Finding Flow: Water Doesn’t Get Frustrated

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Everything is flowing smoothly today. From the moment you woke up five minutes before your alarm, the whole universe has obviously conspired to serve you. You partner made you breakfast. No traffic. Your favorite parking spot was available. Hours of productive work flew by in minutes. People are calling you instead of having to be tracked down. You’re pulling fresh $20 bills every time you stick your hand between the seat cushions of life. On the drive home, you tune into your favorite radio station just as a 60 minute commercial-free rock block commences.

Nice! It doesn’t get any better than this, you think to yourself, just mere seconds before someone rear-ends you at a red light.

Water distribution at times relies on gravity to keep things running. Modern plumbing systems run on built-up water pressure to ensure proper circulation. Next time someone tells you to “just go with the flow, man” and you observe a large desire to stab them in the left eye, remember this flow we take for granted is the result of high levels of gravity, pressure, and masterful construction.

What can be done when the flow takes a turn for the worse? Your airbag goes off. It starts to pour the moment you step out of the car to exchange insurance information. You don’t have a rain jacket, nor a pen. Neither does the other driver. As you go to retrieve one from the glove box, a door slams loudly and other car speeds away, dousing both you and the interior of your open car with muddy sludge.

It just doesn’t get any worse than this, you think to yourself, just mere seconds before it does. Insert any type of terrible occurrence here — flat tire, phone call from hospital, blue ice thundering down from a passing plane, swarm of locusts, stubbing your big toe.

Going with the flow is easy, especially when that current feels great. The challenge is learning how to drop into a positive flow when half-swept away in a riptide of epic misfortune. No, life, I’m not waving. I’m drowning.

Water doesn’t get frustrated. Its sole purpose is to go where the universe takes it. By no means is water responsible for itself. This is the reality of living life like water: cloudy when stagnant, clear when moving, taking on the shape of the environment we move through and the qualities of the elements with which we interact. This is what it’s like to go with the flow. There is no good or bad, only here and now.

The burden of responsibility for fixing leaky faucets and clogged drains falls squarely on the well-worn shoulders of those in charge of directing this water energy. We build complex systems to ensure flow. We are happy when they work, sad when they don’t. If you’re human, there is a good chance that few things are more anger-inducing than a poorly-timed plumbing disaster.

Oftentimes, we perceive flow as luck and/or coincidence — especially when others have caught a bigger wave. This is a cop-out. Luck is nothing more than opportunity realized. Coincidence taps into pre-existing plumbing. Some people are equipped to deal with the necessary gravity and pressure better than you are. Perhaps they have better tools or access. Maybe they worked very hard for that, although it’s very possible they did not.

Sometimes the universe conspires, and other times you need to be the divine hand of source. When one doesn’t work out, true flow is found through allowing yourself to default to the other. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck on the side of the road, waiting for a life plumber to come who has never been called.

Mud comes out. Dents can be removed and scratches buffed away. By the time you get back in your car to head home, the storm has stopped, a rainbow formed, and “Don’t Stop Believing” has just kicked in. Yes, it has been quite a journey, but at least you’re conscious, which means there’s a chance you might actually enjoy it.

Water finds a way, regardless of obstacle or chance. This is why your life’s direction will change without a moment’s notice. While it’s a blessing to see this coming, chances are high you’ll often be blindsided while changing radio stations. A liquid’s ability to flow is not affected by variations in landscape or systems of distribution. One is constantly flowing, whether in movement or not. While we may have no choice in what direction this takes us, we definitely have control on how we arrive.

 

–Published on HuffingtonPost.com, Feb 8, 2013: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/daniel-scott/positive-outlook_b_2618166.html–

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