Personally, I became very allergic to drama. I grew up in a broken family. By the age of 16, my life was shattered in pieces. As a result, I was sick and overweight. Not to mention an alcohol addiction and absolutely no direction or future. Given that, most people gave up on me.
Despite this, with lots of hard work, yoga, and some luck, I completely changed my life.
- Start with a 5 to 10 minutes practice.
- Take a piece of paper and answer the following questions.
- Don’t make any changes. Observe.
- Does your food nurture you?
- Does your partner nurture you?
- Do you watch TV? How does it make you feel?
- Do you spend time on social media? How does it make you feel?
- Consider your circle of friends. Do these people inspire or drain you?
- Cultivate awareness by paying attention.
Nobody can hurt you but yourself. Suffering is a choice, healing a choice!
3) Fuel Your Creativity.
From the first human who picked up a stick to beat out a rhythm on a log or draw an animal’s picture in the dirt, artists have given names and form to the mysteries. As agents of Tao, or Jesus, or “the absurd,” artists show us the latest version of the truth. They make wisdom dance.
- Creativity is the twin-sister of reason.
- Dedicate a notebook or a digital version titled “the book of ideas” where you write anything that comes to mind. It could be traveling, dancing with the stars, your book titles, etc.
- Don’t worry if, at first, there is nothing to write about. Just jot down a few sentences.
- Don’t concern yourself with what others think about you or your ideas
- Try it: turn the music on and start dancing now.
4) What Are You Reading?
One of the most important components of yoga practice is self-study (Svadhyaya). Reading and meditating on yoga sutras of Patanjali and Bhagavad Gita is a part of my daily yoga practice. In addition, I love to read.
- Allocate the same time each day to read.
- Sign up for the public library.
- Never stop learning!
5) Immerse Yourself in Nature.
It’s the perfect place to observe the coexistence of chaos and unity, mystery and wonder. Growing up in the city, the treasures of nature passed me by, but since I’ve begun to focus on going with the flow, I’ve learned to appreciate what it can teach, how it can inspire.
- The diamond lit the starry night,
- The liquid crystal stream of water falls,
- The cool green blades of grassy fields under foot, between fingers,
- The precious subtle scents of uncut flowers.
To conclude, “going with the flow” is to follow your heart’s deepest desire. It could require some work. But mix that with play, and life will provide what you’re really looking for. Things fall into place, people come and help, you feel synchronicity, and you ‘know’ it.
So, go with the flow!